Lonesome George

Lonesome George


On June 24, 2012, at the age of 100-and-something, conservation icon Lonesome George passed away. With his death, the Pinta Island tortoise subspecies became extinct.

Following his discovery in 1971, George became an international symbol of the extinction crisis, but he lived the remaining 41 years of his life as the very last individual of his kind. Despite numerous searches, no other Pinta Island tortoise was ever found, and attempts to allow George to breed with related tortoise subspecies were unsuccessful.

My Lonesome George print was one of two released by The Endangered Species Print Project for the launch of Project George. Project George was conceived by the ESPP as a way to honor Lonesome George’s memory and raise awareness about critically endangered species. My Lonesome George print, “Chelonoidis nigra abingdonii (memento mori),” is intended as an elegy, but one that also evokes the empathy our species can experience for other animals.

To learn more, please visit the Project George page of ESPP.