100-year-old Giant Tortoise Rebuilds Tortoise Pop

100-year-old Giant Tortoise Rebuilds Tortoise Pop

Diego has single handedly helped to save the tortoise of Galapagos Islands from extinction.  During his stay since 1976 on the island he has fathered over 800 babies to help rebuild the population on Espanola Island off the coast of South America.

For his age he is doing a good job of reproducing.  The 12 females on the island are kept pretty busy with Diego there.  Of the 3 males Diego is considered the Alpha Male of the group.

Diego came from the San Diego Zoo in California over 50 years ago, so they named him Diego because of the zoo he came from.  Diego is a 180-pound, 35-inch Chelonoidis Hoodensis, which is a species of tortoise only found in the wild of Espanola Island in the Galapagos Islands.  How he got to the San Diego Zoo researchers don’t exactly know but they speculate that he was taken from the Espanola Island back between the years 1900 and 1959 by an expedition to the island.

After fulfilling his duty on Espanola Island, he has been moved to a breeding center on Santa Cruz Island where he has 6 females all to himself.

Diego has helped raise the tortoise population to about 2000 that means they are no longer facing extinction.  Before Diego there was another tortoise that they tried to breed but he refused, and they called him Lonesome George.