The Associated Press reports that Lonesome George, the giant tortoise that was living on the Galapagos Islands passed away on Sunday. In his memory, scientists will hold a convention in July to find new solutions that could help them restore the species of the Geochelone nigra abingdoni tortoise.
Lonesome George was one of the most loved and admired giant tortoise in the Galapagos Island. Unfortunately, his subspecies is now one member poorer after the care takers of the Galapagos National Park in Ecuador found the Geochelone nigra abingdoni tortoise dead on Sunday. He was often regarded as a symbol for conservation efforts.
According to Fausto Llerena, the caretaker who found his remains, Lonesome George breathed his last gasp as he was heading towards his watering hole on Santa Cruz Island. Llerena stated that he inferred this based on the position of the tortoise’s body.
The news that the giant tortoise died saddened scientists who were hoping they could still repopulate the species. However, Lonesome George lived his life as he was more than 100 years old when he died. In spite of his advanced age, scientists are determined to perform an autopsy on Lonesome George’s remains to identify the exact cause of his death. Until then, the dead tortoise will be stored in a cold chamber to prevent decomposition.
It was back in 1972 that Lonesome George was discovered on the Pinta Island by a group of researchers. They were all surprised to see the giant tortoise considering that his species had been considered extinct for a long period of time. He was transported to the Galapagos National Park and was carefully cured ever since by care takers, who did everything they could to help Lonesome George repopulate his species.
Considering the efforts that have been made so far to protect the Geochelone nigra abingdoni tortoise, the Ecuadorian researchers will host a special convention in July, in loving memory of the deceased animal. They will thus, try to identify new solutions for the protection of the giant tortoises. The Galapagos Islands are home to other 20,000 giant tortoises, which can live up to 200 years.