US News Diego The Tortoise’s Sex Drive Saved His Species From Extinction. Now He's Retiring

05:30  13 january  2020
05:30  13 january  2020 Source:   huffingtonpost.co.uk

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A tortoise more than 100 years old, Diego has had little trouble mating. A member of Chelonoidis hoodensis, or the giant tortoise species from Española Island in Among the males, Diego displayed an exceptional sex drive , so much so, he ’ s credited with helping save his species from extinction .

(CNN) You may have heard of Diego the Galapagos tortoise by now -- the legendary Casanova that did God' s work and single-handledly saved his species from extinction by Diego ' s distinctive shell sets him apart from his peers. Well over a hundred years old, it' s noticeably broken along the edges.

(Video by GeoBeats)

A libidinous 100-year-old tortoise called Diego is to return to the wild after being celebrated for saving his species from extinction.

In the 1960s, Diego was recruited along with 14 other giant tortoises for a captive breeding programme on the Galápagos Islands, the volcanic archipelago hundreds of miles off the Ecuador coast.

At the time, this was almost the entirety of the endangered Chelonoidis hoodensis subspecies of tortoise.

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New giant tortoise species discovered Jump to media player Scientists say a new species of giant tortoise has been discovered on the Diego the tortoise , 100, has fathered around 800 offspring on his native Galapagos Archipelago, helping to save his species from extinction in the process.

Media captionThe tortoise that has saved his species from extinction . " He ' s contributed a large percentage to the lineage that we are returning to Española," Jorge Carrion, the park' s director, told AFP news agency. Video Diego the unstoppable sex tortoise who saved species from extinction .

The animals, over time, had been driven to the brink of extinction, initially by humans who saw them as a food source, and later by rats, pigs and dogs who preyed on them.

But the programme has been such an unmitigated success that the population has swelled to over 2,000, and Diego’s sex drive has been credited with the surge.

According to some estimates, Diego has fathered 800 children. Put another way, 40% of the population are estimated to be Diego’s descendants.

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The reptile Romeo will now leave the Fausto Llerena Tortoise Center on the island of Santa Cruz and retire to his native island of Española, the Galápagos National Parks service has announced.

“He’s contributed a large percentage to the lineage that we are returning to Española,” Jorge Carrion, the director of the Galapagos National Parks service, told the AFP news agency.

“There’s a feeling of happiness to have the possibility of returning that tortoise to his natural state.”

MSN UK is committed to Empowering the Planet and taking urgent action to protect our environment against the climate crisis. We’re supporting those on the front line tackling the Australian bushfire crisis. Find out more about our campaign here.

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