The giant tortoise named Lonesome George — the last of the Pinta Island subspecies and an enduring icon of the Galapagos — died Sunday.
George, who was discovered in 1972 in the islands that inspired Charles Darwin’s ideas of evolution, was about 100 years old. Galapagos tortoises have been known to live for 200 years.
It was believed to be the last Pinta tortoise, also known as the species Geochelone abigdoni.Since 1993, various mates had been provided for Lonesome George in failed attempts to keep his subspecies alive. Two females of a different subspecies managed to lay eggs, but they were infertile.
George was actually named after American actor George Gobel, a TV star of the 1950s, who called himself “Lonesome George.”
Scientists said they expected George to live another few decades at least, and are planning a necropsy to figure out why he died.
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It’s sad to know more animal species and sub-species are disappearing forever thanks to us (humans). Why is that the efforts to preserve these creatures start when there’s only a handful of them?
RIP Lonesome George 🙁