Lonesome George was originally discovered in 1972 on Pinta Island just off the coast of the Galapagos Island chain. The species had already been suspected of being extint, when he was discovered. The Tortoise was the last hope for the species but scientists could never get him to mate.
The breeding efforts were unsuccessful when two females from the Espanola tortoise population (the species most closely related to Pinta tortoises genetically) could not succsfully reproduce.
The cause of Georges death is unknown but he did live to be about 100 years old according to his caretaker, Fausto Llerena.