We humans have been responsible for wiping many a species off the face of this planet. So when, by some anomaly, we discover one that we thought had become extinct, it becomes an event of great joy. 


Such an event took place at Galapagos Islands where conservationists recently found a giant tortoise from a species they thought had gone extinct a century ago. 

According to CNN, it is believed to be a Fernandina Giant Tortoise, which is also known as the Chelonoidis phantasticus, a species that was last sighted in 1906.

New Scientist

It was then taken to the main Galapagos conservation centre on Santa Cruz island. 

Speaking to reporters on the amazing discovery, Washington Tapia of the Galapagos Conservancy said: 

The animal exceeds 100 years in age and is a very old tortoise.
Animal Planet

According to reports, genetic tests are to be carried out to determine if the tortoise was indeed a member of a long-lost species. The Chelonoidis phantasticus is native to Fernandina, the youngest island in the chain it belongs to. It is uninhabited and is topped by an active volcano. 

It is one of 15 known species of giant tortoises in the Galapagos, at least two of which have already vanished.


These giant tortoises are believed to have arrived on the volcanic island chain about 3-4 million years ago by ocean currents. 

They have no natural predators but their numbers were decimated in the 18th and 19th century as sailors stored them as fresh meat on Pacific voyages, owing to their ability to endure long periods without food and water.

The New York Times

Hopefully, this is the first of many such discoveries so that we could see these magnificent creatures repopulate the islands.