It's a sad day in the tortoise world. Lonesome George, the last of his giant species, passed away on Sunday in his native Galapagos Islands. He is believed to have been around for 100 years.
The beautiful creature got his nickname from his unfortunate inability to carry on his species. Despite mating with several females provided by scientists in an effort to produce more little Georges (or Pinta species giant tortoises), all of the eggs produced were infertile.
George was discovered back in 1972 and lived out his years at a tortoise breeding center on the island of Santa Cruz. His long-time keeper found him motionless Sunday morning. Although the giant tortoise lived a whopping 100 years, which is an incredibly long time, it is not as long as scientists expected the rare tortoise to survive. Amazingly, giant tortoises usually live to be around 200 years old! So, what happened to poor George?
The National Park plans an investigation into the untimely death of Lonesome George and hopes to embalm the last known Pinta giant tortoise who has had his picture taken with an estimated 180,000 lucky people who visited the islands to see him.
It is sad that the famous Lonesome George was not able to produce any offspring to continue his species. But, he was certainly an amazing animal and one that has definitely left a mark on the world.