Look! Super Diego, an Española Giant Macho Tortoise, on the move to save species

  • Despite being a century old, Diego has still the capacity to reproduce its own kind by being sexually active
  • The giant tortoise belongs to the species that are only found in the Española wild in the southernmost part of Galapagos Island
  • Approximately there were 2000 tortoises already released in the Española wild and 40% of them are from Diego’s specie

According to an Inquirer story, a sub specie of Tortoise has been almost extinct, but thanks to Super Diego for saving them. Despite being a century old, Diego still has the capacity to reproduce its own kind by being sexually active.

This giant Galapagos tortoise is under the care of the Galapagos National Park on Santa Cruz Island.

It has a width of nearly 90 centimeters (35 inches) and length of 1.5 meters (5 feet) if neck and feet are stretch out. He weighs about 80 kilograms.

The giant tortoise belongs to the species that are only found in the Española wild in the southernmost part of Galapagos Island.

In the 1960’s it was reported that there were only 14 Chelonoidis hoodensis, 2 males and 12 females left in Española island, and they were captured and brought to San Diego Zoo in California.

In 1977, preservation specialists found one remaining male tortoise which is Diego and the 12 female tortoises and brought them to Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz for breeding program.

Diego, being the dominant male among the tortoises, was assigned and joined with other 6 female tortoises in an enclosure.

According to Washington Tapia, a conservationist at the Galapagos National Park, the breeding program has been effective.

It was observed that Diego has been sexually active mating with the females he was enclosed with.

Approximately there were 2000 tortoises already released in the Española wild and 40% of them are from Diego’s specie.

In history, Tapia said that Galapagos Island was a home for more than 5000 tortoises.

Unfortunately there were pirates who smuggled them and rodents and other animals destroyed their natural habitat; causing them to be nearly extinct.

Previously, it was a Pinta Island giant tortoise named George, also known as “lonesome George”, to be recorded as the rarest and the last member of his subspecies Chelonoidis abingdoni.

However, George died in the year 2012 at the age of more than a hundred years.

Luckily, thanks to super macho Diego, hopes for the restoration of giant tortoises in the island have risen and currently busy doing his crucial role in procreating and saving their species from extinction.

Let’s take a look at him in this video by Huffington Post via You Tube:

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