Life

Casanova tortoise saves species from extinction by fathering over 800 babies.

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Back in the 1970’s, the Galapagos tortoise faced a very serious population crisis. Their numbers declined from 250,000 in the 16 century to a mere 15. As usual, human over exploitation was the primary cause of this problem.

In order to save the subspecies, the island started a breeding program that consisted of 12 females and 3 males. One of those males was “Super Diego”, a tortoise who has a “very very liberal” approach towards mating.

While that may sound a little funny to say, Super Diego was exactly the kind of tortoise that the island needed. He alone is responsible for saving the subspecies from extinction. Because of him, the island now boasts a healthy population of around 2,000 tortoises.

Scientists estimate that Super Diego is a father to nearly 40 percent of the offspring that were released into the wild. For those of you who don’t want to the math, that’s an astounding 800 tortoises.

Take a look at the video below to learn more about the species-saving Casanova.


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