The Fact News Service

‘Hope is alive!’ Giant tortoise found on the Galapagos islands

The Fact News Service,
May 26,

A giant tortoise found on the Galapagos islands has been confirmed to be a species thought to have gone extinct 115 years ago. The adult female was discovered in 2019, and now a genetic analysis has confirmed her to be a Fernandina Giant Tortoise (Chelonoidis phantasticus). Ecuador’s Environment Minister, Gustavo Manrique, confirmed the news on Twitter, writing: ‘Hope is alive!’ Many species of giant tortoises were over-hunted for their meat by European and other colonists who traveled to the Galapagos archipelago.

During the 2019 expedition, researchers from the Galapagos National Park and the US NGO Galapagos Conservancy crossed a three-mile stretch of hardened lava flow and found the animal buried deep under a pile of brush. As a biologist and someone who has dedicated my life to the pursuit of animals believed extinct, this is by far my greatest scientific accomplishment and proudest moment,’ said expedition leader, Forrest Galante.

 Galante compared the tortoise to Lonesome George, the last known Pinta Island tortoise who sadly passed away in 2012. Much like Lonesome George was an icon of extinction, I believe she can become an icon of wildlife hope. She’s the rarest tortoise, if not animal, in the entire world and one of the largest discoveries in the Galapagos in the last century,’ he added.


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