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2016 Man of the Year: Diego the Horny Turtle

Diego, the 100-plus-year-old Galapagos giant tortoise / Twitter
• December 31, 2016 11:00 pm

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Diego, the 100-plus-year-old Galapagos giant tortoise, has managed to almost single-handedly save his species through his prolific sexual activity. Scientists did not realize how sexually potent Diego was until six years ago.

Diego has fathered an estimated 800 offspring over the years, helping save the Chelonoidis hoodensis species from extinction, according to Washington Tapia, a tortoise preservation specialist at Galapagos National Park.

The feisty tortoise is about 175 pounds, 35 inches long, and about five feet tall if he really stretches his neck and legs.

"He's contributing enormously to repopulating the island," said Tapia, according to AFP. "He's a very sexually active male reproducer."

A genetic test from six years ago shows that Diego has fathered nearly 40 percent of the offspring released into the wild on his native island of Espanola.

Diego was taken from the Galapagos Islands between 1900 and 1959 by a scientific expedition and was returned there in 1976 to get down to work in a captive breeding program. At one point, about 50 years ago, there were only two males and 12 females of Diego's species alive on Espanola.

He was found in the San Diego Zoo, hence the name Diego, when the worldwide search began to find more of the rare tortoise species.

The turtle Casanova has six females in his enclosure to choose from. During tortoise intercourse the female remains silent while the male produces a sound similar to a cow's "moo."

Thanks to the breeding program, around 2,000 tortoises have been released on the island.

For single-handedly helping to save his species through the miracle of love-making, the Washington Free Beacon is pleased to name Diego the Horny Turtle a Man of the Year for 2016.

Published under: Men of the Year