Famed Galapagos tortoise to be embalmed, displayed
Tortoise Lonesome George at the Galapagos National Park in Ecuador. Lonesome George, whose failed efforts to produce offspring made him a symbol of disappearing species, was found dead on Sunday, June 24, 2012. Lonesome George was believed to be the last living member of the Pinta island subspecies.
The beloved Galapagos Islands giant tortoise known as Lonesome George will remain a tourist attraction even in death.
Ecuador's environment minister says the reptile that became a symbol of disappearing species will be embalmed and placed on display on Santa Cruz island.
Minister Marcela Aguinaga told reporters Tuesday that an autopsy determined that Lonesome George died of old age. He was believed to be about 100 years old. He was found dead Sunday.
Lonesome George was the last of the Pinta Island giant tortoise subspecies, and he failed to leave offspring despite the best efforts of conservationists.
He was discovered in 1972 discovery on Pinta Island and became an ambassador of sorts for the archipelago off Ecuador's coast whose unique flora and fauna helped inspire Charles Darwin's ideas on evolution.
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