Last Pinta Giant Tortoise Dies In The Galapagos Islands

Staff at the Galapagos National Park in Ecuador say Lonesome George, a giant tortoise believed to be the last of its subspecies, has died. Scientists estimate he was about 100 years old. Park officials said they would carry out a post-mortem to determine the cause of his death.

With no offspring and no known individuals from his subspecies left, Lonesome George became known as the rarest creature in the world. For decades, environmentalists unsuccessfully tried to get the Pinta Island tortoise to reproduce with females from a similar subspecies on the Galapagos Islands.

Park officials said the tortoise was found dead in his corral by his keeper of 40 years, Fausto Llerena. While his exact age was not known, Lonesome George was estimated to be about 100, which made him a young adult as the subspecies can live up to an age of 200.


Lonesome George was first seen by a Hungarian scientist on the Galapagos island of Pinta in 1972. Environmentalists had believed his subspecies (Chelonoidis nigra abingdoni) had become extinct.

Lonesome George became part of the Galapagos National Park breeding programme. After 15 years of living with a female tortoise from the nearby Wolf volcano, Lonesome George did mate, but the eggs were infertile. He also shared his corral with female tortoises from Espanola island, which are genetically closer to him than those from Wolf volcano, but Lonesome George failed to mate with them. He became a symbol of the Galapagos Islands, which attract some 180,000 visitors a year.

Galapagos National Park officials said that with George’s death, the Pinta tortoise subspecies has become extinct. They said his body would probably be embalmed to conserve him for future generations.

What could have caused Lonesome George’s death? What could be his death’s impact to our environment? Share your thoughts with us!

Source: BBC News

Image: National Post

Pastor’s Rant Against ‘Queers And Homosexuals’ Goes Viral

In a rant delivered just days after President Barack Obama’s historic public support for same-sex marriage, the pastor, Charles L. Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, N.C., suggested rounding up all “queers and homosexuals” and quarantining them inside an electric fence.

“I figured a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers,” Worley told churchgoers on May 13. “Build a great big large fence—50 or 100 mile long—put all the lesbians in there. Fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals and have that fence electrified so they can’t get out. And you know what, in a few years, they’ll die out. Do you know why? They can’t reproduce!”


Worley’s comments—while shocking—are sadly not uncommon for pastors in North Carolina, a state that voted overwhelmingly in favor of a constitutional amendment defining marriage “as solely between a man and a woman.”

Earlier this month, Ron Baity, founding pastor of Winston-Salem’s Berean Baptist Church and leader of Return America, said gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people should be prosecuted. Before the state’s vote, Pastor Sean Harris of the Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville instructed parents to use force if their kids start acting gay.

What do you think about Pastor Worley’s viral anti-gay sermon? Feel free to voice out your opinions in the comment box below!

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Huff Post Gay Voices