Last Galapagos Tortoise May Become Oldest Dad Scientists have been playing matchmaker for the "rarest living creature" for more than a decade. Now Lonesome George, the last known Galapagos giant tortoise, may soon become a father. George is somewhere between 90 and 100 years old.

Last Galapagos Tortoise May Become Oldest Dad

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

It's a bit early to break out cigars but Lonesome George, the last known Galapagos giant tortoise, may soon become a father.

George is the only known living Geochelone nigra Abingdoni tortoise in the world. He's estimated to be between 90 and 100 years old, which scientists say is actually the sexual peak for giant tortoises, who can live to be 150.

George resides in the Galapagos National Park. Because he is, in the description of the Guinness Book of World Records, the rarest living creature, he's a difficult man to find a mate for. Scientists have been playing Match.com for Lonesome George since 1993, and have put two females of different subspecies into his pen. But I guess he preferred to watch ESPN.

George aroused scientists almost as much as himself last year by mating for the first time during the 36 years that he's been in captivity. But the eggs of his partner turned out to be infertile. But the national park says that Lonesome George has recently awarded his seal of approval, if you please, to the eggs of another partner. Result is being cared for in an incubator. Scientists will know if there will be a little Not-As-Lonesome-George - or Georgia - within 120 days. And if so, that would make George one of the oldest natural fathers on record.

Another mark for Tom Watson to shoot for.

(Soundbite of song, "The Best is Yet to Come")

Mr. TONY BENNETT (Singer): (Singing) The best is yet to come and babe, won't it be fine. The best is yet to come, come the day you're mine, come the day…

SIMON: Tony Bennett. You can see the prospective papa on our Web site, NPR.org.

(Soundbite of song, "The Best is Yet to Come")

Mr. BENNETT: (Singing) We've only tasted the wine. We're gonna drain the cup dry. Wait 'til your charms are right for these arms to…

SIMON: Hey, cats, you're listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News.

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