He’s swinging for the species!
A prolifically sexually active turtle is being released into the wild after possibly saving his entire breed from extinction, according to Agence France-Presse.
The hard-shelled heartthrob, known as “Diego the sexy tortoise,” is credited with fathering an estimated 800 descendants since the 1960s — when his giant tortoise species had just two males and 12 females alive in their natural habitat of Espanola Island, a part of the Galapagos.
Diego began his promiscuous run after he was transported from the San Diego Zoo to Santa Cruz Island, also in the Galapagos, to join a breeding program there about 50 years ago.
The hefty hunk, along with another 14 other adults, together naturally reproduced an estimated 1,000 tortoises, with most being returned back to Espanola, according to AFP.
After a rather busy half-century, Diego still won’t be retiring.
At 100 years old and 175 pounds, he’ll return to his native Espanola after decades philandering abroad.
“He’s contributed a large percentage to the lineage that we are returning to Espanola,” Jorge Carrion, the director of the Galapagos National Parks service, told the outlet.
“There’s a feeling of happiness to have the possibility of returning that tortoise to his natural state,” he added.
Diego’s success is a much different tale than that Lonesome George, a different Galapagos giant tortoise who refused to breed while in captivity and became known as the last living individual of his species.