Lonesome George walks around Galapagos National Park's breeding center in Puerto Ayora
Quito - AFP
The remains of "Lonesome George," the last of a subspecies of Galapagos Islands tortoise, will go on display at the Museum of Natural History in New York this month, Ecuador said Thursday.
The giant tortoise, who was thought to be over 100 years old when he died in June 2012, has undergone taxidermy and will return to Ecuador early next year.
Discovered on the Galapagos island of Pinta in 1972, the tortoise is the last known member of the subspecies Geochelone nigra abingdoni.
He failed to reproduce despite a decades long conservation effort that earned him the sobriquet "Lonesome George."
He will go on display at the Museum of Natural History from September 18 to the end of the year, the environment ministry said, with his head, neck and other extremities extended.
The Galapagos still has 11 sub species of giant tortoises, but three others, including George's, have become extinct.
The Pacific island chain is famous for its unique flora and fauna studied by Charles Darwin as he developed his theory of evolution.