轉載=寂寞喬治走了

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Lonesome George was found dead in his corral by his keepers on Sunday morning

全世界最有名的象龜,也是瀕臨絕種動物的名代言人之一──寂寞喬治終於死掉了,真不知道除了請牠一路好走之外還能再說些什麼。在翻譯書的時候,只要內容是跟島嶼生態、跟達爾文、跟象龜、跟瀕臨絕種動物等等有關,通常都會發現作者「又」把寂寞喬治拖出來逛街。因為牠實在是一個很容易舉的例子。特別是在討論是否該為了要留下基因,而讓已經絕種的某種動物跟血緣相近的動物交配(以各種人工或自然方式),再從50%66.67%……趨近到「幾乎100%」,像日本朱鷺、(冰封)西伯利亞猛獁象時,也都會再提到寂寞喬治。
事實上,研究者們在幾年前也幫寂寞喬治找了(不只一個)伴,並期待母龜不會生「空包蛋」。可惜事與願違。這下子加拉巴哥平塔島上的象龜,可就真的沒有了。
寂寞喬治的故事好多好多,還包括調包逃走,那就以後有空再寫了。 


原出處
http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_8164000/8164543.stm

24 June 2012 Last updated at 22:25 GMT
Last Pinta giant tortoise Lonesome George dies
Continue reading the main story Related Stories 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.

Galapagos icon
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 become a symbol of the Galapagos Islands, which attract some 180,000 visitors a year.

Hunted to extinction
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.
Tortoises were plentiful on the Galapagos islands until the late 19th century, but were later hunted for their meat by sailors and fishermen to the point of extinction.
Their habitat furthermore suffered when goats were introduced from the mainland.
The differences in appearance between tortoises from different Galapagos islands were among the features which helped the British naturalist Charles Darwin formulate his theory of evolution.
Some 20,000 giant tortoises of other subspecies still live on the Galapagos. 
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