Lonesome George, famed Galapagos tortoise, dies at over 100 years old!
Oh, no! It's a sad day in the animal world today as the last remaining Pinta Island giant tortoise, known as Lonesome George, has died. Estimated to be more than 100 years old, the turtle that has long since been a celebrated symbol for conservationists, passed away on Sunday in the Galapagos National Park in Ecuador--that's right, the poor little thing was Latino!
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Lonesome George was discovered in 1972 in the park when it was believed his species was already extinct. Since then, he has been part of the park's tortoise program but efforts to breed him have failed. This, and his position as the only known member of his subspecies, led him to his nickname. The animal's cause of death still remains unclear.
"Lonesome George's legacy will be an increased effort in both research and management to restore his island of Pinta and all of the other giant tortoise populations of Galapagos," park officials said in a statement.
Aww, how sad is that! It's always terrifying to think about how any part of a species can go completely extinct like that. But though Lonesome George will be missed, he can rest easy knowing that he will live on as a legend of the Galapagos Islands and that his long life has refueled conservation efforts, particularly in areas near his home. RIP, Lonesome George!
What do you think of the animal's death? Tell us in the comments below!
Image via A. Davey/flickr