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Last Known Pinta Island Galapagos Tortoise Dies, Rendering Species Extinct: VIDEO


The last known Pinta Island Tortoise, an individual who had come to be known as Lonesome George, died yesterday, rendering the species extinct. George has been a symbol for international conservation efforts.

Pinta Island Tortoises have a life span of up to 200 years. George was only about 100, researchers say. Conservationists plan to embalm his body so it may be used for educational purposes.

Watch video of George and his keeper, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Oh wow, that's really sad. My parents got to visit the Galapagos last year as part of a scientific expedition (really it seemed like just a cruise with a larger than average number of researchers aboard). My mom took at least a dozen photos of Lonesome George and told me all about him. Sad that door has closed.

    Posted by: commercial insurance | Jun 25, 2012 2:13:03 PM

  2. The most depressing thing in the world is the devastating effect we are having on other species with our irresponsible stewardship of the planet.

    "More people, more scars upon the land"--John Denver

    Posted by: Rick | Jun 25, 2012 2:25:04 PM

  3. And the world is less without them..

    Posted by: Joe | Jun 25, 2012 2:28:20 PM

  4. CLONE IT! Or at least I hope they're preserving enough tissue to clone it when the process becomes more reliable.

    Posted by: Polyboy | Jun 25, 2012 2:34:37 PM

  5. I was just in the Galapagos last week. I am glad that I got to see him, but it is sad that he is gone. I do commend the Ecuadoran government which is working very hard to return the environment to what it was and to restore the natural balance

    Posted by: Jack | Jun 25, 2012 2:43:16 PM

  6. It should be noted that he isn't the last Galapagos tortoise, just the last of the Pinta subspecies. And he's been the only one of that variety for decades and attempts to reproduce with other Galapagos subspecies failed. Poor guy. There are still thousands of the big tortoises left on the islands.

    Posted by: MrNye | Jun 25, 2012 2:49:18 PM

  7. I got to see George when I toured the Galapagos Islands last year. He was living at the Charles Darwin Research Center. He was a Gentle Giant and brought much delight to all who visited the center.

    Posted by: WayneInNYC | Jun 25, 2012 4:08:59 PM

  8. @polyboy It'll be a very long time before that sort of cloning is possible. Don't hold your breath!

    Posted by: LFB | Jun 25, 2012 5:33:35 PM

  9. @Rick: Sad but stop there. "Since life first appeared on Earth some 3.8 billion years ago, it has been estimated that more than 99.9% of all species have gone extinct. Billions of species have gone extinct throughout geologic history. Many of these went extinct during mass extinction events, the most famous and well documented of which took place some sixty-four million years ago at the end of the Mesozoic Era. This mass extinction event marked the end of the reign of dinosaurs."

    Posted by: Los | Jun 26, 2012 5:51:03 PM

  10. Survival of the fittest. Humans are the superior species and we should not feel bad about this. Not one person on earths life was lessened by the loss of the species.

    Posted by: Bc | Jul 24, 2012 7:06:40 PM

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