Lonesome George Dies
Lonesome George, the famous giant tortoise of the Galapagos Islands—and the last of his species—has died at the estimated age of 100.
He was the last of his kind, and an icon of conservation. And now he’s gone.
“This morning the park ranger in charge of looking after the tortoises found Lonesome George, his body was motionless,” Edwin Naula, the head of the Galapagos National Park, told Reuters. “His life cycle came to an end.”
George was the last member of a giant tortoise subspecies from La Pinta, one of the smallest islands in the Galapagos. He attracted thousands of visitors every year, who came to visit one of the world’s rarest animals.
MORE WILDLIFE PHOTOS FROM THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS HERE!
The park had tried several times to help George procreate, but with no luck. He was paired with a female tortoise from Wolf Volcano for 15 years, and while the two did mate, the eggs were infertile. He was then matched with several female tortoises from Espanola Island, but he failed to mate with them.
While 100 years old may seem old, it’s actually only mid-life for most giant tortoises. Scientists expected George to live until close to 200 years of age. The park has said it will conduct an investigation to determine what led to George’s death.
Naula told Reuters the park is also considering embalming George’s body so that it can be put on display.