Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 24th, 2012
On June 24, 2012 at 8:00 am local time, Edwin Naula, the Director of Parque Nacional Galápagos announced that Lonesome George, the world’s last known example of the the Pinta Island tortoise subspecies (Chelonoidis nigra abingdoni) of Galápagos tortoise, was found dead. Fausto Llerena, George’s caretaker for 40 years, found Lonesome George dead in his habitat. He was found still warm but without life. The cause of death was taken to be natural, due to age.
Lonesome George (Spanish: Solitario Jorge) (c.1912-2012) was believed to be 100 years old.
Lonesome George was found in 1972 and had become a symbol of Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands, which attracted some 180,000 visitors last year. It has been said it was the rarest animal in the world. However, we’ve heard that claim for a few other animals, of course, including four Yangtze giant softshell turtles (Rafetus swinhoei) in China and one Hoan Kiem softshell turtle (Rafetus leloii) in Hoan Kiem Lake, in Hanoi, Vietnam (below).
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.