It's essentially the nature version of finding something down the back of the couch, but instead of it being your favourite hat, it's a fucking turtle that has been missing for over 100 years. Galante had others with him searching for the turtle for two days before they happened upon it on a remote volcanic island, according to Animal Planet. The International Union for Conservation of Nature said it feared the species was likely lost to repeated volcanic lava flows "that almost cover the island".
This particular species of the tortoise was not seen in more than 110 years and feared to be extinct.
"A huge celebration ensued as all parties involved were able to positively identify the animal in question as an older female C.Phantasticus based on shell morphology and facial characteristics", the network said in a statement, adding that the find was later verified by a team of global turtle biologists at the Turtle Conservancy.
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This particular species of tortoise is unique to Fernandina Island, therefore, scientists will be conducting genetic tests to confirm that the rediscovered tortoise belongs to this specific species, CNN reported.
This sweet slow stampy tortoise is now pretty much the rarest animal in the whole world, considering she's the only one known to humankind. There are 12 species of Galapagos tortoise in total.
The tortoise was found earlier in February during an expedition led by USA cable channel Animal Planet. The last sighting of the species was in 1906. When he died, his body was stuffed and is presently exhibited at the Charles Darwin Research Center in the Galapagos. They spread across the islands and split into various species without any natural predators.
Their numbers were decimated in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by sailors who took advantage of their ability to endure long periods without food or water to use them as easily stored fresh meat on Pacific voyages. Their numbers were also hit by invasive species likes pigs, rats and dogs that eat their eggs while animals such as goats destroyed their home.