The 160-kilogram Yangtze giant softshell freshwater turtle was one of only four left alive

  3 Februari 2016 18:34 - The Great Grandfather turtle, known as Cu Rua, has died. The 160-kilogram Yangtze giant softshell freshwater turtle was one of only four left alive, and her passing (yes, Cu Rua was found to be a female in 2011 despite having been known as the Grandfather her whole life) stirred much mourning in her native Vietnam.

Estimated to be more than 100 years old, the sighting of the normally reclusive Cu Rua was considered a sign of good luck. The giant had significant cultural and spiritual meaning in Vietnam, where it was believed that the turtle was a reincarnation of a sacred figure from the 15th century. Her death has caused for widespread mourning in the Southeast Asian country. One local event stated that it was bad luck: People say the turtles death is bad luck, and a way for the gods to show that somethings about to happen.

For some, the death of this mystical creature could possibly present some trouble politically as the animal passed just as the Communist Congress is set to meet to elect the next senior leader for the coming give years. According to the BBC, the partys propaganda party instructed media outlets to communicate the death without sentimental commentary and use a more scientific narrative.

If anything, the death of Cu Rua symbolizes the near imminent extinction of a species. With only three surviving Yangtze turtles left, one in a protected lake in Vietnam and another two at the Suzhou Zoo in China. Conservationists are under even more pressure than they have been to revive the species. While its not impossible, it would be an incredible feat, as it is listed as the most endangered species of turtle in the world. Like so many other species who no longer roam the earth, humans are much to blame for the extinction as hunting and poaching significantly dwindled the number of turtles.

(Reported by: Ivana Lucic)