Before his death, Lonesome George, a Galapagos Island Giant Tortoise was labeled the "rarest creature on earth" and was the sole remaining Pinta Island Tortoise. In light of the vast amount of time and research invested in attempts to save his kind, his death on June 24, 2012 most likely marked the end to his subspecies, and is now believed to have become completely extinct .
Lonesome George had grown to be a icon for conservationists/conservation efforts for the Galapagos Islands. Although he is gone, his legend lives on as the last of the giants of Pinta Island, reminding us that there is still a taunting task of rehabilitating and preserving the islands natural biodiversity.
While working on this painting the sloping shapes of his long neck and curved shell reminded me of an old Ceiba tree with its grand sprawling roots connecting it with the earth. Both having lifespans of potentially hundreds of years, but as seen with Lonesome George, the very real fact that these age old species can be wiped out in less time then their own lifespan. How many more are doomed to extinction? What can we do as to help? The choice is ours.