One Busy Tortoise Saves Entire Species From Extinction
The giant panda was recently scrubbed off the endangered list thanks to some pretty aggressive conservation tactics – but one animal has single-handedly one-upped this effort.
Fifty years ago, Diego the giant tortoise was relocated from San Diego Zoo to the Galapagos Islands in the hope he would breed.
At the time there were only two males and 12 females on the island and were so spread out, they couldn’t be bred successfully, The Independent reported.
Not only did Diego breed – the 100-year-old has singlehandedly repopulated his entire species, essentially pulling it back from extinction.
Washington Tapia, a tortoise preservation specialist at Galapagos Naitonal Park, told metro.co.uk: “He’s a very sexually active male reproducer. He’s contributed enormously to repopulating the island.”
A genetic study found that Diego was the father of nearly 800 offspring, or 40 per cent of the offspring released into the wild.
Your move, Pandas.