Monday, July 13, 2009

Lonesome George

Lonesome George Galapagos Islands

Meet Lonesome George. He's a 70-year-old tortoise and the last of his kind on the Galapagos Islands. You can't get too close to these creatures. I was teaching on San Cristobal Island for the summer and I was out in the playground at the school when I saw some kids squatting around an enclosure across the street. It held a gigantic tortoise. They were poking their fingers in between the links in the fence as the tortoise slowly approached.

"Keep your fingers to yourselves," I said, "if you don't want to lose them." We were delighted as the tortoise lumbered in our direction, but soon I had to take my class back in to the school. The other kids stayed as they weren't my students, and I warned them again to be careful, but shortly after I began my class we heard a high-pitched shriek and a scream and more screaming and a whole lot of crying.
Lonesome George.

This little tortoise was only 25 days old! He was adorable. The Charles Darwin Research Center has been working for fifty years to preserve the animal and plant life of the Galapagos Islands. Please click on the pictures to enlarge them.