That’s actually quite young for his species of tortoise and he was considered a “young adult”. He’s believed to be the last of his subspecies of Pinta island tortoise and the Ecuadorian authorities have promised to embalm him and put him on display – like a Communist dictator.
The autopsy on George found that he died of old age which is a kind fate in the circumstances. Had George been born 2 hundred years previously he might not have been so lucky…
Giant tortoises where considered to be a great delicacy by imperialists – so great in fact that they were nearly gobbled to extinction. So unbelievably delicious that almost all attempts to transport them to London ended in failure.
There was a great QI on it here:
So there you have it. Giant tortoises were considered more delicious than “chicken, pork, beef or mutton”.
Thankfully they’re a protected species now and more than 20,000 giant tortoises now thrive on the island… safe from salivating explorers.