8 animals brought back from the brink of extinction

Once thought destined to be lost forever, these species have rallied to beat the odds.

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Giant Galapagos Tortoise Giant Galapagos Tortoise (Photo: Ian Kennedy / Shutterstock)

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The Giant Galapagos Tortoise

Once pushed to the very edge of extinction thanks to poaching by humans, invasive predators and loss of habitat, the giant tortoise on the Galápagos Islands is today in the midst of a comeback.

The longest-lived of all vertebrates, with an average age of 100 years, giant tortoises can grown to more than 5 feet in length and weigh up to 700 pounds.

Strict conservation efforts have allowed 11 of the original 15 giant tortoise species on the archipelago to rebound – with an estimated 15,000 individual ones under protection by the Ecuadorian government.

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