Lonesome George, Last of His Kind, Dies in Galápagos
Death of centenarian reptile means Pinta Island tortoise now extinct.
The century-old giant tortoise was found dead in his corral Sunday at the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island (map), part of Galápagos National Park.
Perhaps best known for his apparent aversion to female tortoises—hence his nickname—George was the last known individual of his subspecies, Geochelone abingdoni, also called the Pinta Island tortoise or Abingdon Island tortoise.
George's longtime caretaker, Fausto Llerana, was "unhappily surprised" to discover the tortoise "stretched out in the direction of his watering hole with no signs of life," according to a park statement.
Among the longest lived animals, giant tortoises can survive well past a hundred, with the oldest recorded at 152.
George's body is being kept in a cold chamber to prevent decomposition