Lonesome George, Last Surviving Galapagos Giant Tortoise, Dies
It's a sad, sad day for animal lovers. Lonesome George, the longtime turtle mascot of the Galapagos Islands and the last of his kind, died on Sunday, officially making the Pinta Island giant tortoise extinct.
The two-meter tortoise was found dead in his pen on Sunday by Fausto Llerena, his handler for the past 40 years. The animal was first spotted on Pinta Island by a Hungarian scientist in 1972 and was believed to be 100 years old, which is relatively young for a species that could live up to 200 years.
Conservationists have tried many times over the years to have the tortoise successfully mate with females from similar subspecies, but all their efforts failed. George will undergo a post-mortem before being embalmed for the benefit of future generations.
Goodbye, Lonesome George. We hope you're lonesome no longer, wherever you are.