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Yangtze giant softshell turtle: Last-known female of extremely rare species dies | World News

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An extremely rare species of turtle is facing extinction after the last-known female of its kind died at a zoo in southern China.

The Yangtze giant softshell turtle, one of only four known to be left in the world, died at Suzhou zoo on Saturday, the city’s government said in a statement, quoting the facility.

The site also houses a male of the species, but the gender of the other two – both in Vietnam – is not known.

Experts had tried to artificially inseminate the creature, which was over 90 years old, for a fifth time shortly before she died.

The reptile was found to be in good health prior to the procedure, which appeared to go smoothly, the paper said, but it died the following day.

A research team comprised of domestic and international experts will carry out a post-mortem examination to establish the cause of death.

Ovarian tissue samples were collected to be stored “for future use”, The Suzhou Daily reported.

The species, whose Latin name is Rafetus swinhoei, is critically endangered due to hunting, overfishing and the destruction of its habitat.

The animals are native to China and found in the Yangtze River and Taihu Lake, according to the state-run People’s Daily.

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) calls the Yangtze giant softshell turtle the world’s most critically endangered turtle species and claims it is facing extinction due to hunting as well as habitat destruction.

On its website, the agency says turtles as a whole are set to be extinct because of humans who eat them, keep them as pets and use their shells in traditional Chinese medicine.

“The illegal pet and food trade has threatened more than 80% population of turtles and tortoise species,” it adds.

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British woman Faye Mooney killed by kidnappers in Nigeria | World News

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Kidnappers in Nigeria have shot dead a British woman and a Nigerian man, and abducted three others, officials have said.

Police and the British High Commission have named the woman as Faye Mooney and said they were aware of an incident which took place at a holiday resort on Friday but added that they would not speculate on a motive.

Her next of kin have been informed.

The Briton was working in Nigeria as a communications specialist for aid group Mercy Corps and had travelled to the northern city of Kaduna from Lagos as a tourist, police said.

In a statement, Mercy Corps said it was “utterly heartbroken” by the killing.

Police said Ms Mooney, who worked in the west African nation for nearly two years, had been attending a party before the incident.

A Kaduna state police spokesman said: “Some suspected kidnappers armed with dangerous weapons gained entry into a recreational resort called Kajuru Castle in Kajuru local government area shooting sporadically and in the process shot dead two persons, including an expatriate lady, and took away three others.”

Officers have not yet named the other person killed in the incident.

No individuals or groups have said they are behind the killing and police are yet to identify the kidnappers.

Northern Nigeria has been dealing with a Boko Haram and Islamic State insurgency and clashes between farmers and herders, in which hundreds have died.

In a statement, the British High Commission said: “We are engaging with the Nigerian authorities, and we understand an investigation is under way.”

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Comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy wins Ukraine presidential election by landslide – exit poll | World News

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Comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy has won Ukraine’s presidential election with 73% of the vote, according to an exit poll.

An exit poll showed Mr Zelenskiy had beaten Petro Poroshenko by a landslide with the incumbent winning just 25% of the vote.

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Gorillas appear to pose for selfie with park ranger in the Democratic Republic of Congo | World News

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A photo has emerged of what a park ranger claims to be a selfie with two gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ranger Mathieu Shamavu says the picture was taken at Virunga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A spokesperson for the park told Sky News the pair both lived in a specially designed unit which cares for gorilla orphans who have been victimised by poachers or animal traffickers.

Mr Shamavu described his captivating composition as just “another day in the office”.

He is part of the park’s Elite Anti-Poaching Units And Combat Trackers group, which is tasked with protecting the animals.

A team of more than 600 rangers undergoes “intensive training, risking their lives on a daily basis to safeguard the park’s exceptional wildlife”, according to the Virunga National Park website.

Around one third of the world’s population of critically endangered mountain gorillas live in the park’s lush volcanic forests.

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The rangers have previously posted several photos of them exceptionally close to gorillas.

A Virunga National Park spokesperson said the pair were “friendly” because they were used to human contact in the Senkwekwe Centre for Gorilla Orphans.

Yvonne Ndege, a spokesperson for UNHCR Kenya, re-posted the image on Twitter, writing: “Selfie of the Year no question!”

Thousands of people responded to the image on Facebook, with one user saying: “Wow, that is an awesome office you’ve got there. Stay safe and thank you for the amazing work you do.”

Another user simply said: “Now that’s a selfie!”

With the photograph being shared thousands of times across social media, supporters have urged people to “make a difference” and donate to Virunga’s conservation efforts.

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