Sex-mad tortoise saves species


A giant Galapagos tortoise has managed to single-handedly save his species from extinction.

Diego the sex-mad tortoise has fathered more than 800 babies.

What's even more impressive is that the 82kg tortoise is more than 100 years old.

He was released onto the islands from San Diego Zoo 50 years ago in the hope that he would breed.

Five decades ago there were only two male and 12 female Chelonoidis hoodensis tortoises left on the island. As the creatures were too spread out to regularly reproduce, the species looked close to extinction.

"I wouldn't say [the species] is in perfect health, because historical records show there probably used to be more than 5,000 tortoises on the island." Galapagos National Park tortoise preservation specialist Washington Tapia told AFP.

"But it's a population that's in pretty good shape - and growing, which is the most important."

Researchers discovered he was the sire to nearly 40 percent of the offspring released into the wild.