"It is tragic that the only known female of this species has died," the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) wrote in a statement, "but the real tragedy here is that this species has been decimated to near extinction by hunting and habitat destruction."
The female was first brought to the zoo in hopes that she would successfully mate with a 100-year-old male Yangtze giant softshell in residence there. But the couple never managed to reproduce naturally. That's when conservationists decided to try artificial insemination. The female underwent several attempted insemination procedures that failed to produce viable eggs before she died during the fifth.
“Sadly, this time the female turtle did not recover normally as she had in the past and she died despite 24 hours of nonstop emergency care," WCS wrote.