Tuesday, April 3, 2012

After 115 Years of Wedded Bliss Tortoise Pair Call It Quits

Photo courtesy: Seven Bedard

Shortly after they were born, before the turn of the 20th century, two captive Giant tortoises began what would become an epically long relationship. But now, after nearly 115 years together, it seems things have turned cold for the cold-blooded pair -- so much so, they've actually ambled into Splitsville.

While it may come as a sudden shock to some, rumor has it that the two had actually been maintaining separate residences from the beginning, in a manner of speaking, of course.

According to officials from the Austrian Zoo, where the animals have been housed together for the last 36 years after a long stint at a facility in Sweden, the female named Bibi has recently taken to physically attacking Poldi, her partner of more than a century's time. Things have gotten so bad, says zookeeper Helga Happ, that the pair had to be given some distance.

Zoo management have called in animal experts to try and give the pair counselling - feeding them romantic good mood food and trying to get them to join in joint games - but so far without effect.

Zoo boss Helga Happ said: "We get the feeling they can't stand the sight of each other anymore."

From the Austrian Times:
"They are both 115 years old - they have been together since they were young and grew up together, eventually becoming a pair. But for no reason that anyone can discover they seem to have fallen out, they just can't stand each other."

Zoo staff realized the pair had fallen out after Bibi attacked her partner - biting off a chunk of his shell - and then carrying out several further attacks until he was moved to another enclosure.
Although they have no teeth Giant Turtles have a horn-rimmed mouth and powerful jaws that are a potent weapon when they want to cause damage. Each of the 100 kilo animals has the ability to kill the other if they wanted.

Zoo staff have told the experts that nothing has changed in the pair's routine - but Bibi in particular wanted to have the cage to herself and be a single.

Helga added: "We have staff talking to and trying to engage the two in interacting, and we hope that they might find their harmony again.

"We were told that it's very rare that after so many years animals who are a pair will fall apart, but that's where we are. We hope though we can bring round a reconciliation."

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