'Extinct' Giant Tortoise Found After 100 Years

February 22, 2019

A giant tortoise believed to be extinct for over 100 years has been discovered on the Galapagos island of Fernandina.

extinct galapagos tortoise found alive 100 years
Credit: @Marcelo_MataG

The announcement was made by Ecuador's environment minister Marcelo Mata.

An adult female was found by an expedition led by the Galapagos Parks authority and the Galapagos Conservancy group, Mata said.

Expedition leader Forrest Galante crossed a three-mile stretch of hardened lava flow and found the tortoise buried deep under a pile of brush.

"As a biologist and someone who has dedicated my life to the pursuit of animals believed extinct, this is by far my greatest scientific accomplishment and proudest moment," said Galante.

The last known time a Fernandina Giant Tortoise was seen alive was 1906.

"This encourages us to strengthen our search plans to find other (tortoises), which will allow us to start a breeding program in captivity to recover this species," said Danny Rueda, director of the Galapagos National Park.

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