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Last Galapagos turtle may be species' last hope

Lonesome George, a 90-year-old giant tortoise on Ecuador's famous Galapagos Islands, is the last of his kind. Conservationists and animal rescue workers hope to encourage the large reptile to mate in order to keep his species alive, according to NTD Television.

Though he may be a nonagenarian, George is at his prime mating age. Researchers on the island have identified two females that are part of a subspecies that they hope will attract the giant. The lady tortoises were chosen because of their compatible DNA.

"That allowed us to determine females that had better capacity and better chance of mating with George," herpetologist Diego Cisneros told the news source. "There are also other components- there are other things that we have not been able to ignore. Some people are suggesting that perhaps George is still very young."

George has tried to mate once before in 2009, but unfortunately the eggs laid by the female were infertile. If the reptile does not mate with the two possible females, scientists may look into cloning George or creating an animal hybrid.

Galapagos tortoises are some of the largest on earth, weighing at times over 500 pounds, according to GalapagosOnline.com.
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