One of the world’s rarest turtle species moved a step closer to extinction with the death of the last known female of the kind in eastern China on the weekend. Xiangxiang, a nine-decade-old Yangtze giant softshell turtle, died at Suzhou Zoo in Jiangsu province on Saturday afternoon, a day after zoo officials made a fifth attempt to artificially inseminate the animal, Suzhou Daily reported. The “catastrophic loss” leaves just one other of the turtles – a male over a century old – in China and two others of unknown sex in the wild in Vietnam, according to the report. Xiangxiang was in good health before the artificial insemination attempt and the procedure was carried out without complications, the report said. Four previous attempts to artificially inseminate Xiangxiang had also been failures. Specialists harvested the turtle’s ovaries for future breeding and will conduct an autopsy on the reptile. China's demand for ‘red ivory’ is pushing the helmeted hornbill to extinction The species, Rafetus swinhoei , is one of the world’s biggest and rarest freshwater turtles, can live to more than 160 years old and can have two to three litters each year, Shanghai-based news site The Paper reported. In a post on Saturday, a Chinese science blogger writing under the pseudonym Hualuochengshi said the loss of the turtle was a “failure of all of humankind”. “There is a huge sense of powerlessness in the air,” the blogger wrote. How China’s crested ibis fairy bird came back from the brink of extinction In 2016, another giant softshell turtle Cu Rua – or Great-grandmother Turtle – died in Vietnam and her embalmed remains placed in a temple in Hanoi, according to Vietnamese media reports. She was symbolically linked to a legend about a turtle deity that helped a Vietnamese hero fight Chinese invaders.