Lonesome George Close up

Lonesome George

Posted: June 27, 2012. Filed under: General,Wildlife

The Galapagos Islands were on the new world wide this week because the most famous tortoise from the Galapagos Islands has passed away on the 24the of June.

George was the only one left of his kind and he lived in the Charles Darwin Station on the Island Santa Cruz, Puerto Ayora on the Galapagos Islands.

Many effort where made to mate Lonesome George with other species of tortoises but with no success. possibly due to the lack of females of his own subspecies. This prompted researchers at the Darwin Station to offer a $10,000 reward for a suitable mate.

Until January 2011, George was penned with two females from Isabela Island, they were from a subspecies genetically closest to George. In July 2008, George unexpectedly mated with one of his female companions. Thirteen eggs were collected and placed in incubators, unfortunately none of them hatched. Also future attempts failed.

In his last years, he was known as the rarest creature in the world. George served as a potent symbol for conservation efforts in the Galápagos and internationally. George was first seen on the island of Pinta on 1 December 1971 by Hungarian József Vágvölgyi.

On 24 June 2012, at 8:00 am local time, Director of the Galápagos National Park Edwin Naula announced that Lonesome George had been found dead by his caretaker of 40 years, Fausto Llerena. Naula suspects that the cause of death was heart failure consistent with the end of the natural life cycle of a tortoise. He was believed to be more than 100 years old.

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