After quietly disappearing way back in 1906, a species of tortoise in Galapagos has been found alive and well by biologists and researchers who were on an expediti0n through the island for the Animal Planet show, Extinct Or Alive.
The Fernandina Giant Tortoise was spotted by keen-eyed park rangers, biologists, and other experts after they had found traces of the sneaky bugger’s poop on the ground on a remote volcanic island in the Galapagos, and the female tortoise was found nestled in deep under some bush on the side of a volcano, presumably taking shelter from the high sun.
It’s essentially the nature version of finding something down the back of the couch, but instead of it being your favourite hat, it’s a fucking turtle that has been missing for over 100 years.
A specimen of the giant Galapagos tortoise Chelonoidis phantasticus is seen at the Galapagos National Park on Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos Archipelago, in the Pacific Ocean 1000 km off the coast of Ecuador, on February 19, 2019. (VCG/Rodrigo BUENDIA) pic.twitter.com/5VsaJ24wmP
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) February 20, 2019
Look at this precious angel, ain’t she gorgeous?
As this tortoise is now literally the only living one known to humans, she’s been safely taken to a breeding facility where she’ll be nursed back to full health and if someone way back in the early 1900s thought to preserve sperm from a boy Ferdandina tortoise, conservation experts will try and breed her to reboot the species again.
It’s just so wild to think that an entire species of animal, who we thought were extinct for – and I cannot stress this enough – OVER 100 YEARS, can just turn back up like “hey mates, sorry I got a bit lost for a while there, did I miss anything?”
A species of tortoise that hasn’t been seen in over 100 years was just found on the Galápagos island of Fernandina. pic.twitter.com/7oAPb7gZME
— AJ+ (@ajplus) February 21, 2019
This sweet slow stampy tortoise is now pretty much the rarest animal in the whole world, considering she’s the only one known to humankind. A true one and only.
Extinct Or Alive host and leading biologist Forrest Galante – who was part of the discovery team – told Animal Planet that he hopes that this tortoise can become a beacon of hope for other animals that are assumed extinct, or are right on the brink of being gone forever.
As a biologist and someone who has dedicated my life to the pursuit of animals believed extinct, this is by far my greatest scientific accomplishment and proudest moment.
Much like Lonesome George was an icon of extinction, I believe she can become an icon of wildlife hope. She’s the rarest tortoise, if not animal, in the entire world and one of the largest discoveries in the Galapagos in the last century.
The episode of Extinct Or ALive that features this huge discovery in the Galapagos will be a part of the upcoming 2019 season on Animal Planet, which is hosted by Foxtel over here in Aus.Source: Animal Planet
Image: AAP Images / EPA