- Only Human
Galápagos Monday: The Sad Sex Life of Lonesome George
To walk from the Charles Darwin Research Station to the center of the town of Puerto Ayora, on Santa Cruz Island, simply follow the “T-Shirt Mile,” a sleepy stone road lined with dozens of souvenir shops. Mugs, onesies and shot glasses pay tribute the town’s only famous resident, a century-old giant tortoise named Lonesome George. My favorite shirt had a cartoon George in the center, with eyelash-batting lady tortoises on either side of him and one line at the bottom: Not So Lonesome George.
Before his unexpected death on June 24, George had certainly been with his share of females. But for the first 60-odd years of his life, he was the most awkward of virgins.
In 1971, a snail