The 100-year-old turtle, who was recruited along with 14 other adults for a captive breeding program, will return to his home island of Espanola in March, the Galapagos National Parks Service said on Friday.
The Giant Tortoise Restoration Initiative (GTRI), which was started by Ecuador's Environmental Ministry to protect the species from facing extinction when only two males, 12 female tortoises of the Chelonoidis hoodensis species were surviving on the island of Española in the Galápagos.
The program has been a success, producing more than 2,000 giant tortoises since it began in the 1960s, and the species is no longer facing extinction.
'This shows that they are able to grow, they are able to reproduce, they are able to develop'.More news: Australian Firefighters Battle To Bring Inferno Under Control
He was brought to the USA between 1928 and 1933 and placed in a breeding center on the Galapagos island of Santa Cruz, after his species was determined to be critically endangered in the 1960s, according to the San Diego Zoo.
Diego's native archipelago, the Galapagos Islands, is famed for its rich biodiversity which was studied by English scientist Charles Darwin in the 19th century.
"It is estimated that approximately 40 percent of tortoises repatriated to the Espanola Island are his descendants", the Galapagos National Park said in a statement.
Now, Diego is returning to his original home 'almost eight decades after being extracted, ' the park service said, adding that he had lived at the San Diego Zoo for several decades.More news: Trump welcomes court decision on US-Mexico border wall
"There is a sense of happiness to have the ability to bring that turtle back to its natural state".
Diego weighs about 80kg, is almost 90cm long and 1.5m tall, if he really stretches his legs and neck.
A Galapagos tortoise named Diego may have single-handedly saved his species with his fiery libido.
Diego is set to return to the wild on the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean after fathering around 800 children. George's species, Chelonoidis abingdonii, was wiped out because he never fathered any progeny in all his years at the park.More news: Oscars 2020 Excludes Filmmakers in Best Director Race (Again)
The most famous species unique to the Galapagos include the giant tortoise, marine iguana, flightless cormorant and the Galapagos penguin - the only penguin species to be found in the Northern Hemisphere.