A Proud Father! Galapagos Tortoise Set For Release After Saving His Species With 800 Offspring

January 13, 2020

A 130-year-old Galapagos tortoise has single-handedly saved his species by fathering 800 offspring.

Now, since his job is done, he is set to return home.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Diego, believed to be taken from the Galapagos Islands, was recruited along with 14 other adults for a captive breeding program and will be returned to his native island of Espanola in March, the Galapagos National Parks service said in a statement.

The population went from 15 to 2,000 tortoises due to the program, according to the conservancy. Park rangers believe that 40% of the current population of tortoises are descendants of Diego.

"He's contributed a large percentage to the lineage that we are returning to Espanola," said Jorge Carrion, the park's director. "There's a feeling of happiness to have the possibility of returning that tortoise to his natural state."

Closing the breeding program will include the return of the 15 original adults -- 12 females and two males.

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