Diego has fathered an estimated 800 tortoises.

While “sex tortoise” sounds like a humorous epithet for someone experiencing a rough patch in their dating lives, it’s actually the description scientists gave a real tortoise named Diego. Not only is he horny, he’s a hero.

Things were looking bleak for Diego’s rare species of tortoise. According to Margot Harris for Distractify, 50 years ago the entire Chelonoidis hoodensis species—native to the island of Hispanola in the Galapagos—consisted of just two males and 23 females. After discovering Diego previously fathered about 40 percent of the population, scientists entered him into a breeding program with hopes of repopulating the dying species. Boy, did he rise to the occasion.


Thanks to the program, Diego has fathered an estimated 800 tortoises, thus saving the species from extinction. Diego now lives on the island of Santa Cruz, along with his six girlfriends, who he continues to mate with to strengthen the population.