facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Galapagos tortoise 'Lonesome George' dies

June 25, 2012 at 3:33 PM   |   Comments

GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, Ecuador, June 25 (UPI) -- A tortoise dubbed Lonesome George, the sole survivor of his species and a Galapagos Islands conservation icon, has died, officials say.

The animal was found dead in his corral early Sunday at the Tortoise Breeding and Rearing Center in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island, the Galapagos National Park Service reported.

Park ranger Fausto Llerena, his longtime keeper, found George stretched out toward his watering hole but showing no signs of life.

The body of the animal, which had been the sole living example of the Pinta Island tortoise (Chelonoidis abingdoni), was being held in a refrigerated chamber to avoid decomposition prior to a necropsy, officials said.

Pinta tortoises were thought to be extinct when George was discovered in 1972.

Efforts to get George to reproduce were unsuccessful, as females of a related species put with George produced infertile eggs.

The animal's exact age was unknown but was estimated to be about 100 years, officials said.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
SpaceX Dragon returns safely from ISS, splashes into Pacfic Ocean SpaceX Dragon returns safely from ISS, splashes into Pacfic Ocean
2
Google exec breaks skydive record with dive from near-space Google exec breaks skydive record with dive from near-space
3
Powerful new microscope sees cell division in real time Powerful new microscope sees cell division in real time
4
Stone tools reveal Ice Age settlement in the Andes Stone tools reveal Ice Age settlement in the Andes
5
Coal-rich Poland wants concessions in EU climate deal Coal-rich Poland wants concessions in EU climate deal
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback