Ecuador said it would honour Lonesome George by listing him as part of the nation’s cultural heritage.

George, the only remaining Pinta Island giant tortoise (Geochelone nigra abingdoni) and a celebrated symbol of conservation efforts in the Galapagos Islands, died in June with no known offspring at an estimated age of 100.

Lonesome George is a symbol of the fight for the protection of a “fragile ecosystem where conservation is everyone’s responsibility,” Ecuador’s vice minister tasked with heritage issues, Juan Carlos Coellar, said in a statement.

Researchers plan to examine Lonesome George’s remains before embalming the animal and putting him on display at the Galapagos National Park.

There are about 20,000 giant tortoises left in the Galapagos, according to the park's website.

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