Dec 4, 2023-- "In the middle of the Pacific the black, volcanic ruins of Pinta Island were once dotted by thousands of "living rocks," Galpagos tortoises chomping prickly cacti, hatching their babies, slowly chasing the equatorial sun. But the island was stripped bare over the 19th century, as hungry whalers discovered that they could be stored as fresh meat for a year without food or water in their ships' holds. By 1906 the last three documented Pinta tortoises were captured and preserved in arsenic by Stanford's California Academy of Sciences. However, one particularly shy tortoise had escaped their survey and would go on to survive, unnoticed, for the next seventy yearsa young age for a creature who might grow for nearly two centuries. It wasnt until 1971 that he first encountered a human, an unsuspecting snail scientist, who soon realized what hed stumbled upon. This was an endling, the very last of his species.They named him El Solitario Jorge: Lonesome George..." More about Lonesome George and the caretaker with whom he shared a special friendship here. (1422 reads)
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