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Giant tortoise retires after having enough sex to almost singlehandedly save his species

Photo: Rodrigo Buendia (Getty Images)

Diego, a Galapagos giant tortoise, is coming home. Having spent much of his roughly 130 years fucking every tortoise who (slowly, slowly) batted their eyelashes at him, the huge, scaly playboy has accomplished his mission of banging out a future for his species and is ready now to embrace a simpler, quieter sort of life.

As reported by ABC News Julia Jacobo, Diego is a Chelonoidis hoodensis that hails from Espanola, an island in the Galapagos, and has spent more than a century plodding around, chatting up any other tortoise in range, and creating hundreds of babies who he probably doesn’t even call on their birthdays.

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Our boy has had a storied life, which he likely regales his many lovers with while reclining next to them in bed, smoking cigarettes: Diego was “brought to the US between 1928 and 1933" and entered into breeding programs “for protection after the species was declared critically endangered in the 1960s.” He hung out at the San Diego Zoo until heading home to Ecuador’s Charles Darwin Research Station in 1977. From there, he continued to sow his wild, reptilian oats until last week when the nation’s Environmental Ministry, “demonstrating the recovery of habitat conditions and of the tortoise population,” announced the end of the tortoise breeding program. (If you’re curious, by the way, what Diego’s technique might look and sound like, we’re pleased to let you know that giant tortoise sex is absolutely hilarious.)

To get to this point, Diego showed that while he may not be a player, he crushes a lot. Jacobo writes that “as many as 40% of the current population of tortoises are thought to be descendants of Diego,” and that, while his species is still endangered, its population has grown “from 15 to 2,000 tortoises due to the program.” After cutting that many notches onto his bedpost, it’s time for Diego to take a break and consider, perhaps, whether 130 is a good age to settle down a bit—to really take stock of his priorities and consider what gap deep inside his soul he’s trying to fill with so, so much casual tortoise sex.

[via ABC News]

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About the author

Reid McCarter

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.