A Galapagos giant tortoise, thought to be the last of its kind, might soon save its species from extinction by becoming a father.

Ecuador's Galapagos National Park said Monday the tortoise, nicknamed "Lonesome George," stunned his keepers by mating with a female companion of a similar species.  They had tried for 36 years to get him to reproduce.

Three eggs are now being cared for in incubators. It will take about four months to know if they are viable.

George was discovered on Pinta island in the early 1970s. He is about 70 years old, middle age for a giant tortoise, and should be able to reproduce.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.