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The last of a Hawaiian land snail species dies at age 14

January 6, 2019

HONOLULU (AP) — The last of a Hawaiian land snail species has died.

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources says the last known Achatinella apexfulva died on New Year’s Day. It was about 14 years old and named George.

In 1997, the last 10 known of its kind were brought into a laboratory at the University of Hawaii to be raised in captivity.

Some offspring were produced but the snails all eventually died — except for George.

A 2-millimeter snippet of George’s foot was collected in 2017 for research. It remains in deep freeze in San Diego.

The snails were once common in Oahu’s Koolau moutantains and were used to make lei.

The department says other remaining snails native to Hawaii face extinction from threats including invasive species and climate change.

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