Lonesome George

The Galapagos is a volcanic archipelago located in the Pacific Ocean and is a province of Ecuador about 620 miles off its coast and is considered a top destination to visit because of the plant and animal life which is diverse and mostly endemic.  One of the endemic animals is a giant tortoise known as the Pinta tortoise.  The last living Pinta tortoise was Lonesome George who was the last known survivor of the tortoise, was considered one of the rarest creatures in the world and became a conservation icon.  Lonesome George passed on June 24, 2012 at his home in the Tortoise Breeding and Rearing Center at an estimated 100+ years old.  The Pinta tortoise was thought to be extinct in the early 20th century when goats devastated the vegetation and essentially eliminated any food source for the tortoises.  In 1971 a scientist saw Lonesome George whom he brought to the center for protection.  They tried to locate a female Pinta tortoise with the hope of breeding a new generation.  However, one was never found and therefore they became extinct with the death of Lonesome George in 2012.