´╗┐Lonesome George shuffles off


A lumbering giant Galapagos tortoise known as Lonesome George lifts his head up during a walk in his protected home in the island chain in Puerto Ayora in this February 5, 2001 file photo. Lonesome George, the last remaining tortoise of his kind and a conservation icon, died on June 24, 2012 of unknown causes, the Galapagos National Park said. He was thought to be about 100 years old.  REUTERS/Stringer/Files (ECUADOR - Tags: ENVIRONMENT ANIMALS)Lonesome George at his home on Santa Cruz Island. Photo: Reuters

Lonesome George, estimated to be more than 100 years old, has died, leaving the world one species poorer. The only remaining Pinta Island tortoise died on Sunday, the Galapagos National Park Service said. The cause of death remains unclear and a necropsy is planned.


Lonesome George was discovered on Pinta Island in 1972 at a time when tortoises of his type were already believed to be extinct. Repeated efforts to breed George failed. ”Later two females from the Espanola tortoise population (the species most closely related to Pinta tortoises genetically) were with George until the end,” the park service said.


Article from The Sydney Morning Herald, www.smh.com.au