Lonesome George, the last surviving Giant Galapagos Tortoise has died.
He died of unknown causes at the Galapagos National Park on Sunday. He was believed to be over 100 years old, and since being found in 1972, he had become a national symbol of the Galapagos Islands and also an icon of conservation. His body will be examined in order to determine the cause of death and it is believed that he will be embalmed and kept on display in the park.
This species of tortoise can live for up to 200 years and they were accredited for assisting Charles Darwin in developing his Theory of Evolution. Since 1993, attempts have been made to encourage George to mate with two female tortoises of a different subspecies, but they were unsuccessful. Both of the females laid eggs twice, but all of the eggs were infertile.
George had become an international celebrity, and even attracted other celebrities including Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
Experts believe that there were once up to 300,000 of the species on the islands, but their numbers were greatly reduced by pirates.
Images: Wikimedia Commons