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.
Él es Diego 🐢, una tortuga gigante que tras salvar su especie al procrear 800 hijos, retornará este año a su hábitat, el archipiélago Galápagos, en Ecuador 🇪🇨 :3.. fuente: El tiempo. pic.twitter.com/mBiSRSnxFI— 🍃 (@iospicam) January 11, 2020
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.