Diego, a famous tortoise and prolific haver of sexual intercourse, is entering retirement.
The tortoise had an extinction-battling amount of sex and ultimately fathered hundreds of offspring, USA Today reported on Monday. To put Diego's tortoise excellence into perspective, he was one of just 15 of his species (the Española tortoise) on Española Island back in the mid-1960s. Now, with his celebrated contributions to the breeding program coming to a close, Diego is said to be one of an estimated 2,000 of his species.
Citing results of the most recent census, which was conducted last year, the Giant Tortoise Restoration Initiative (GTRI)'s director Washington Tapia said that the island now has "sufficient conditions" in place to maintain population growth.
Diego, who's now more than 100 years of age, was a resident of the San Diego Zoo for three decades before being enlisted for the breeding program. With an estimated 40 percent of the tortoises repatriated to Española Island said to be his descendants, Diego will now head home for a presumably quieter life. But first, Diego and the other 14 breeding program participants will undergo quarantine procedures. Per a press release from the Galapagos Conservancy, the target date for a return home is March of this year.