Lonesome George [Jorge]
“He fell asleep, while mounting the female!” We laugh at poor Lonesome George’s failed attempts at mating, but soon grow somber as we begin to comprehend what a stressed life he has been living. As the last surviving tortoise from Pinta island, the pressure to breed George is enormous. But, as we hear more of the story from an inside perspective, we can see that the projects are not entirely honest, not completely dedicated towards George’s wellbeing. It has became social, Jeff says. George is a main tourist attraction. If they don’t see him, their trip is a disappointment.
To cater towards tourists, the park housing him has cut away most of the foliage that shaded him and fenced the area off. Many argue that he needs to be let loose, or at least given a more natural, wider habitat. Perhaps then, he will decide to mate. He’s only 120 years old, after all. Even more infuriatingly, George is only fed three times a week, because (other than lack of funding) the park fears that if they feed him too often, he might die. George is the main source of income for this park, so they rely a great deal on him and his ability to attract tourists. What if the interest dies out when George isn’t the only of his kind?