Diego (tortoise)

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Galápagos tortoise (4229030962).jpg
Diego in 2009
SpeciesHood Island tortoise (Chelonoidis hoodensis)
Española Island, Ecuador
Nation fromGalápagos
Known forbeing part of project to breed tortoises
OffspringAround 900
Named afterSan Diego Zoo
Diego in 2019
Detail of head, 2009

Diego is a giant tortoise from Hood Island (= Española Island). He was used to restock a Galapagos island with more giant tortoises.

It is likely he was hatched on Hood in the Galápagos before 1920.[1][2] He was captured as a young adult and sent to the United States to be shown at zoos.[1][2] By the late 1940s he was at San Diego Zoo in California. A captive breeding effort was set up in 1976 for the Hood Island tortoises.

At the time only 15 were known to be alive.[1][2] Diego was sent to Santa Cruz Island to join the project.[1][2] Diego had more than 900 offspring who were released on Española.[1][2] These helped increase the number in the wild to more than 2,000. The breeding project ended in January 2020.[1] Diego was then released into the wild in June 2020.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Machemer, Theresa (14 January 2020). "Diego, the 100-Year-Old Tortoise Who Fathered 900 Babies, Returns to the Wild". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "Amorous giant tortoise is saving his species from extinction". The Columbian. 17 January 2020. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  3. "Tortoise with species-saving sex drive retires". BBC News. 16 June 2020. Retrieved 16 June 2020.

Other websites[change | change source]

  • Media related to Diego at Wikimedia Commons