A giant tortoise thought to have been extinct for more than a hundred years has been discovered in the remote part of the Galapagos Islands, Fernandina on Sunday.
Ecuador’s environmental minister Marcelo Mata tweeted photos of the tortoise. It is an adult female Fernandina giant tortoise, or Chelonoidis phantasticus, which was found on Sunday during a joint expedition by the Galapagos National Park and US-based group, Galapagos Conservancy.
The teams took the tortoise, who they think is more than a hundred years old, and will be kept in a breeding center on Santa Cruz Island, which is a specially designed pen for giant tortoises.
Investigators believe there may be more of its kind in the island, because of tracks and faeces found, according to a report by The Guardian.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature listed the species critically endangered and possibly extinct, because it was last found in 1906. Many believed they have gone extinct, because of the frequent volcanic lava flow in Galapagos.
There were other sightings by locals, but the first confirmed sighting was that of Sunday’s.
“They will need more than one, but females may store sperm for a long time,” Stuart Pimm, a professor of conservation ecology at Duke University, told The Guardian. “There may be hope.”