The last existing Pinta Island giant tortoise, Lonesome George has died on Sunday at the expected age of 100 years at his home in the Galapagos Islands. Fausto Llerena, his long-term keeper found him dead. Lonesome George lived at a tortoise breeding centre. As per a statement from national park, Llerena was "miserably surprised" to see George’s watering hole had no signs of life on Sunday morning. The head of the Galapagos National Park, Edwin Naula found his body was motionless on Sunday morning and explained that his life cycle came to an end.
A giant tortoise can exist to approximately 200 years of age. A post-mortem examination will be carried out to find out the reason of his death. Biologist Joseph Vagvolgyi found George on Pinta Island in 1971 after that he became a symbol of the Galapagos Islands. He was the only known member of his subspecies, which led to a series of unfortunate attempts to offer him with a mate. He lived with a tortoise from Wolf Volcano on Isabela Island in the Galapagos for 15 years, but the resulting eggs were infertile.
However, George remained a lonely creature regardless of the best attempts of conservationists and the existence of two female giant tortoises from a close subspecies at the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz. The end of the purebred Pinta Island tortoise has been marked by his death but it is expected that this subspecies will survive in some form. Genetic test has been carried out to search for more hybrids among the population there.
Galapagos Tortoise Lonesome George Dies video from youtube: