“Lonesome George” dead at ~100

Lonesome George by Flickr user Jon Ward (aka I-Look)

Lonesome George. CC image courtesy of Jon Ward on Flickr (aka I-Look).

Time has run out for Lonesome George. The last surviving individual of the Pinta Island subspecies of Galapagos giant tortoises, who figured prominently in my post about the Quelili, was found dead in his corral at the Charles Darwin Research Station by Fausto Llerena, his keeper of 40 years. He left no descendents. More on George’s life and death from the BBC and The Telegraph:

BBC: Last Pinta giant tortoise Lonesome George dies

The Telegraph: ‘Lonesome George’, the last giant Galapagos tortoise of his kind, passes away
[sad video of George and a brief interview with his keeper]

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Searches for “abandoned baby hummingbird” and similar keywords are through the roof this week, so here’s a repost of what you need to know before you decide to “rescue” nestling hummingbirds.

Life, Birds, and Everything

NOTE: This post is about how to determine whether or not baby hummingbirds are actually in need of rescue (spoiler: most “orphans” aren’t). If you need help for a baby hummingbird in obvious danger or distress (fallen from the nest and unable to fly, injured, peeping constantly, covered with ants, etc.):

  • Contact a wildlife rescue organization IMMEDIATELY. To find one, use the links at the end of this post or a Web search, or call your state wildlife agency for a referral.

  • DO NOT contact me about it—I can’t help you, and the bird may die while you’re waiting for me to respond.

  • If the baby is still the in nest and not peeping constantly, read on…

It’s wildlife baby season over much of North America, a time when people with big hearts and inadequate information sentence untold thousands of young wild birds and mammals to needless suffering…

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