There aren't a whole lot of news stories that will bring a smile to your face. This is one of those stories......

Lonesome George is believed to be the last surviving giant tortoise from the northernmost island of Pinta in the Galápagos archipelago.

In order to prevent Lonesome George's genes dying out, the Charles Darwin Foundation has put up a $10,000 reward for any zoo that can offer him a female Pinta tortoise. The research station has tried repeatedly to mate George with tortoises from another island.

The research station refused to admit defeat. They employed Sveva Grigioni, a "beautiful" 26-year-old Swiss zoology graduate, to spend four months trying to "rouse the fire in Lonesome George's loins". This unenviable job involved coating her hands with the "genital secretions" of female tortoises and engaging in "manual stimulation" of George. However, George is on his own again, as the woman known as "Lonesome George's girlfriend" has returned to Switzerland.

But finally with a lot of patience.....its just possible that Lonesome George is a dad. In four months, scientists will find out for certain whether the eggs they found in George’s nest are his offspring. But everything involving tortoises seems to require lots of patience—after all, George, estimated to be between 60 and 90 years old, is just now in his sexual prime.

Links:
Review: Lonesome George by Henry Nicholls | Books | The Guardian
World’s Rarest Tortoise Could Finally be a Father | Discoblog | Discover Magazine