A tortoise species considered extinct 100 years ago is still alive, Ecuador says

Posted at 8:13 PM, May 26, 2021

Scientists say a tortoise discovered in 2019 on the Galapagos Islands belongs to a species considered extinct more than 100 years ago.

The single female tortoise belongs to the species Chelonoidis phantasticus, according to Ecuador’s Ministry of Environment and Water. Yale University geneticists compared genetic samples from the female to the remains of a male and made the connection.

A tortoise from this species has not been seen since 1906.

The Minister of Environment, Gustavo Manrique, shared a photo of the tortoise and the good news on Twitter.

“Hope is intact,” he said of the discovery.

The director of the Galapagos National Park says the discovery renews hope of recovery of the species.