16:43 GMT25 October 2020
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    The turtle rescue programme, which was launched in the 1960s, involved the participation of another 13 male Galapagos turtles. As a result, more than two thousand individuals were hatched, and Diego, who is now a hundred years old, can boast of being the proud father of 800 turtles.

    A 100-year-old giant Galapagos tortoise named Diego will be returned to the wild in the Galapagos Islands after completing a rescue programme, according to the BBC.

    "About 1,800 tortoises have been returned to Espanola and now with natural reproduction we have approximately 2,000 tortoises,” Jorge Carrion, director of Galapagos National Parks service said, as quoted by the AFP.

    ​The elephant or Galapagos tortoise is a species which is endemic to the Galapagos Islands. There are several subspecies, some of which could not be saved.

    In 2012, the last Abingdon turtle, Lonely George, who was about a hundred years old, died. Specialists tried to get him to reproduce through crossbreeding with other subspecies, but the experiment failed.

    The number of elephant turtles had dwindled to about three thousand by the 1970s, due to the destruction by humans and changes in their habitat. By the beginning of the 21st century, there were approximately 20,000 elephant turtles, but the species remains vulnerable.

    Tags:
    species, Galapagos Islands, turtle
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