Global One (G1)— A 14-year-old Hawaiian tree snail named Lonely George has died — and so has his entire species.
George was reportedly a local celebrity and had been lonely most of his life — shortly after his birth at a University of Hawaii breeding program, the rest of his species were gone.
Snails used to be numerous in Hawaii — there were once close to 800 species of snail on the islands.
A University of Hawaii Professor said George’s species “were the best-known tree snails, big and pretty snails, once hyper-abundant” in Hawaii.
They also reportedly held an important role in Hawaiian culture, where they’re called “the voice of the forest.”
But in the past few decades, hundreds of snail species have gone extinct — they were unable to handle habitat destruction and invasive species such as rats.
One biologist said, “I’m sad, but really, I’m more angry because this was such a special species, and so few people knew about it.”