On June 24th 2012, Lonesome George, the famed Galapagos giant tortoise, was found dead of natural causes. He was the last of the Pinta Island Tortoises, a subspecies mostly wiped out from over-hunting near the end of the 19th century.
Known as the rarest creature in the world, George was the symbol of endangered species everywhere. He was well cared for in the Charles Darwin Research Station located on Santa Cruz Island and will be missed by his numerous caretakers, as well as the thousands of friends he met during Galapagos adventure tours.
Although George is believed to have lived to around 100 years old, he was expected to live an additional 50 years or so. Although the species is now extinct, a first-generation hybrid has been found outside Pinta Island, which gives hope that a portion of Georges bloodline will continue.