Photo: 'Lonesome George' Photographed by Galapagos National Park Service
At approximately 100-to-120 years-old the last Giant Pinta tortoise has passed away on the Galapagos Islands, where it is native to. The Galagalogs archipelago of islands are located 600 miles from Ecuador and are world famous for their diverse plant and animal life.
The giant tortoise died childless when efforts to find a female Giant Pinta tortoise failed, hence the name ‘Lonesome George’. Environmentalists even tried having ‘Lonesome George’ mate with other giant tortoises outside of his species, those efforts also failed.
The tortoise was found unresponsive Sunday in his play yard. The tortoise was identified in 1972 on the Galapagos Island by a Hungarian scientist.
With the death of ‘Lonesome George’ the species officially known as ‘Chelonoidis Abringdoni’ has become extinct. There are some 20,000 other giant tortoises on the Galapagos but ‘Lonesome George’ was the symbol for the park and of the struggles of rare species to survive in modern times.
The park favorite will be embalmed and remain placed somewhere in the park.