End of Line for Species as Iconic Galapagos Tortoise Dies

Monday, 25 Jun 2012 12:28 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Lonesome George, the last remaining tortoise of his kind and a conservation icon, died on Sunday of unknown causes, the Galapagos National Park said. He was thought to be about 100 years old.

Lonesome George was found in 1972 and had become a symbol of Ecuador's Galapagos Islands, which attracted some 180,000 visitors last year.

"This morning the park ranger in charge of looking after the tortoises found Lonesome George, his body was motionless," the head of the Galapagos National Park, Edwin Naula, told Reuters. "His life cycle came to an end."

George was believed to be around 100 years old and the last member of a species of giant tortoise from La Pinta, one of the smallest islands in the Galapagos, the Galapagos National Park said.

The giant Galapagos tortoises, which can live up to 200 years old, were among the species that helped Charles Darwin formulate his theory of evolution in the 19th century.

The Galapagos National Park is considering embalming George's body so that it can be displayed in the park, Naula said.

A spokesperson said the park plans to carry out a necropsy to determine what may have killed the tortoise.

Scientists had been trying to get George to mate since 1993, when they introduced two female tortoises of a different subspecies into his pen. They laid eggs twice, but they were infertile.

The pen where George lived was visited by thousands of tourists every year, who often had to scramble with each other to take pictures of one of the rarest creatures on Earth.

The islands often attract celebrities, including Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt earlier this year.

Tortoises were hunted for their meat by sailors and fishermen to the point of extinction, while their habitat has been eaten away by goats introduced from the mainland.

Some 20,000 giant tortoises still live on the Galapagos.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

German Astronaut: Image of Gaza Is 'My Saddest Photo Yet'

Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 17:08 PM

A picture of rockets in the skies over Gaza is "my saddest photo yet," German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted from the . . .

Wyoming Cave With Fossil Secrets to be Excavated

Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 13:46 PM

For the first time in three decades, scientists are about to revisit one of North America's most remarkable troves of an . . .

FTC Commissioner Warns on Mobile Health-Data Gathering

Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 20:48 PM

Federal Trade Commissioner Julie Brill, speaking in Washington on Wednesday, expressed concern about the way apps on sma . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved