Jul 9, 2012

Ecuador Declared the “Lonesome George” Cultural Heritage


Ecuador this week began the process to declare cultural heritage “Lonesome George”, the last tortoise of his species, who died in June at the Galapagos Islands by natural causes, said the Ministry of Heritage Coordinator.

“The ‘Lonesome George’ is considered a symbol of natural heritage conservation of the Galapagos Islands and the planet, at a time that is considered part of collective memory and cultural identity of Ecuador,” they said.

The Ministry has initiated the collection of information with the help of several scientists, as the century-old tortoise has “an interest” for “science and natural history of the Galapagos and the world”.

On the other hand, the deputy coordinator of Heritage, Juan Carlos Coellar, delivered a plaque of special recognition to the “Lonesome George”, on July 4 at the National Park Authorities and the Governing Council of the Galapagos, in a solemn session which also celebrated the 53rd anniversary of the creation of the Galapagos National Park.

The turtle’s body is embalmed and displayed in an exhibition at an interpretive center dedicated exclusively to turtles.

This center has yet to be built and will be named after his exemplary star, The ‘”Lonesome George”.

The giant tortoise, from the island of Pinta, was the last of his kind, Chelonoidis abingdoni, and for 40 years, he was the symbol of the Galapagos.

The century-old tortoise lived in the Center for Reproduction and Breeding Turtles in Santa Cruz.



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