The 100-year-old Yangtze giant softshell is the most endangered turtle in the world, and may soon lay her eggs.
The Yangtze giant softshell turtle is said to be at least 100 years old and is the last known female of the species according to the Wildlife Conservation Society.
It is notable because she was recently impregnated by artificial insemination. Scientists had to use the sperm of the last known male of the species due to his lack of functioning sex organs.
The most endangered turtle species in the world is expected to lay her eggs in the next few weeks. It is only then that scientists will know whether or not their artificial insemination of the rare giant softshell was successful by the viability of the eggs that are laid.
According to the Suzhou Zoo’s Dr. Lu Shunqing:
The fate of the most endangered softshell turtle of the world is now in the balance.
This marks the first time that artificial insemination has been attempted on any of the softshell turtle species. Based on the results of the same procedure in other turtles, the odds are not good.