"Lonesome" George, well-known centenarian and confirmed bachelor, has died at his home on Santa Cruz Island in Ecuador. The cause of his death is believed to have been a heart attack. "He was in good condition....There was nothing to suggest that this would occur," said his physician Washington Tapia.With no offspring and no known relatives to survive him, George (video here) was the last of his line. He was a bit of a loner, despite several female companions over the years. He was known to have a fondness for his longtime caretaker Fausto Llerena, who called him "special" and "complex in his behavior." An international workshop on a cause important to George - management strategies for restoring tortoise populations - will be convened in his honor next month.
Duchess, a longtime resident of Phoenix, Arizona, died at her home of lymphatic cancer. She was 52. Born in Borneo, she emigrated to the U.S. as an orphan at the early age of 2. Duchess enjoyed painting and people-watching. She lived with her daughter Bess and her 6-year-old granddaughter Kasih (photos here) and is survived by another 6 children, 5 grandchildren, and a great-grandchild. “We have been grateful for the outpouring of memories and stories about Duchess through our social media outlets over the past week. It has been a joy to see all of the lives she has touched throughout our community and beyond. She will be deeply missed,” remarked her guardian Bert Castro. Duchess will be honored at a "Celebration of Life" on Saturday (calling hours 7am to 2pm). Memories and thoughts about Duchess are being collected at www.facebook.com/phoenixzoo.