#36 - Lonesome George

I like:
Succeeding in helping someone else open a bottle, and then (in my head) being like, "Yerr, look at ma guns," even though they don't exist.

I dislike:
Kraft for stealing Cadbury from us. Also, their salad sauces are awful.

I watched a documentary about the Galapagos Islands and Lonesome George today. It was rather sad, but kind of amusing at the same time.

At first it focussed on Lonesome George (or Solitario Jorge, as they say in espaƱol, haha). He's the last of the Pinta tortoises, which are the largest tortoises on Earth. His species has become extinct primarily because sailors ate them all in the early 20th century, but also because of masculinisation (i.e. all the females died and so there were only males left) and because they fell into ravines, couldn't get out and hence starved to death.

They tried to get him to mate with other tortoises of a different species, but to no avail. There have been speculations that he doesn't know how to go about it and also that he's gay... So the scientists decided to collect some of his sperm and artificially inseminate another tortoise in the hope that Lonesome George's genes could be passed on. To do this, they got a woman to, uh, jerk him off. That was kind of awkward.

Ah! There was this hilarious bit where they decided to eradicate the goat population on the Galapagos Islands. Goats were brought to the islands by man - they weren't native to the Galapagos. However, as the goats were very well adapted to the environment and bred like crazy, the goat population flourished, and ate all the tortoises' food, leaving them to starve. The humans realised this ecological problem and decided to massacre all the goats on the islands. There was this awesome moment in the documentary, where the narrator was like: 'blah blah blah GOAT ERADICATION!' (or something to that effect) and this helicopter rises up in slow-mo from behind some hills and there's dust flying everywhere and the tortoises cower in fear and a man with a sniper rifle hangs out of the helicopter and shoots the goats. The melodrama was amazing.

But Lonesome George is the last living member of his species... When he dies, the Pinta tortoises will be no more and we'll only be able to see them in pictures and film. It's like I Am Legend, and Will Smith is the last human left. Kind of. Not really. Tortoises ≠ Will Smith. That was a stupid comparison and now I'm embarrassed...

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