A male Yangtze giant softshell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) at the Suzhou Zoo in Jiangsu, China. Scientists are attempting to use its sperm to artifically inseminate the last known female.
There Are Only 3 of These Turtles Left on Earth
And conservationists are desperately searching for a fourth.
In the waters of the Yunnan Province of China, a team of conservationists is hoping to find a turtle with some very valuable sperm.
The Yangtze giant softshell turtle is one of the most critically endangered species in the world. A male and female are in captivity in the Suzhou Zoo in China, and one wild turtle lives in a Vietnamese lake called Dong Mo. (The Vietnamese turtle is believed to be male, but because they are so elusive, determining its sex has been difficult.)
In February of last year, a fourth turtle — believed to be nearly 100 years old — died in captivity in Vietnam, reducing the world population by a quarter.
Yangtze softshell turtles, also