— Discovery (@Discovery) May 29, 2015
The Yangtze softshell turtle is at its last turn before extinction.
Scientists, and the social media world are crossing their fingers waiting to see if the species’ last hope for reproduction will come through. The last known female, picture above, has recently been artificially inseminated with sperm from the last known male on the planet (who allegedly has “damaged sex organs”) but experts remain dubious as to whether or not the 100-year-old potential mother will be able to produce.
“The conservation world will once again be holding its collective breath until we know if this was successful,” said biologist Rick Hudson from Fort Worth, Texas to CNN.
This is the softshell turtle’s final moonshoot, and members of the Suzhou Zoo in China await anxiously for her to lay her eggs to see whether or not they will be viable.
“This autumn, the female Rafetus swinhoei will be moved back to Changsha Zoo,” Vice Director Yan Xiahui of Changsha Zoo, where the turtle hails from, said to ABC News. “We hope some children move together with her.”
She’s the only female left. Let’s root for her.