In 2012, the world bid goodbye to Lonesome George, the last-known surviving giant tortoise from Pinta Island in the Galapagos. His death, at the age of 100, was yet another sad milestone commemorating man's impact on this world, signaling the end of an entire subspecies.
George was discovered on Pinta Island in 1971, surprising biologists who had thought the island species extinct due to overhunting by man and the introduction of habitat-destroying feral goats. His status as "the last of his kind" brought international fame and made him a poster animal for conservation in the Galapagos. Attempts to breed George and preserve his species were, unfortunately, unsuccessful. When he died, he was considered "the rarest animal in the world."
This week, NPR's Skunk Bear division paid respects to George with a musical memorial that's both sweet and heartbreaking. The catchy lyrics and animation do a fine job of sharing George's story — giving us pause to remember the species we share this world with, while also adding hope that the world's most lonesome tortoise finally met his "tortoise lady in that island in the sky."
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