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World's Only Female Swinhoe's Softshell Turtle Ready for Copulation
    2008-05-08 19:57:15     CRIENGLISH.com

The world's only female Swinhoe's softshell turtle arrived in Suzhou from Changsha under the watchful eye of experts on Tuesday, May 6, 2008. [Photo: cnsphoto]

The world's only female Swinhoe's soft shell turtle arrived in eastern China's Suzhou City Tuesday to copulate with a male. Authorities are hoping the turtles will procreate and save the ancient species from being wiped off the face of the earth.

China News Service reported that the female turtle from central China's Hunan Province was sent to Suzhou under the watchful eyes of marine experts from China and overseas.

Artificial fertilization will be used to help the rare animals reproduce. Since there are only three living Swinhoe's softshell turtles remaining in the world, the copulation is the last hope to protect the highly endangered species.

According to experts, although the remaining Swinhoe's softshell turtles are relatively old, they can live for two to three hundred years with proper breeding.

An ancient species that dates back 270 million years ago, the turtle which is also known as "aquatic giant panda" is even more endangered than the Chinese sturgeon. All Swinhoe's softshell turtles in the wild died out in the 1960s. Besides the two remaining species in China, there is another male one in Vietnam.

 
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