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November 22 2012

How scientists hope to raise Lonesome George from the dead


The death of Lonesome George led the world to mourn the extinction of one of the Galápagos Island's unique giant tortoise lineages. Less than six months later, scientists reveal he was probably not the last of his kind after all.

Oh, the irony. For more than 40 years and the whole of my lifetime, Lonesome George had been in captivity, removed from his native island of Pinta in the north of the archipelago in 1972 and transferred to the Charles Darwin research station on the central island of Santa Cruz. Conservationists (and George?) had hoped to locate a Pinta Island tortoise female either on his island or perhaps in a zoo.

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