After 40 years of doing his best for a good cause, the giant tortoise Diego will now enter retirement.
He was well known to the public for his robust sex drive and has fathered sufficient baby tortoises to bring his whole species back from the brink of extinction.
More than 100 years old, the giant tortoise Diego helped better the population of his species from very low of 15 to an amazing 2000 on an island that’s part of the Galapagos, i.e. the Espanola.
Diego Was a Part of a Breeding Program
The giant tortoise had been brought over from the San Diego ZOO to participate in a breeding program and was one of the 15 tortoises to take place in the program on the island of Santa Cruz in the Fausto Tortoise Center.
Finally, he’ll be able to go back to his island of origin.
According to an announcement by the Galapagos National Park, after 40 years of the breeding program, it has been found to have met its conservation goals.
Diego became a symbol of the conservation because around 40 percent of the turtles on the island were of his descent. The San Diego ZOO estimates that he had around 1700 offspring.
The closing of the program will include the return of the 15 unique breeding adults, 3 males and 12 females, originally found on the island.
Diego Has Helped Restore the Giant Tortoise Population
Washington Tapia, the director in Galapagos of the Giant Tortoise Restoration Initiative explains that the island has made the needed conditions to keep the tortoise population growing normally.
Diego, the hero of its species, was brought in the US between 1928 and 1933 however; he was brought back to his home around the 70s to join the breeding center after an official ‘critically endangered’ statement for his species was given in the 60s.
Almost 8 decades have passed from his extraction from his natural habitat. Since the mission has been achieved, he will now be released into the wild in the place where he was born.
Bravo Diego, we salute you!