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Sex-mad 100-year-old tortoise named Diego saves Galapagos species from extinction by impregnating hundreds of females

01:05, Friday, 16 September, 2016
Sex-mad 100-year-old tortoise named Diego saves Galapagos species from extinction by impregnating hundreds of females

THE tortoise has once again beaten the randy hare, with this sex-mad reptile managing to singlehandedly save his species by fathering over a THOUSAND babies.

Diego the ‘super tortoise’ came to the rescue of his fellow creatures by mating with hundreds of partners on the paradise island of Espanola in the Galapagos.

The hundred-year-old hunk has been described as "very sexually active" -- with some putting his stint at Californian zoo during the free-love 1960s as the reason behind his life as a Lothario.
     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 recognised.

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 amazing when lustful Diego got to work.

He along with another male were initially placed with twelve females, which back then was the entire remaining population of the species.

But since then around 2,000 baby tortoises have been born on Galapagos island made famous by father of evolution Charles Darwin's travels.

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.

The 13-stone, 90cm-long lover has been rewarded with retirement on neighbouring Santa Cruz island, where he was been placed with six girlfriends.

"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.

"I wouldn't say [the species] is in perfect health, because historical records show there probably used to be more than 5,000 tortoises on the island.

"But it's a population that's in pretty good shape -- and growing, which is the most important".

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