George, the last of a Hawaiian land snail species, has died

George, the last of a Hawaiian land snail species, has died at 14 years old. 

The Associated Press reports that the snail, known as the Achatinella apexfulva, was one of the last 10 of its kind that were brought into captivity in 1997. 

Though some offspring were produced as a result of the last-ditch effort to save the species, all of the snails eventually died — except for George.


George reportedly spent his final days in a cage at a snail lab operated by the state's Department of Land and Natural Resources before his death on New Year’s Day. 

According to NPR News, those who got the chance to know George say he kept to himself. 

"For a snail he was a little bit of a hermit," David Sischo, a wildlife biologist who works with the Hawaii Invertebrate Program, told the news outlet. 

"I very rarely saw him outside of his shell,” he added.

The snails reportedly used to be common in Hawaii before invasive species like rats and Jackson's chameleons were brought to the island as pets.

Other land snails remaining in Hawaii also reportedly face imminent extinction threats from invasive species and climate change.