Giant tortoise found again after it was believed to be extinct for a century

A GIANT tortoise — thought to have been extinct for a century — has been found again.

The Chelonoidis phantasticus was rediscovered on one of the Galápagos Islands — famed for inspiring Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

A female was identified on Fernandina two years ago and now US experts have confirmed the discovery with genetic tests.

The Yale University team matched its DNA to that of a specimen recorded in 1906.

Ecuador, which owns the Pacific islands, also confirmed the news.

Environment minister Gustavo Manrique said: “It was believed extinct.

"But we have reconfirmed its existence.”

Footprints and faeces suggest there are other Chelonoidis phantasticus among the 60,000 giant tortoises living on the Galápagos Islands.

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