We here at Defenders of Wildlife are constantly working to prevent the extinction of species because once something is gone, it can never come back. However sometimes something wonderful happens and an animal you thought was gone forever suddenly turns up. That’s exactly what has happened on the northern shore of Isabela Island in the Galapagos archipelago, according to an MSNBC story that appeared today.
As it turns out, the tortoise wasn’t extinct after all—it had just moved. Even more interesting is that despite not yet having actually seen one, scientists know that it must exist because they have found its DNA in the genomes of a hybrid offspring they have discovered on the island. This marks the first time that a species has been rediscovered by tracing its genetic material through its offspring. Very cool! So we here at Defenders would like to say “Welcome back!”