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FAREWELL, LONESOME GEORGE

The last of his kind, 'Lonesome' George the very last Pinta Giant Tortoise, has died.

Sad news comes from the animal kingdom today, ‘Lonesome’ George, the very last Pinta Giant Tortoise from the Galapagos Islands, has passed away at the ripe young age of 100 years old.

In 1972, at the string of Galapagos islands that helped make Charles Darwin famous by giving him beautiful examples of evolution, George was observed by a Hungarian scientist who thought, along with the rest of the scientific world, that his species of tortoise was already extinct. He was quickly added to the Galapagos National Park and their breeding program to preserve the lineage  but, was unsuccessful throughout the 40 years he was with them.

BBC News writes:

Staff at the Galapagos National Park in Ecuador say Lonesome George, a giant tortoise believed to be the last of its subspecies, has died.

Scientists estimate he was about 100 years old.

Park officials said they would carry out a post-mortem to determine the cause of his death. With no offspring and no known individuals from his subspecies left, Lonesome George became known as the rarest creature in the world.

For decades, environmentalists unsuccessfully tried to get the Pinta Island tortoise to reproduce with females from a similar subspecies on the Galapagos Islands. Park officials said the tortoise was found dead in his corral by his keeper of 40 years, Fausto Llerena. While his exact age was not known, Lonesome George was estimated to be about 100, which made him a young adult as the subspecies can live up to an age of 200.

Read more at bbc.co.uk

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