News from the Natural World: British adventurer cycles LEJOG for a endangered animal only to find it extinct by the time he finishes.
Backwards Bicycling Barry had become famous in the adventure world for his long-distance backwards cycling expeditions. He had pioneered a technique of cycling backwards which was more EXTREME and AUTHENTIC than other LEJOG adventurers. He always raised money for critically endangered animals. Always hoping that his exploits would raise money and awareness to protect these animals on the brink of extinction.
This time Barry had decided to cycle the famous LEJOG route in the UK. LEJOG is over 1,400km from the bottom of England to the top of Scotland. He wanted to raise money for the critically endangered Yangtze Giant Softshell Turtle. However, on Day 8 of his expedition, with two days remaining, the last known female of this rare species, named Xiangxiang, died. She had died in an artificial insemination process, effectively consigning this enigmatic Turtle to extinction.
LEJOG adventurer distraught
The Yangtze Giant Softshell Turtle, also known as the Red River Giant Softshell Turtle, was an extremely rare and unique turtle endemic to southern China and Vietnam. It was the largest living freshwater turtle in the world. It had become much loved due to it’s colossal size and large soft shell.
Backwards Bicylcing Barry was heartbroken at hearing the news, he visibly welled up and addressed a small throng of press who had greeted him;
“This is such terrible news. I really felt like my previous expeditions had caught the publics attention and changed peoples attitudes to endangered animals. I know my challenges to raise awareness for the Indian Cheetah, Indochinese Tiger & Northern White Rhino were really successful and I’m so sad that I couldn’t help another Critically Endangered Animal.”
Despite the ironic tragedy, Barry has vowed to continue and his next challenge will see him cycle the Coast to Coast backwards to raise money for the Barbary Lion.
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