Book: Lonesome George

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Lonesome George: The Life and Loves of the World's Most Famous Tortoise

Author: Henry Nicholls
Publisher: Macmillan

Lonesome George is a five-foot long, 900 pound tortoise aged somewhere between 60 and 200 years. The last of his kind, he was discovered in 1971 on the remote island of Pinta in the Galapagos Islands, from which tortoises had supposedly been extinct for years. Since then, he has lived in the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) on Santa Cruz on the off chance that there is a Pinta female somewhere, or that science will come up with a way of reproducing him, and resurrecting his species and the Pinta population. Today, Lonesome George has come to embody the challenges of conservation. His story captures the mystery, complexity, and fragility of the worlds most biologically diverse place—the Galapagos Islands—a place where sexual dysfunction, Charles Darwin, kidnapping, cloning, DNA fingerprinting, and ecotourism have left a complex web of influences. In the end, Georges story echoes the experience of conservationists world wide.

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