Death of rare turtle leaves 3 remaining in the world

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  1. China has said that the last known female Yangtze giant softshell turtle has died.She was believed to be over 90 years old and died around 24 hours after researchers had tried to artificially inseminate her.
  2. This was one of four Yangtze giant softshell turtles known to be remaining in the world.The same zoo also houses a male Yangtze giant softshell turtle.The other two live in Vietnam,but their genders are unknown.This turtle is listed as critically endangered in the IUCN Red List.
  3. According to National Geographic,Yangtze giant softshell turtles are the largest freshwater turtle species,weighing about 220 pounds.They have tiny,piglike snouts and large,smooth shells.
  4. The species once flourished in China and Vietnam but (a)destruction of their habitats (b)pollution (c)exploitation for food and perceived medical benefits has played an important role in their decline.