The tortoise, known as the “Galapagos’ most eligible bachelor”, was notorious for his disinterest in the opposite sex and was believed to have been the last of the Geochelone abigdoni species.
Understood to be around 100 years old, he was found dead by his keeper of 40 years, Fausto Llerena, on Sunday morning.
He had no known descendents, after repeated attempts to persuade him to mate with females of a similar tortoise subspecies failed.
Known as the “rarest creature in the world”, his body will now be examined by officials at the Galapagos National Park in Ecuador to determine cause of death.
Lonesome George has become a cause célèbre for conservationists around the world since he was found in 1972, the last known member of the Pinta Island tortoise subspecies (Geochelone nigra abingdoni).
There are currently around 20,000 Galapagos Tortoises on the islands collectively, but with the loss of Lonesome George we lose an iconic subspecies. There are currently expeditions to find pure-bred Pinta Island Tortoises mixed in with others in large communities, but has so far turned up nothing. Fingers crossed!