Diego the Tortoise retires after saving his species

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Diego the Tortoise retires after saving his species

The 100 year old tortoise has been credited with 800 offspring

After taxing his libido tirelessly to save his species from extinction, Diego the giant tortoise has earned his retirement to an uninhabited island off the coast of Equador.

For the last few decades, Diego has been working as a breeding machine at Galapagos National Park. When he arrived, the entire tortoise population was two males and twelve females. Thanks to his incredible fertility, the island population has topped 2,000 tortoises, with the feisty old Diego the patriarch of 40 percent of the population.

Prior to his very sexy calling, Diego lived at the San Diego zoo. The tortoise population crisis brought him to the Galapagos, where Charles Darwin made his famous theories of evolution. The islands, which are located about 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, are classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the region receives millions of visitors a year. Unfortunately the Galapagos islands have been suffering from overtourism.

Now he's returning to his home island of Española, and some of the biggest conservation groups are saluting his tireless efforts. Paulo Proaño Andrade, Ecuador's environment minister, on Twitter that "Fifteen tortoises from Española, including Diego, are going home after decades of breeding in captivity and saving their species from extinction. Their island receives them with open arms."


The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) also marked the occasion, posting on Twitter on Monday that Diego had returned home to his "natural environment" in the Galapagos Islands.

"The giant tortoise is over 100 years old and produced around 800 offspring," the UNEP added.


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