IN LOVING MEMORY OF ZAI ZAI
It is with a heavy heart that we share this news with you:
Our beloved Rescue Turtle, Zai Zai has passed away. Auspiciously, she waited until the very day our first YMop order was completed, to leave this world. After several weeks of refusing to eat, she passed away peacefully in her sleep—one of her favorite pastimes.
For those of you who don’t know Zai’s story:
Zai Zai came to us by-the-way of a Chinese woman who had sublet our Shenzhen YMop Lab/apartment around March of 2019. Unaware that Zai was a Chinese Golden Coin Turtle, which is semi-aquatic, and desperately needs a water source for proper health, Zai had already lived more than 10 years without a water pond, which surely contributed to a shorter life-span.
The Golden Saving Grace: From the moment Zai Zai arrived at our YMop Lab, we began extensive research using YouTube videos to make sure we properly identified her species, and that she had the proper care—including building her a temporary water pond which evolved into her Glass Pond Wonderland built on our 16th floor Shenzhen balcony that not only overlooked the ocean, but Sea World Plaza where she could watch the nightly water & light shows, and the moon setting on the ocean . . . and she did . . . for several years ! We purchased all of the necessary turtle-care equipment and did her veterinary* checkups—all approved and funded by YMop CEO/Investor, Craig Andrews. We truly created a turtle paradise for Zai Zai to get back some of her lost years. Zai Zai’s amazing transformation happened over a 4 year period in which her mobility, health, and morale, quickly and dramatically improved. YouTube videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN9Q5y5ERYLaE1B7nrsgJQg
*Thanks Veterinarian Doctor Damon for your loving care of Zai Zai which helped her miraculously survive the pebble incident.
When Zai Zai’s original owner vacated our apartment / YMop Lab ( after the lifting of the lockdowns in 2019 ), she offered that we adopt Zai, as we had created the perfect environment, and it was apparent that it was the best situation for her. Having fallen in love with Zai Zai, we graciously accepted the offer, committing to care for her indefinitely.
Zai Zai’s species is the rarest of turtles on earth, and although on the endangered species list, she was not illegal to keep because she was bred in captivity, and would be unable to survive if released into the wild; i.e., Zai literally needed to be hand-fed, and could definitely not protect herself against predators. Zai’s species is also known for having very human like facial expressions, and for seeking human interaction in general. Zai was not an exception regarding this and other inherent personality traits such as the claim that her species is, arguably, the most intelligent.
In late-2021, ( after almost 4 years under our care ) Zai Zai remained under the good care of YMop Co-Founder, John Neira, who was forced to leave China suddenly because of visa complications stemming from the pandemic. We made every attempt to relocate Zai to the USA but because of Covid it was virtually impossible on a short-term schedule. As a temporary solution we tried to relocate Zai to the factory turtle pond which, although quite large and lavish, proved unsuccessful, as Zai Zai completely rejected the proposition of being left with less-domesticated turtles, many of which were 3 times her size.
Good guy, Dylan ( Kingbest factory manager ) stepped-up and offered to take Zai, and, with the help of our QC Engineer, Martin, we were able to move Zai Zai’s Glass Pond Wonderland to Dylan’s apartment balcony in ZhongShan, about 5 minutes from the factory. This happened literally the day before John Neira’s visa expiration date / exit from China.
Dylan did a fantastic job of caring for Zai Zai during the following months, and we are forever grateful for his generosity.
On March 6, 2022, with the coordinated efforts of Dylan and Jack Lau ( the previous factory manger ) Zai Zai was buried at sea, off the China coastline.
We have decided to leave Zai Zai’s photos and bio on our website Team Member Page to serve as a constant reminder that, no matter what happens, always keep your head up, do the best you can, and just keep going !
Zai Zai will be greatly missed. She died fulfilled with the dignity and honor her beautiful species of turtle deserves.
Anyone wishing to honor Zai Zai is encouraged to donate to the Chinese Golden Coin Conservancy at: https://www.turtleconservancy.org/programs/golden-coin-turtle