Symbol of Galapagos islands dies

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iol scitech june 25 Lonesome George

REUTERS

File photo: The giant Galapagos tortoise known as George lifts his head up during a walk in his protected home in the island chain.

Quito, Ecuador - Ecuadorean officials say that the famed Galapagos giant tortoise Lonesome George has died.

The Galapagos National Park says in a statement that the tortoise estimated to be about 100 years old died on Sunday.

He was believed to be the last living member of the Geochelone abigdoni species and had become a symbol of the islands that helped inspire Charles Darwin's ideas on evolution.

Various mates had been provided for Lonesome George over the years in unsuccessful attempts to keep his subspecies alive.

Scientists had said he was not especially old and had expected him to live another few decades at least.

The park said the cause of his death would be investigated. - Sapa-AP

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