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Diego, the playboy turtle who saved the species with his sex life

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Diego, the playboy turtle who saved the species with his sex life

A male giant tortoise named Diego is known as a "playboy" for saving all his species from extinction with his "rampant" sex life. Now 100 years old, he will retire and return to nature with his mission accomplished.

According to one CNN report, Diego's active sex life was considered a major reason for the survival of giant tortoises in Española, part of the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, after being transported from the San Diego Zoo under a breeding program.

When the turtle began its "promiscuity campaign", there were only two males and 12 females of that species on the island. But Diego's charm was such that the population increased to over 2000 turtles. The Galapagos National Parks service believes Diego is the patriarch of about 40 percent of this population.

"He [Diego] contributed a large percentage to the line we are returning to Española," Jorge Carrion, park director, told AFP. "There is a feeling of happiness that the turtle will be able to return to its natural habitat."

A total of 15 turtles participated in the island's population growth program, but none played such an important role as Diego.

"About 1800 turtles have been returned to Española and now, with natural reproduction, we have about 2000," said Carrion. "It shows that they are able to grow, to reproduce, to develop."

The Galapagos Islands are one of the world's leading wildlife viewing destinations and were visited by Charles Darwin while working on the theory of evolution.

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