Posts tagged ‘Ecuador’

March 9, 2011

Random Photo of the Day 18 / The Gallery: Lonesome (in Galapagos)

This post is also for Tara Cain’s Gallery at Sticky Fingers. 2 for the price of 1! Well, we are having to economise these days…

I’d set myself a bit of a challenge with this. I’d decided that whatever came up using my usual random selection method I would use for the Gallery, the theme of which this week is “One Word”. It could have been tough, but when I saw the photo that came up I was delighted. I knew immediately what my one word was:

Lonesome

Meet George.

Or more correctly, Lonesome George.

He lives in his own enclosure in the Charles Darwin Research Centre in Santa Cruz, one of the Galapagos Islands.

Why ‘Lonesome’? Because he is truly the last of his kind, the last remaining Pinta Galapagos Giant Tortoise: the world’s rarest animal.

In the 19th century whalers & sealers used the tortoises as a food source: they could live up to year without food or water so seemed perfect for long journeys at sea. Also, in the 1950s goats were released onto his island of Pinta, also as a food source. They then out-competed the slow-moving tortoises for their food, & also caused much erosion.

When he was found alone on the island by National Park Wardens hunting goats it was decided to take him to the safety of the Research Centre.

There are many other different types of giant tortoise there, including many lovely ladies. In trying to continue his species the staff there are only too keen to set George up with any lovely lady of his choosing, setting the ambience, choosing the finest cuisine to set the mood for lurve. You would think that this would be a gentleman bachelor tortoise’s paradise, but apparently not. He’s just not interested.

Very unpleasant things have been done to his private parts. Ladies skilled in the Art of Lurve have been brought in to attempt to, um, engage his interest. I kid you not! All to no avail.

I wonder if it’s occurred to anyone that he might prefer the company of gentleman tortoises: must be worth a try, surely?

Personally I wonder if it’s just time to just leave the poor old fella alone & let him live out the rest of his life with all the food, drink & shelter he could ever need. He’s probably had a tough old life, he’s in his 70s; isn’t it time for a rest?

So for now, he’s still Lonesome George, the last of his kind – & looks like staying that way.

Why not have a look at all the other One Words in Tara’s Gallery at Sticky Fingers?  (click the pic.):

February 18, 2011

Random Photo of the Day 2: Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands, June 2006: our honeymoon. As you can see, I’m not particularly good at smiling on cue for the camera; I much prefer to be on the other side!

The Californian sea-lions there are incredibly ‘tame’. Due to the islands’ isolation they’ve never known Man as a predator & so are quite unafraid of us, & let you get very close.

Swimming with the pups, like playful  little aquatic dogs, is 1 of the greatest experiences of my life. They would swim underneath me upside-down (I managed to do it back to 1 of them – haha!), nip at your flippers, zoom towards your face at high speed then turn away at the very last second – fantastic!

Although if a bull decides you’ve been spending too much time with his kids he’ll charge, & 1 of them did. I found out how quickly I could snorkel then run through water when I needed to!

If you ever get the chance to go you should: it’s a really special place.

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