Diego The Super Tortoise Mated With Hundreds Of Females To Save His Species From Extinction

November 5, 2016

Meet Diego the super tortoise!

tortoise saves species making babies
Photo: Getty Images

Diego managed to single-handedly save his species by fathering over a THOUSAND babies. The "very sexually active" reptile mated with hundreds of partners on the paradise island of Espanola in the Galapagos.

While it's unclear exactly how old Diego is, what's known is that he was brought to San Diego Zoo in the 1930s. He stayed as one of the zoo's main attractions until 1977, when the plight of Chelonoidis Hoodensis tortoises, which are unique to Espanola, was first recognized.

Diego was shipped back to his native island in the hope he might be able to add to the dwindling number of wild tortoises.

But conservationists were amazed when Diego got to work.

tortoise saves species making babies
Photo: Getty Images

Experts have said Diego alone should be thanked for saving the species from the brink of extinction. They estimate he has fathered at least 40 per cent of the abundant population.

"He's a very sexually active male reproducer. He's contributed enormously to repopulating the island," said Washington Tapia, a tortoise preservation specialist at Galapagos National Park.

tortoise saves species making babies
Photo: Getty Images

Diego has been rewarded with retirement on neighboring Santa Cruz island, where he was been placed with six girlfriends.

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