The Island of Santa Cruz is home to a now-famous Galapagos tortoise, Diego, who’s making waves around the internet for saving his species. The 100 year old, Chelonoidis hoodensis, has been credited for fathering 800 hatchlings over the years and almost single-handedly repopulated the island.
Photo credit: AFP Images
Diego, was found at the San Diego Zoo and returned to the Galapagos in 1976, as part of a captive breeding program. Weighing in at 82 kilograms and measuring 90 centimetres in length, he proved to be quite “effective” and has heroically returned his species from extinction.
Six years ago, scientists conducted a genetic test and found he has fathered almost 40 percent of the population released onto the island of Espanola. There are currently around 2000 of this species of tortoise on Espanola, thanks largely to the libido of Diego.
These days, Diego can be found with his “harem” of 6 females, still breeding, still taking them for the team.
Thinking of seeing Diego, and other amazing wildlife firsthand? Check out this trip with Wildland Adventures!