Yangtze Turtles: A Slow Goodbye To The World’s Rarest Turtle

A deadline of 12 years has been given to us by scientists worldwide for us to act rapidly and vigorously with the single-sighted goal of if not reversing but reducing the rate at which we have wrought damage to this world. Climate change is a global reality and it is wreaking havoc on every living being that calls Mother Earth it’s home. At a time when the strongest voices of the world have spoken up against the inactivity of the global powers to rise in unison and enact change to restore the habitat to all its citizens, the world just lost one of its four giant Yangtze softshell turtles. This female Yangtze turtle’s death leaves behind only three. The Yangtze turtles are the largest freshwater turtles in the world. By Shubhanjana Das

The death of this female Yangtze at Suzhou Zoo in China, which gets its name from its habitat, the Yangtze River in China and its waterways, pre-empts the eventual fate of this rare species of turtles, that being extinction.

The zoo shelters another Yangtze giant, a male, with the other two in Vietnam. Their gender is unknown. The death of this 90-year old came a day after the nth number of attempts by the zoo to artificially inseminate the turtle with the semen of a 10-years older male turtle after failed attempts at natural reproduction. The death is still being investigated but it makes us question whether it was the fifth insemination attempt that drove Rafetus Swinhoei to its death.

The marine life population of the Yangtze as a whole has also suffered at the hands of growing pollution, plastic waste choking its waterways, shipping traffic, and the construction of hydroelectric dams and not to mention, overfishing and hunting.

Related: List Of The Newly Declared Endangered Species & Why We Should Be Concerned

Priyanka Chakrabarti

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