Remembering the sad, lonely life of George Achatinella

‘HIS DEATH WAS A GREAT LOSS’

George was one of a kind. He saved trees in the forests by eradicating fungi from the leaves, thus protecting them from disease.

“George was an important part of life on earth,” said an Hawaiian land preservationist.

George lived alone without a mate or any other relatives or fellows for fourteen years. Now, that’s isolation.

“He was a hermit,” said a close friend. “I very rarely saw him come out.”

George died on New Year’s Day two years ago.

“He was the last of his kind. To have the last individual perish on your watch is devastating.”

George was born in a special facility at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. When all his relatives died, he became the poster boy for endangered Hawaiians.

He was famous for being the lone survivor. He was written up in newspapers and magazines. People came from all over to catch a glimpse of the world’s loneliest superstar.

George and his kind were revered by Native Hawaiians. They could make beautiful sounds like singing and were known as the voice of the forest.

Scientists hunted for ten years to find a mate for George, but no one of his kind could be found.

Once there were countless numbers in Hawaii, but George was the last. 

“His death was a great loss,” said the preservationist.



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