Animals & Nature

Giant tortoise fathers 800 offsprings, rebuilds species’ count

Diego, the giant tortoise rescues fellow reptiles following a growth of an estimated 800 hatchlings.

The hundred year old tortoise is indisputable and a true Casanova among the female population which earned him recognition for being the species’ hero.

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“He’s a very sexually active male reproducer. He’s contributed enormously to repopulating the island,” said Washington Tapia, a preservation specialist at Galapagos National Park.

Diego is just one of the Cheloidnis Hoodensis species originally from the native island of Esponola in Galapagos Archipelago.

Diego is estimated to weigh about 175 pounds, is nearly 90 centimeters long and 5 feet tall at his fullest stretch.

Not only is Diego a lady’s man but he also forebears a significant number of offspring released into the wild of Espanola.

“We did a genetic study and we discovered that he was the father of nearly 40 percent of the offspring released into the wild on Española,” Tapia added.

A small number of the Cheloidnis Hoodensis were said to reside in Espanola 50 years ago to which most of them were too far out to reproduce.

Tourist pose for a photo with a creep of giant tortoise in Galapagos Island, Ecuador

Tourist pose with a creep of giant tortoise in Galapagos Island, Ecuador

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Only 12 known species that originated in the Galapagos have survived after pirates exploited the island’s ecosystem way back in 18th century.

Other of Diego’s species has been introduced on the island of Santa Fe where an inexistent similar species, the Chelonoidis spp formerly inhabits.  

Diego can be located at a tortoise breeding center in Santa Cruz Island, one of the largest preservation hubs in Galapagos.



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