Second Swinhoe Turtle Found – A Hope for The Species

Second Swinhoe Turtle Found - A Hope for The Species

Sophie Lyons, Writer

A second Swinhoe turtle was found in Dong Mo Lake, Hanoi in October by a group of scientists doing an expedition. This female turtle was brought to a zoo in Suzhou, China and met the last remaining male turtle of that species. Scientists hope that the last turtles will mate and produce many offspring, helping Swinhoe turtles step away from extinction.

The male Swinhoe turtle was thought to be the last of its kind when a breeding trial went wrong in 2019, resulting in the death of the thought-to-be last female Swinhoe turtle. After DNA tests assured scientists that these two turtles were the same species, they started the new (and hopefully successful) breeding program. “In Vietnam, with the leadership of the government, we are determined to take responsibility to give this species another chance.” Said the Wildlife Conservation Society in Vietnam.

Brought to the brink of extinction because of over hunting, these last two Swinhoe turtles bring a new hope to this species. Andrew Walde, Chief Operating Officer of the Turtle Survival Alliance said, “This is the best news of the year, and quite possibly the last decade, for global turtle conservation.” Walde also explains that, ““As the most endangered turtle on Earth, a tremendous amount of energy and resources have been dedicated to the preservation of the Swinhoe’s Softshell Turtle.”.

These two turtles may not be the only two Swinhoe’s left. Authorities suspect one other turtle living in Dong Mo Lake. The same research group who found the female will go back soon when the lake is low to find that last turtle. This goes to show that there may be other hidden species in the world that are thought to be extinct but are thriving! And this can help our Animal Planet when Swinhoe turtles return.