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'Lonely Jorge' the giant tortoise and other protected species evacuated from Galapagos park

Lonely Jorge and his friends are being moved to higher ground after the tsunami alert issued in response to the massive earthquake in Japan. The second photo is of Lonely Jorge walking the park grounds in 2006. See more images from our earthquake coverage here and two videos about the giant tortoises of the Galapagos below.

Galapagos National Park / EPA

Workers carrying 'Lonely Jorge', a unique giant turtle in danger of extintion, during the evacuation of the Galapagos Islands National Park (PNG), in Galapagos Islands, Ecuador on March 11. The PNG, institution which takes care of the Galapagos sea and ground reserves, has proceeded to evacuate some protected species after the tsunami alert due to the 8,8 grades earthquake in Japan.

Rodrigo Buendia / AFP - Getty Images file

"Solitario George" (Lonely George), the last giant turtle from the Pinta Island, is seen in captivity at the Galapagos National Park in the Santa Cruz island on June 26, 2006. The Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean have been put on a list of endangered world heritage sites by UNESCO because of the growing pressure from tourism, the UN's culture organisation said Tuesday.Situated 1,000 kilometres (625 miles) off the coast of Ecuador, the 19 islands have a unique wildlife and were the first ever site to be placed on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1978.

Scientists at the Galapagos National Park are attempting to find a suitable mate for "George," who is believed to be the last giant tortoise remaining in the world. Msnbc.com's Al Stirrett reports.


NBC's George Lewis follows a group of scientists and student volunteers working to help save the giant tortoises of Darwin's Galapagos Islands, which have been threatened in recent years by humans and goats.