Clive of India's tortoise dies, aged 255
A tortoise brought as a present for Clive of India had died in a zoo at the venerable age of 255.
The giant Aldabra tortoise was one of four brought by British seamen from the Seychelles Islands as gifts to Robert Clive of the British East India Company. Clive died in 1774.
For many years the tortoise had been living in a zoo in the east Indian city of Kolkata, where it was one of the star attractions. It died after a string of illnesses, said Subir Chowdhury, the Kolkata Zoo director.
"Adwaitya (The Only One), who delighted the zoo visitors for 131 years, died yesterday morning," Chowdhury said.
"His shell will be preserved in the zoo. All zoo employees are saddened by his death."
The three other tortoises given as gifts to Clive died soon after they arrived in Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta, he said.
"Our records show the tortoise was born in 1750, but some have claimed he was born in 1705," he said. He added that the zoo will use a scientific method known as carbon-dating to determine his real age.
The average lifespan of an Aldabra tortoise is well beyond 100 years, according to the website of the Fort Worth Zoo in Texas.
That picture up there is supposedly one of Clive when he was still alive. I can only imagine that a picture of him dead probaly isn't much different.
I've always had a fondness for turtles ever since I had a few as pets when I was a kid. We had a box turtle named Tommy (he ran away believe it or not) and a couple of others of an indeterminable species I named Speedy and Tommy II. I can't even remember what happened to the latter two. My sisters and I used to dig in my mom's garden, looking for earthworms to feed to Tommy. He loved those suckers and would just chomp them up in chunks.
I thought about picking up a red-eared slider in a chicago petstore a couple years ago but just never got around to carrying through with it. I figured a pet would be fun, but in actuality, I'm just too flighty and irresponsible to be placed in charge of another living thing, even one as generally low mantainance as a turtle.
Quote of the day:
"The wages of sin is death but so is the salary of virtue, and at least the evil get to go home early on Fridays."