By Tyler Arabia
In a southern China zoo last week, one of the world’s most endangered and rarest turtle species has suffered a great loss when the turtle Beijing died. Beijing was the last known female Yangtze Giant Softshell turtle left in the world. In 2015, scientists announced that they were going to try and artificially inseminate Beijing in the attempts to save the endangered turtles. She had undergone five attempts at artificial insemination, which were all unsuccessful.
Beijing was 90 years old which is amazing, because most larger turtle species are estimated to live about 80 years. Chinese and foreign experts are still investigating the cause of Beijing’s death stated by Suzhou authorities. Now only 3 Yangtze Giant Softshell turtles remain and they are all males. Beijing was their only hope for rebuilding their species. The Yangtze Giant Softshell turtle originated in China and made their homes in the Yangtze River and Taihu Lake. It’s upsetting to know that soon this amazing rare species will be extinct.