Friday, 23 November 2012

Lonesome George gone forever?


"Lonesome George the late reptile prince of the Galapagos Islands may be dead."  - initial AP report / Lima, Peru (24th June).

Reports say that Lonesome George was aged 100 years when he died; not all that old for a giant tortoise. One individual reached 170 years in captivity.

George was the last of his line. Scientists plan to revive the line by cross-breeding other sub-species. This could take between 100 and 150 years.

It is with a heavy heart that I note the extinction of the late reptile prince sub-species and other similar extinctions caused by man's incessant blundering. But what can I say or do about this tragedy or any other?

When so-called civilized men first discovered the Galapagos they found individual tortoises weighing as much as 4 men, more than 300 kg; when these giants were killed they were left to rot on the beaches, being too heavy to lift into rowing boats.

And 200 tortoises were killed in a single day. Tortoise steaks were on the menu.

At one time there were 300,000 tortoises living in the Galapagos Islands. Today the total may be just 10% of that number.

And so to this.

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