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Last of His Kind
Posted 2011-07-14 by BLUEiQ Team

Lonesome George is about 100 years old. He has had a few girlfriends, but never had any kids. What’s the problem? He may be last remaining member of his subspecies.

Lonesome George is the last known Pinta Island tortoise. After his discovery in 1971, he was relocated to the Charles Darwin Research Station in his home of the Galapagos Islands. He has been penned with female tortoises throughout the years and produced eggs, but none have ever hatched. The females that he has mated with, of course, are not of his subspecies.

There may be a second Pinta Island tortoise alive at a zoo in Prague. However, studies are ongoing as to whether it is a pure Pinta Island tortoise or not. His name is Tony - the key word being his, as there would be no possibility of producing a pure Pinta Island tortoise with Lonesome George.

While Lonesome George has had the rotten luck of having fertility problems and a severely restricted dating scene (to say the least!), there still may be plenty of time for him to find a long lost female. Tortoises such as him can live for over 200 years. Also, if Tony turns out to be an authentic Pinta Island tortoise, he has even more time left. At about age 51, he is a youngster compared to George!

Despite the fact that Lonesome George is the only known member of his subspecies, the search continues for females. Those who care for him send out letters in hopes of finding a mate for him. Also, there is a reward offered for the discovery of a female Pinta Island tortoise. So, if you know a female of his subspecies - hook them up! You’ll get $10,000 for your troubles. Not a bad deal!

Blog Roll Image: Putneymark via Flickr

tags: tortoise; Lonesome George; Pinta Island tortoise


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