“Very sexually active” tortoise saves species from extinction (theweek.co.uk).
“A giant male tortoise with an extremely high sex drive has helped bring his species back from the brink of extinction on the Galapagos Islands. The randy reptile, a 100-year-old Chelonoidis hoodensis tortoise called Diego, has fathered 800 offspring—nearly 40 per cent of the growing tortoise population during his lifetime. … Diego has ‘a mysterious, globe-trotting background to go with his reputation as a Casanova,’ it adds. The tortoise was found in a San Diego zoo and was brought back to the islands in 1976 to take part in a captive breeding programme. ‘We don’t know exactly how or when he arrived in the United States. He must have been taken from Espanola [an island in the Galapagos] sometime between 1900 and 1959 by a scientific expedition’.”
Sorta “I don’t have a hat to lay, my home’s on my back and would you do me the honour of lying on yours” and probably having an inquisitive tortoise todger more reminscient of others necks, which alas, the sub-species’ last hope his predecessor poor ol’ seemingly undestandably Lonesome George’s was not:
Galapagos’ new star tortoise does what Lonesome George didn’t: Helps save his species (theguardian.pe.ca, Jul. 2012).
“Lonesome George’s inability to reproduce made him a global symbol of efforts to halt the disappearance of species [Chelonoidis nigra abingdonii]. And while his kind died with him, that doesn’t mean the famed giant tortoise leaves no heir apparent.”
But also showing the downside of his breeding capacity shares a trait common with the male mating behaviour of many species:
“Diego was so dominant and aggressive, bullying other males with bites and shoves, that he had to be moved eight years later to his own pen, with five of the females. The reptiles are not monogamous. ‘Diego is very territorial, including with humans,’ said his keeper, Fausto Llerena. ‘He once bit me, and two weeks ago he tried (again) to bite me. When you enter his pen, Diego comes near and his intentions aren’t friendly.’”
Indeed, I’d get out of there rather quick before penetration from his jaw is the least of of your worries.
Updated 12th January 2020
After participating in a breeding program at the San Diego Zoo for almost eight decades, Diego, a 100-year-old Galapagos tortoise, will be released to his native Española Island in March.
With around 1,800 tortoise already returned and with natural reproduction adding about another 200 while there. When dropped off will dominant Diego let any of the other males get there end away any longer or claim all the females there as his harem too?
Updated 19th January 2020
Although it appears dominant Diego’s todger isn’t as alone responsible for saving the spices as led to believe:
Diego, the 100-year-old tortoise who fathered 900 babies, [to be] returns to the wild (smithsonianmag.com).
Genetic testing of the young tortoises living on Española island, which has been done regularly since the 1990’s, revealed that Diego fathered about 40 percent of them. Another tortoise, called E5, is responsible for the other 60 percent. The third male, E3, has produced very few offspring.
With, according to a spot on the BBC World Service, sly E-5 seemingly being less keen to do it while being observed resulting in Diego becoming the breeding program posterboy and likely now awaiting contact from PornHub.