Lonesome George Tortoise

June 26, 2012 by staff 

Lonesome George Tortoise, Lonesome George, the last known individual of the Pinta Island Tortoise, subspecies Geochelone nigra abingdoni, is pictured at Galapagos National Park’s breeding center in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz island, Galapagos on June 24, 2066. Lonesome George died on June 24, 2012 at the age of 100 aproximately, making the Pinta Island Tortoise extict.

The world shed a tear when the news broke that “Lonesome George” – the last remaining giant tortoise of his kind – passed away in his enclosure in the Galapagos Islands on Sunday.

The 200-pound, 5-foot-long reptile was thought to be in the prime of his life – around 100 years old, which is not particularly old for a giant tortoise. Conservation officials in the Galapagos are conducting an autopsy to determine his cause of death, though they suspect he may have suffered a heart attack, reports AP.

George was the last remaining tortoise in his particular subspecies, Chelonoidis nigra abingdoni, which is believed to date back some 10 million years. The giant tortoises had evolved like many creatures on the isolated Galapagos archipelago to become large and trusting. That changed in the 19th century, when George’s subspecies and others were nearly wiped out by whalers and seal hunters looking for an easy meal, reports the Guardian.

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