JAN 12, 2020 6:49 AM PST

Diego the Giant Tortoise Returning to Wild After Saving His Species

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

One would witness a plethora of exotic animals upon visiting the renowned Galápagos Islands, one of which might be the Galápagos giant tortoise (Chelonoidis hoodensis). These massive shelled reptiles were almost on the brink of extinction, that is, until one male specimen named Diego stepped up to the plate.

A Galapagos giant tortoise.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Diego was just one of 14 male Galápagos giant tortoises enlisted for a captive breeding program in the 1960s that was designed to save the species from going extinct, but it wasn’t long after the program kicked off that he developed quite the reputation for his rather restless libido.

This particular breeding program was responsible for producing well over 2,000 giant tortoises, many of which were placed back in their natural habitat in the Galápagos to boost conservation. Excellent news indeed; but the real kicker here is that out of those 2,000 offspring, Diego alone fathered about 800. The remaining 1,200 were produced with the help of the other 13 males.

To say that Diego was smooth with the ladies would be an understatement, and while he certainly seems to have a legendary libido, he’s also being almost single-handedly credited with saving his species from the cusp of extinction.

Related: Tortoises may actually enjoy being touched by people

Diego is now estimated to be approximately 100 years old, and since he has more than fulfilled his service to the captive breeding program, he is officially being returned to the Galápagos Islands from whence he came.

"He's contributed a large percentage to the lineage that we are returning to Española," explained Jorge Carrion, the director of the Galápagos National Parks service. "There's a feeling of happiness to have the possibility of returning that tortoise to his natural state."

Related: How does the Galápagos giant tortoise know when it's time to migrate?

When Diego returns to the Galápagos, he will join an existing population of giant tortoises. Perhaps the most significant question, however, is whether Diego will keep up his libido streak with the native population on the island when he returns or if he will finally take a rest from all the tireless mating. Only time will tell…

Source: Phys.org

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
SEP 28, 2021
Neuroscience
Is morality all about taste?
SEP 28, 2021
Is morality all about taste?
Researchers establish inhibited tongue motor capacity in response to moral transgression
OCT 05, 2021
Immunology
Monkey Gene Snares Viruses, Inspires Future Antivirals
OCT 05, 2021
Monkey Gene Snares Viruses, Inspires Future Antivirals
Many of the deadly viruses that affect humans—including Ebola and HIV—have animal origins. These infectious ...
OCT 06, 2021
Earth & The Environment
The Future is Fungi!
OCT 06, 2021
The Future is Fungi!
With more people looking to reduce the amount of meat they consume, vegetable substitutes for meat are on the rise. Thou ...
OCT 14, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
Cancer-Sniffing Worms: The Future of Diagnostics?
OCT 14, 2021
Cancer-Sniffing Worms: The Future of Diagnostics?
Researchers have unlocked a way of sniffing out cancer in patients with very-early-stage pancreatic cancer. This time, i ...
NOV 22, 2021
Plants & Animals
The Lungfish is a Living Antimicrobial Sponge
NOV 22, 2021
The Lungfish is a Living Antimicrobial Sponge
African lungfish are incredible animals that survive in freshwater or on land. Research on lungfish has taught us more a ...
NOV 30, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
To Trust or Not to Trust the Process: Bioreactive Chemical Variation in Cannabis Extracts Based on Extraction Method
NOV 30, 2021
To Trust or Not to Trust the Process: Bioreactive Chemical Variation in Cannabis Extracts Based on Extraction Method
With cannabis legislation becoming increasingly less restrictive over the past 20 years, consumers have found themselves ...
Loading Comments...