1. The Pinta Island tortoise – Without argument, this turtle is one of the few species of Giant Galapagos tortoises and the rarest animal in the world since there is only one left alive. Lonesome George is the sole surviving member of the Pinta Island race, the giant tortoise being a symbol for the fragility of the Galapagos islands, and a constant reminder for vigilence and conservation of the species. The species was considered extinct until 1971, when a lone example was located by rangers. Since then, the Charles Darwin Research Station has been searching for a female tortoise, even posting a reward of $10,000 to those that find one.