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Playboy Tortoise to Be Sent Home After Saving His Species From Extinction

His “womanizing” made him the patriarch of around 40% of the island’s tortoise population.

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  • Diego, who is a 100-year-old tortoise, was said to have helped boost the population of his species to more than 2000.
  • Before Diego started “womanizing,” the island only had 2 males and 12 female tortoises.
  • He is believed to have become the patriarch of around 40% of the island’s tortoise population.

Diego the Tortoise became famous for having so much sex with the female giant tortoises in Espanola (part of the Galapagos Islands) that he saved his species from extinction. The tortoise, who is 100 years old, was said to have helped boost the population of his species to more than 2000.

He was shipped from San Diego Zoo as part of a breeding program to increase the population of tortoises in Espanola.

Before Diego started “womanizing,” the island only had 2 males and 12 female tortoises.
From then on, Diego had so much sex that he is believed to have become the patriarch of around 40% of the island’s tortoise population.
Now Diego is being “retired” after doing his job splendidly.

Jorge Carrion, director of the Galapagos National Park, said that “[Diego has] contributed a large percentage to the lineage that we are returning to Espanola. There’s a feeling of happiness to have the possibility of returning that tortoise to his natural state.”

Aside from Diego, 15 other tortoises were also in the breeding program.

Carrion said that about 1,800 tortoises have been sent back to Espanola. With natural reproduction, there are now approximately 2000 tortoises in the island.

“This shows that they are able to grow, they are able to reproduce, they are able to develop,” he added.

The Galápagos giant tortoise is the largest living species of tortoise and can weigh up to 919 lbs (417 kilograms). The population hit a massive decline in the 1970s, when the numbers reached to just around 3,000, compared to more than 250,000 in the 16th century.

Habitat clearance, introduction of non-native animals to the Galapagos Islands, and exploitation of the species for oil and meat are the top factors for the decline.

The Galapagos Islands is considered as one of the top destinations for wildlife viewing in the world. It was here that Charles Darwin worked on his theory of evolution.

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