How many tortoises do you know have their own Wikipedia page? Not too many I’d say. Well, Diego isn’t like other tortoises.
Born sometime in the 1910s, he’s still alive and kicking it today. And he’s gained quite a bit of notoriety throughout his long life for certain exploits – namely, having so much sex he saved his own species.
Just a simple Casanova doing his bit for the world: Diego is the horny Hood Island tortoise who had so much sex he saved his own species.
Some may call him a playboy, others call him a hero. Diego has fathered a decent 900 or so little Diegos in his lifetime, and in doing so contributed to the revival of his own species, the Hood Island tortoise.
Originally hailing from Española Island, Galápagos (or Hood Island), Diego was captured as a young adult and transported to the United States where he spent decades living in zoos. Yet by the 1970s, the Hood Island tortoise had become critically endangered, with only 14 known to be left alive – 12 females and two males.
At this point, Diego’s own breed was still unknown. Following the creation of a captive breeding program on Santa Cruz Island, Diego was finally DNA tested and confirmed to be a Hood Island tortoise himself. He was then sent to the program to join the efforts.
There, Diego displayed an outstanding sex drive and went onto singlehandedly father more than 900 offspring. His important work ultimately helped increase the wild population to more than 2,000. After a job well done, in January of this year, Diego was finally released into the wild again.
Speaking on Diego, James P. Gibbs, a professor of environmental and forest biology at the State University of New York in Syracuse, once described: “[He has] a big personality — quite aggressive, active and vocal in his mating habits and so I think he has gotten most of the attention.”
Long live Diego and his outstanding libido.