Largest freshwater turtle nears extinction—but this scientist isn’t giving up. The death of the last known female Yangtze giant softshell turtle has pushed scientists to search for wild specimens in China and Vietnam.

“But this year was different,” says Rick Hudson, President of the Board of the Turtle Survival Alliance. “We got the best semen sample we’ve ever gotten. We got the semen directed into the proper oviduct. And everything just went very smooth.”

“She just struggled to come out of anesthesia,” he says. To read more from National Geographic, click HERE. Photo: Joel Sartore