Giant tortoise "Lonesome George" was not lonely at all

Do you remember Lonesome George? The giant tortoise from the Galapagos Islands was the last lonely representative of its kind. The announcement of his death in June this year went around the world. Now it turned out that the armored giant was not as lonely as expected. If good George had known that, there might have been a lot of fun in it, as a video from the Amsterdam Artis Zoo shows.

Lonesome George was over a hundred years old when he died of heart failure in the summer. Researchers on the Galapagos Islands kept trying to get the colossus to reproduce, but the giant tortoise remained stubborn. Perhaps the supposedly lonely animal also knew that it was not the last of its kind.

As the "Spiegel" reports, researchers have now discovered 17 giant turtles on the island of Isabela, the genes of which can be traced back to the same subspecies that also belonged to Lonesome George, who actually came from the island of Pinta. When he was discovered there in 1972, his species was also considered extinct. After his death, this species of giant tortoise appears to have been "revived" for the second time.

Despite the new knowledge, the old Lonesome George was indeed lonely, after all he was the only one of his kind on the island of Santa Cruz to be brought to reproductive purposes. A sad story considering how much fun giant tortoises can have. This video from the Amsterdam Artis Zoo shows two heavy specimens measuring their strength. For a short moment, one of the two still feels like the "King of the World" like in the movie "Titanic" before he has to give up and lands on his back - an impressive natural spectacle.

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