Gallery: Saving the Softshell Species
Jan. 25, 2021
A Yangtze giant softshell turtle at the Suzhou Shangfangshan Forest Zoo in Suzhou, East China’s Jiangsu province. The global population for the species was thought to be down to just three before the discovery of a female in Vietnam last year.
A statue of Yangtze giant softshell turtle sits on display near a pond at the Suzhou Shangfangshan Forest Zoo. In 2006, a breeding campaign began at the zoo to increase the species’ numbers. Photo: Kang Jia/Caixin
A more than 100-year-old male Yangtze giant softshell turtle rests in the pond. The turtle’s mate died in April 2019 during an artificial insemination procedure at the zoo. Photo: Courtesy of Suzhou Shangfangshan Forest Zoo
Gerald Kuching, an animal expert from the Turtle Survival Alliance, artificially inseminates a Yangtze giant softshell turtle. Photo: Courtesy of Wildlife Conservation Society member Lü Shunqing
A light illuminates an unfertilized egg that the female Yangtze giant softshell turtle laid. Photo: Courtesy of Lü Shunqing
Dozens of eggs that were laid in the sand by the female. Despite experts’ efforts, none of the eggs produced a baby turtle. Photo: Courtesy of Lü Shunqing