Lonesome George is a giant tortoise. He is thought to be the last surviving male of his species.
No pressure here George, but if you don’t breed the species disappears. But George doesn’t seem to get it -either way. George was discovered on his native Pinta Island in the Galapagos Islands in 1971. And since then there has been a steady stream of available female tortoise company as park rangers and scientists have tried hard to help George and his species. The word has gone out to everything except the on-line dating community to try to find George’s mate.
But so far to no effect.
Before sailors first came across the archipelago in the 1850s , tens of thousands of giant tortoises roamed the Galapagos. The slow moving tortoises can live for more than 200 years and are very large, weighing up to 300kg. Sailors and pirates used to cram them in the holds of their ships to have a dependable supply of meat during long journeys.
First attempts to place George with females proved that George was more interested in food. Oh George! But one attempt resulted in some eggs in 2007 and then sadly none of the eggs hatched.
George’s cause is well known. It must be tough to have the future of your species resting on your back ( or elsewhere ). And some have seen the opportunity.George is something of a cause celebre. There’s a Lonesome George & Co clothing boutique which gets away with selling T-shirts at overinflated prices.
But George’s hunt for the future of the species is still on. So if you know of a suitable female giant tortoise out there somewhere in a zoo or hiding in a remote part of the Galapagos….we’d love to hear .