One was the loneliest number, but now there is none.
The giant tortoise Lonesome George, one of the world’s rarest animals and the last of his subspecies, has died. He was believed to be about 100 years old, according to the BBC.
Lonesome George, a Pinta Island tortoise, lived at the Galapagos National Park in Ecuador, and though he was part of the park’s breeding program, never produced offspring. There are no known members of George’s subspecies, which is now considered extinct.
“This morning the park ranger in charge of looking after the tortoises found Lonesome George, his body was motionless,” Edwin Naula, the head of the Galapagos National Park, told Reuters. “His life cycle came to an end.”
Though Lonesome George lived to be 100 years old, he would have been a young adult in tortoise years; Pint Island tortoises can live up to 200 years. The cause of death is unknown and a necropsy will be performed by park officials. Lonesome George’s body will then be preserved for study.