If you look at tiger conservation or elephant, you’re talking about millions of dollars being put into it. These turtles have slow growth, late maturity, and long life spans of upwards of 100 years. âThe softshell turtles didn’t sell for anything different in the market. Chinaâs turtles need protection in the wild I n Chinese mythology, giant softshell turtles are important symbols of longevity and strength. Finally, reunification and independence. One male and one female were held in Chinaâs Suzhou Zoo, but the female died in April 2019. Instead of going out on a boat, we talk a short walk, in the heat of the afternoon, around a small portion of Xuan Khanh, within sight of where the turtle mostly resides.  Her actual age was not known but she was believed to be over 90 years old when passed away after failing to wake up from her last artificial insemination procedure. The last known female Yangtze giant soft shell turtle has passed away on Saturday the 13th of April at Chinaâs Suzhou Shangfangshan Forest Zoo while recovering from anesthesia, following an AI procedure. The Yangtze Giant Asian Softshell, also known as the Swinhoe’s Softshell and Hoan Kiem Turtle, was once found throughout much of the Red River basin, but was heavily hunted starting in the 1970s. It is also the rarest. In Vietnamese mythology, the Yangtze giant softshell turtle is also the living representative of the Great Turtle God, Kim Qui. Hoanh tells us that poachers sold the bones of one turtle for 45 million Vietnamese dong â nearly $2,000. Scientists are currently searching in the lakes near Hanoi to find any other potential females. Bailey, Regina. They can grow to over 39 inches by 28 inches and weigh up to 275 pounds. The last known female died in April 2019. The death of the last known female Yangtze giant softshell turtle has pushed scientists to search for wild specimens in China and Vietnam. Due to their large size and skin, people have hunted them as a source of food and as an ingredient in traditional medicine. It got away. âIt’s only recently when they became rare [that] there’s more demand for them.â. In his sixties and a former fisherman, Trong is now a full-time turtle watcher. In Vietnam, there has long been an individual in Dong Mo Lake, but in 2018, the ATP confirmed another animal in the wild: one in Xuan KhanhÂ Lake. A conservation miracle for the worldâs most endangered turtle! In fact, more than half of all turtle species have at least a threatened conservation status. She is about 80 years old and weighs almost 90 pounds. The hunting appears to have been largely a village sport, with many men taking part, but the special hunters were those skilled in spearing. Until this year a male Swinhoe's softshell turtle living at Suzhou Zoo in China was thought to be the last of its kind. The Swinhoe's softshell turtles, also known as Yangtze giant softshell turtle and Hoan Kiem turtle, were once abundant in the region; their numbers have dwindled though, as â¦ © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- Nov. 21, 2020. Hoang says he kept attempting hunts for another few years, but most of the animals were gone by then. These turtles are the largest freshwater turtle in the world, but they are also on the brink of extinction. 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As of 2019, there are only 3 known individuals of this species. McCormack believes that when the dams were built, several turtles became stranded in lakes and reservoirs like Dong Mo. The Asian giant softshell turtle (Pelochelys cantorii), also known as Cantor's giant softshell turtle and the frog-faced softshell turtle, is a species of freshwater turtle in the family Trionychidae.The species is native to Southeast Asia.It has been considered [by whom?] To date, there is no facility built for this, but McCormack says a number of sites are being considered, including the island on Dong Mo. However, due to global warming and poaching, their numbers have dramatically reduced, whittling them down to disastrous levels, reports the National Geographic. Le Huy Hoanh, the former turtle hunter, lives in a comfortable rural setting in a village not far from the lakes we visit. Ha Noi (Vietnam): Scientists released genetic results confirming a female turtle captured in October in Vietnam is definitively the near extinct Swinhoe's softshell turtle - also known as the Yangtze giant soft shell turtle and Hoan Kiem turtle. The species is number 20 on the Zoological Society of Londonâs EDGE list of reptiles, which ranks species based on a combination of their genetic distinctiveness and how imperiled they are. They were just butchered and consumed locally, most of them,â McCormack says. The Yangtze giant softshell turtle has one living close relative: the Euphrates softshell turtle (Rafetus euphraticus), which is currently listed as endangered by the IUCN and clocks in at 59 on the EDGE list. Survivors probably succumbed to hunters. LÃª Lá»£i handed over the legendary sword to the Turtle God and named the spot âThe Lake of the Returned Sword,â or Hoan Kiem Lake. Suzhou Zoo, where the female turtle lived, is also the home to a male Yangtze giant softshell turtle. The Yangtze Giant Asian Softshell, also known as the Swinhoeâs Softshell and Hoan Kiem Turtle, was once found throughout much of the Red River basin, but was heavily hunted starting in the 1970s. Softshell Turtle’s Lifespan. Suzhou Zoo, where the female turtle lived, is also the home to a male Yangtze giant softshell turtle. Yangtze Giant Softshell Turtle Facts. The natural habitat for these turtles are wetlands and large lakes. Common Health Concerns. Swinhoe’s Giant Asian Softshell Turtle (China and Vietnam) Swinhoe’s Giant Asian Softshell Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) is one of the largest freshwater turtles in the world, reaching up to 260 pounds.Only four known individuals of this species exist, including a male in captivity in China at the Suzhou Zoo, and three individuals in different lakes in Vietnam. The last known female Yangtze giant softshell turtle has died in China. However, the massive animals are not easy to catch. On the fifth attempt, the male recovered normally but the female did not recover from the anesthesia despite 24 hours of emergency care. The adult can grow a shell larger than 1 meter in length and weigh over 100 kg. The ovarian tissue of the female has been frozen for future work, but as of 2019, the last female of this species has died. The Asian giant softshell turtle (Pelochelys cantorii), also known as Cantor's giant softshell turtle and the frog-faced softshell turtle, is a species of freshwater turtle in the family Trionychidae.The species is native to Southeast Asia.It has been considered [by whom?] âIf he goes to work and he doesn’t see it that day, sometimes he feel a bit sad â which turns out to be many days,â the translator tells me. And McCormack suspects others may still be hiding in Vietnamese lakes and rivers, and maybe even across the border in Laos. 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