Galapagos National Park in Ecuador has confirmed the death of giant tortoise Lonesome George. The scientists believed he was around 100 years old.
Galapagos National Park authorities estimate Lonesome George the last remaining tortoise of his kind and a conservation icon has died of unknown causes. Scientists said they could accomplish an autopsy to determine the reason of his death.
Tortoise Lonesome George was found in 1972 and had become a symbol of Ecuadors Galapagos Islands, which attracted around 180 thousands of tourists in Ecuador last year including celebrities as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.
The Director of the Galapagos National Park in Ecuador, Edwin Naula has commented : ‘ The park ranger in charge of looking after the tortoises found Lonesome George. His body was motionless. His life cycle came to an end. ‘
The last member of a species of giant tortoise Lonesome George from La Pinta / Galapagos National Park, Ecuador
For many years, environmentalists miserably were trying to get the Pinta Island tortoise to reproduce with females from a similar subspecies on one of the smallest islands in the Galapagos. The giant tortoise Lonesome George also divided his corral island with female tortoises from Espanola island, which are genetically closer to him than those from Wolf Volcano, but Lonesome George failed to mate with them.
While the age of the renowned tortoise was not known, Lonesome George was assessmented to be around hundred years old, which made him a young mature as the subspecies can live up to an age of two hundred.
A spokesperson of the Galapagos National Park said the institution plans to carry out tests to determine what may have killed the 100 years old tortoise George.