Last Known Galápagos Tortoise Seeks Soul Mate, With Little Success

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Lonesome George, the last known individual of the Pinta Island Tortoise, is pictured at Galapagos National Park's breeding center.

When it comes to dating, nobody has it worse than Lonesome George. Forget about fish in the sea — George can’t even find a girl of his own species.

The famed Galápagos tortoise, believed to be the last of his kind, just can’t seem to find a girl he really likes. That, or he’s secretly enjoying the swinging life of bachelordom.

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Since he was discovered in 1971, officials and scientists have been trying to find a female of the same species for George, a Pinta tortoise, to reproduce with. Despite a hefty reward, no female Pinta has ever been found.

As a result, scientists have played matchmaker, setting Lonesome George up with a string of ladies that would even make speed-daters dizzy. Initially, he showed no interest, choosing to indulge in gluttony instead of promiscuity (no thanks to his food-happy caregivers).

“He was overweight,” said his vet. “He had little or no interest because he was not fit.” Was it that or were the ladies just not interested in the flab?

Eventually, George slimmed down in the early ’90s and has been strutting his stuff ever since. He took notice two lovely genetic prospects near his home (what can we say, proximity breeds familiarity), and even (gasp) finally went all the way with one of them.

While those reproduction attempts have proved unsuccessful, it made way for some Espanola tortoises this January, giving George new spice back in his dating life.

“He’s getting to know them,” Llerena said. “Lately he seems more animated.”

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