Published June 25, 2012 by the Darwin Foundation on Santa Cruz Island:
On June 24th 2012, we received sad news regarding the death of Lonesome George (locally known as “Solitario Jorge”), symbol of the Galapagos Islands and a conservation emblem unlike few others, around the world.
As the last survivor of the Chelonoidis abingdoni, commonly known as the Pinta giant tortoise, referring to his island of origin, the loss of George is equivalent to the extinction of a whole species.
In 1972, a scholarship student of the Charles Darwin Foundation, Manuel Cruz, during an investigation trip on Pinta, discovered Lonesome George. Since his arrival in the Breeding Center of the Galapagos National Park, our team has had the honor to be involved in research relating to Lonesome George, mostly involving nutrition and reproduction issues.
We are deeply touched by the loss of this species. The Charles Darwin Foundation recognizes the dedicated and passionate work of the Direction of the Galapagos National Park in taking care of Lonesome George for many decades.
Lonesome George’s death should be an inflection point in man’s role in the caring of nature and in reconstructing the balance needed to assure protection to the species that inhabit not only the Galapagos Islands but also the whole planet.
For further information, please contact the Direction of the Galapagos National Park.