Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Every now and then George closes his eyes for a few centuries the stars stop for the occasion and the sun goes out, his night lit only by dream...
"Hello, big boy," she says, shell new and lustrous, green as the deep sea; and her eyes deep as the dark gems that glow deep where it roots...
George, lifting his nose skyward still seeing her behind his closed eyes moves forward
slow as lava oozing from the bottom of the sea
His scaled feet arch like trees first planted then pulled up from their roots...
"I'm coming," he says.
Written by, Steve Campbell
"Lonesome George" is the name given by biologists to the last surviving male Giant Galapagos Tortoise. There are no surviving females.
The entire Giant Galapagos Tortoise species was destroyed directly by humans. The tortoise's shells were used to make tourist trinkets. The shell is part of the tortoise's body (like turtles). Without their shell, they die much like a human having their skin removed (I imagine, equally as painful).
Items that were made with the tortoise shells include women's hair clips & barrettes, ash trays, decorative shoe horns, letter openers etc.
The animal was usually still alive when it's 'soft' body was cruelly cut out from it's shell. In countries like China, and the Island of Bali, this brutal and unethical practice of live tortoise/turtle slaughter continues.
George is approximately 90 years old. In 2008, great efforts were made to help George produce offspring by fertilizing eggs of a 'close' relative species. Sadly, the experiment failed.
George is the rarest known creature in the world and... the loneliest.
Extinction is forever.