Lonesome George, the Last Pinta Island Tortoise Lonesome George may be the last Pinta Island tortoise. In the 1800s whalers took thousands of tortoises as meat that stayed fresh for years in the hold of a ship. There they were turned upside down and not fed or watered until they were needed by the cook. Goats were released on Pinta in the 1950's to provide meat that raised itself. The goats left little food, shelter or nesting sites for the few remaining tortoises. By 1972 George was the only tortoise left on Pinta. The Parks Service is searching among captive tortoises all over the world to find a mate for George or a close match. George refuses to breed so far. They may attempt to clone George - but it is expensive and less than 1 in 1000 attempts succeeds. Darwin Center, Santa Cruz.
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