A visit to the Galapagos Islands can provide one of the most magical life-changing experiences for anyone, not the least of which was its influence on Charles Darwin and the development of his theory of evolution. And there is perhaps no other creature of the Galapagos Islands than the iconic giant Galapagos Tortoise, in particular, its iconic conservation leader, Lonesome George.

Galapagos giant tortoise, Lonesoe George

Lonesome George in 2006. Photo by Mike Weston (Flickr: Lonesome George 2) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Not too long ago I wrote about The Ongoing Legacy of Lonesome George – a Conservation Hero, the last of his species, the symbol of conservation for the Galapagos Islands, and well, just a damn cute creature whose parents likely were witness to Darwin’s arrival.

After George’s recent death in 2012 at the respectable age of 100, he was moved to the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City for taxidermy work. After being on display at the museum for several years, the embalmed body of the giant tortoise returned home to the Galapagos Islands.  As of February 23rd 2017, his body is on display in the “Symbol of Home Room” at the Galapagos National Park headquarters on Santa Cruz Island.

Even though Lonesome George may now only be a shell of the tortoise that he once was, his legacy lives on in conservation efforts in the Galapagos and globally, so it is fitting that his final resting place is back where he lived his fulfilling life. To experience this archipelago 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador that was home to Lonesome George, and still is to all of the other magical creatures here, be sure to check out the eco-friendly Galapagos cruises offered by Natural Habitat Adventures.