Galapagos tortoise, thought to be extinct a century ago, found in Ecuador

WION Web Team
Quito, Ecuador Updated: May 26, 2021, 06:23 PM(IST)

Representative image Photograph:( AFP )

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The tortoise belongs to the Chelonoidis phantasticus species, which is a species of giant tortoises and is native to the Galapagos archipelago

A species of turtle that was thought to be extinct has been re-discovered on the Galapagos island of Fernandina.

The species was believed to have gone extinct nearly a century ago. "It was believed to have gone extinct more than 100 years ago!," Environment Minister Gustavo Marique said in a statement. "We have reconfirmed its existence. The tortoise of the species Chelonoidis phantasticus was found in #Galapagos."

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This specific turtle was picked up during an expedition of the California Academy of Sciences. When experts compared the DNA of this tortoise with the one found in 1906, and found a match.

The tortoise belongs to the Chelonoidis phantasticus species, which is a species of giant tortoises and is native to the Galapagos archipelago.

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"This discovery undoubtedly renews our hope for the recovery of this species, in order to avoid a fate similar to that of Lonesome George," said Danny Rueda, director of the Galapagos National Park, in a statement released by the environment ministry.

Lonesome George was the last known member of the species who had refused to mate with female tortoise of other species, and had died in 2012.

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