You wouldn’t think of a slow-moving tortoise as “sex crazed” but that’s exactly how Washington Tapia, a preservation specialist described him.
50 years ago, before his breeding reign, there were only 2 male and 14 female Chelonoidis Hoodensis in the Galapagos. Scientists knew they had to step in and started searching for … *ahem* … DNA donors.
This is how Diego was found.
Getting his name from the San Diego Zoo, people had no idea where he had come from before he was put in display – after all these guys live for years – but the popular theory is that he was brought back with a scientific expedition. Still, in 1976, he was moved back to the Galapagos and into a captive breeding program.
Here’s where things get hilariously freaky.
The breeders found that he was a huge nympho – even by tortoise standards.
And since the loved humping those lovely lady shells, they let him go at it and kept their fingers crossed that he could help boost the island population numbers.
And boy did he ever.
Tapia told AFP, “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 Espanola.”
Considering there are now over 2000, that’s a lot of sperm.
However, all good things must come (heehee) to an end, and the old-hand was finally put into retirement. Keepers said that the island population isn’t as robust as they wanted, but it was still a significant boost.
Other sentences people couldn’t possibly imagine being said around Deigo’s sex life include…
- “He’s contributed a large percentage to the lineage.”
- “End of an era.”
- “We are closing an important chapter.”
Anyway, the 100-year-olld, 175 pound stud was sent into quarantine with fourteen others in preparation for release back into their native environment. This was to protect the already delicate eco-system of the island.
Who knows, maybe he will live out the rest of his years still doing what he loved the most.
Explore the Lovense blog for more weird, silly, or interesting articles!