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With the death, only three known members of the species are left. As in Dong Mo, no turtle god appears, but according to DNA, at least, it’s there, just below the surface. The animal was one of four Yangtze giant softshell turtles known to be remaining in the world. If you look at tiger conservation or elephant, you’re talking about millions of dollars being put into it. The Yangtze giant softshell turtle is the largest freshwater turtle in the world, and it can grow to 100cm (39in) and weigh up to 100kg (nearly 16 stone). After the last female turtle passed away, the species became effectively extinct. “They maintain it for, yes, future generations.”. Some experts have now confirmed the presence of a Yangtze giant softshell turtle in Vietnam, increasing the total known population of the turtle to four individuals. The Yangtze giant softshell turtle ... Only a single turtle was believed to be left in the lake. The dam is how McCormack and his team suspect the turtle god found its way here. We take a boat onto the lake, heading toward a large island. The other two … Yet if a female can be found, the largest freshwater turtle on the planet just might not go extinct. Their population has dropped drastically due to hunting, habitat loss, and change in environments for rice production. A female Yangtze giant softshell turtle is seen at China's Suzhou Zoo in 2015. Read: 3 animal species in India extinct due to desertification: Researchers at UNCCD meet, Read: Last Sumatran rhino dies in Malaysia, smallest rhino species now extinct in Malaysia, Read: Giraffes just silently went to the list of endangered animals facing extinction. Only 3 males are left. As I listen, I think about how Hoanh’s stories resemble those of mythic dragon hunters or 19th-century whalers: a kind of struggle of man versus beast, a sprinkle of legend. But increasingly, hooks and lines were used as an easier, less perilous option. January 29, 2020 / Mark A. Bonta / Environment, Vietnam. The Suzhou zoo, where the female turtle lived, also houses a male Yangtze giant softshell turtle. Goal: Do not let the Yangtze giant softshell turtle go extinct. With his long spear and a net flanked in cruel hooks, Hoanh was known for decades in his little village as an able hunter of the Yangtze giant softshell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei). He says there’s still a chance to save this species — if we act quickly. But with only three animals, can anything be done? The animal was one of four Yangtze giant softshell turtles known to be remaining in the world. When China’s Suzhou Zoo recently lost one of its Yangtze giant softshell turtles, the world said goodbye to one of the last four remaining members of this species on the planet. On average, Trong sees the turtle about two to three times a month. Hoanh, growing up in the 1930s, learned how to hunt the turtles from his father and grandfather. It grows to 2.5 feet and can weigh as much as 220 lbs. She was over 90 years old. Perhaps it was the final giant of his career. At the same time the turtle population crashed. Mongabay is a U.S.-based non-profit conservation and environmental science news platform. One of the rarest turtles on the world, Yangtze Giant Softshell died in a Chinese zoo. The world's rarest turtle is now perilously close to extinction after one of its last surviving members died in a zoo in China. Hoanh describes them as “very fast,” telling us how during one escapade a turtle managed to capsize the boat of hunters and escape. If you value this objective and impact-driven journalism, please consider becoming a sustaining member. It grows to about 3.6 feet and weighs about 309 pounds. The enormous Yangtze giant softshell turtle is the world’s rarest turtle, with only three individuals thought to remain in the world. “Extinct in the Wild but Still Around: 5 Plants and Animals Kept Alive by Humans.” Britannica. Its numbers reduced to 1500 and then eventually the species became extinct. The Yangtze giant softshell turtle ... Half of the eggs were left in the sand to incubate naturally, while the other half were moved to incubate at varying temperatures and humidities. If the villagers don’t see it for a few months, McCormack says, “they start to worry.”. It was reported dead in January 2016. In his sixties and a former fisherman, Trong is now a full-time turtle watcher. These extraordinary turtles are teetering on the brink of extinction. Experts had tried to artificially inseminate the creature for a fifth time before she died. Just an hour outside Hanoi’s bustles lies quiet Dong Mo Lake, a scenic, sprawling body of water in the shadow of the heavily forested Ba Vi Mountain. Though the species is deemed extinct in the wild, it was conserved in wildlife sanctuaries in northeast Brazil. Taking samples of the water, they were able to finally prove a Yangtze giant softshell turtle lives here. In Vietnam, there has long been an individual in Dong Mo Lake, but in 2018, the ATP confirmed another animal in the wild: one in Xuan Khanh Lake. A male Rafetus swinhoei (also known as Yangtze giant softshell turtle) is seen after being collected sperm at Suzhou Zoo, May 6, 2015, in Suzhou, Jiangsu province of China. A few healthy animals could lead to a population in the hundreds in just a few years. Every day, Mongabay reporters bring you news from nature’s frontline. The only known female died in captivity in April of last year, making the search for another female paramount. Brandon Specktor. It doesn’t during our short visit, but that’s to be expected of this shy god. The animal was one of four Yangtze giant softshell turtles known to be remaining in the world. “This is when people started realizing they were rare,” McCormack adds. Death of Yangtze giant softshell turtle came a day after artificial insemination attempt Agence France-Presse in Shanghai Mon 15 Apr 2019 05.57 EDT Last modified on … In Vietnamese mythology, the Yangtze giant softshell turtle is also the living representative of the Great Turtle God, Kim Qui. The last known female Yangtze giant soft-shell turtle died in a Suzhou zoo in China in 2019.. I ask Hoanh, via the translator, what the giant tastes like? The Yangtze giant softshell turtle, one of only four known to be left in the world, died at Suzhou zoo on Saturday, the city's government said in a statement, quoting the facility. 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