This is the Yangtze giant softshell turtle, one of the most endangered species on Earth. There are two at China's Suzhou Zoo and one in the wild in Vietnam's lake Dong Mo. Conservationists really need to find a fourth to aid their efforts to rebuild the species. National Geographic spoke with Aimin Wang, director of the China division of the Wildlife Conservation Society, about the group's efforts to find another elusive Yangtze turtle:
What would it mean for the species if one were to be found?
It increases our opportunity [for successful breeding] quite a bit. The male in China is quite old, but the female is young. The turtles are bred using artificial insemination. The last four attempts with the breeding pair in China were unsuccessful. We just tried for a fifth time and got high-quality sperm. We won't know for another month if our results were successful.
Why are these turtles so important to save?
This is a flagship species, and for biodiversity, they're quite important. They serve as an important [indicator of environmental health]. If we can help them survive, that means our ecological system is quite good. If they disappear, that means our ecological system is quite bad.
A resident of Erie County, Ohio called police on Tuesday when she spotted a large pig outside her back door. The police attempted to capture the suspect but as body cam footage (below) shows, it was no easy task. Eventually, the sheriffs used apples to lure the pig into a barn and located the animal’s […]
In Russia, some idiot spraypainted this polar bear with “T-34,” the model of a Soviet tank. The video was shared by World Wildlife Fund employee Sergey Kavry who lives in the remote region of Chutkotka. From CNN: In the comments (on Facebook where Kavry posted the video, he) said he obtained the video via WhatsApp […]
Farmers in the Malnad region in South India are reportedly dying their dogs’ fur with tiger stripes to scare off bands of marauding monkeys. Apparently the monkeys are wreaking havoc on their corn crops. According to the Deccan Herald, “Srikanta Gowda, a resident of Naluru village, Thirthahalli taluk, said he had seen a tiger-like doll […]
Weighted blankets are officially a thing. And if you’ve ever tried one, you know there’s a reason for the fuss. Parents have known for generations that swaddling a baby has a profound calming effect, and the gentle pressure that blanket weights provide can have the same effect on restless sleepers. Pretty much all parts of […]
Walk through any office, and you will likely spot a few bobbleheads. These wobbly figurines are great fun to have around, although most celebrate people we will never meet. For something a little more personal, try Handmade Custom Bobbleheads. These mini caricatures are sculpted and painted by skilled artisans, based on any photo you provide. […]
In the early days of the web, everyone wanted a .com domain for their site. As a result, all the good ones got snapped up. But .com no longer has the cachet it once did. In fact, many new businesses and individuals are opting for other top-level domain extensions. One of the most memorable is […]