I don't envy these poor zookeepers.
PUERTO AYORA, Ecuador (Reuters) - While scientists search for a mate for "Lonesome George" -- the last known survivor of a species of Galapagos tortoise -- some say the effort to fend off extinction may be in vain.
Earlier this year, however, scientists at Yale University in Connecticut said they had found a male tortoise on the island of Isabela, another Galapagos island, that was the offspring of a Pinta male and an Isabela female. That suggests there may be Pinta island tortoises on Isabela.
Since then, the tortoises have been hunted by pirates for their meat and their habitat eaten away by goats introduced onto the islands. George, who weighs 198 pounds (90 kilograms), was found on Pinta in 1971.
The possibility that he is not the last of his kind has drawn international notice. The New York Times expressed a fear George could lose his kudos as "the world's rarest creature," a feature that wins him donations from across the world.
Ecuador has declared the islands at risk and the United Nations says efforts to protect them should continue. Although George was feared to be last of his particular species, some 20,000 giant tortoises now live on the islands.