250-year-old tortise

wduzak

'250-year-old' tortoise dies in Calcutta zoo

AP

Published: 24 March 2006

A giant tortoise thought to be one of the world's oldest creatures has died in a Calcutta zoo, ending a life that spanned much of modern Indian history.

Local lore said Addwaita, the Aldabra tortoise whose name means "the one and only" in the local Bengali language, was about 250 years old.

That, however, would have made him much older than the world's oldest documented living animal: Harriet, a 176-year-old Galapagos tortoise who lives at the Australia Zoo north of Brisbane, according to the zoo's website. She was taken from the island of Isla Santa Cruz by Charles Darwin in the 19th century.

Calcutta zoo officials, however, insist Addwaita was far older.

"According to records in the zoo, the age of the giant tortoise, Addwaita, who died on Wednesday, would be 250 years approximately," said zoo director Subir Chowdhury.

The zoo wants to carbon date her shell to determine exactly how old she was.

Addwaita arrived in the zoo in 1875. Zoo officials say she was one of four tortoises brought to India by British sailors from the Seychelle islands as a gift for Lord Robert Clive of the East India Company. Clive was instrumental in establishing British colonial rule in India, before he returned to England in 1767.

While the other three tortoises died, Addwaita reportedly thrived, living in Clive's garden before being moved to the zoo.

Aldabra tortoises come from the Aldabra atoll in the Seychelle islands in the Indian Ocean, and often live to more than 100 years of age. Males can weigh up to 550lbs.

According to local forest minister Jogesh Burman, Addwaita, the zoo's biggest attraction, had been unwell for the last few days.

"We were keeping a watch on him. When the zoo keepers went to his enclosure on Wednesday they found him dead," Burman said.

Addwaita was cremated he said.

A giant tortoise thought to be one of the world's oldest creatures has died in a Calcutta zoo, ending a life that spanned much of modern Indian history.

Local lore said Addwaita, the Aldabra tortoise whose name means "the one and only" in the local Bengali language, was about 250 years old.

That, however, would have made him much older than the world's oldest documented living animal: Harriet, a 176-year-old Galapagos tortoise who lives at the Australia Zoo north of Brisbane, according to the zoo's website. She was taken from the island of Isla Santa Cruz by Charles Darwin in the 19th century.

Calcutta zoo officials, however, insist Addwaita was far older.

"According to records in the zoo, the age of the giant tortoise, Addwaita, who died on Wednesday, would be 250 years approximately," said zoo director Subir Chowdhury.

The zoo wants to carbon date her shell to determine exactly how old she was.

Addwaita arrived in the zoo in 1875. Zoo officials say she was one of four tortoises brought to India by British sailors from the Seychelle islands as a gift for Lord Robert Clive of the East India Company. Clive was instrumental in establishing British colonial rule in India, before he returned to England in 1767.

While the other three tortoises died, Addwaita reportedly thrived, living in Clive's garden before being moved to the zoo.

Aldabra tortoises come from the Aldabra atoll in the Seychelle islands in the Indian Ocean, and often live to more than 100 years of age. Males can weigh up to 550lbs.

According to local forest minister Jogesh Burman, Addwaita, the zoo's biggest attraction, had been unwell for the last few days.

"We were keeping a watch on him. When the zoo keepers went to his enclosure on Wednesday they found him dead," Burman said.

Addwaita was cremated he said.

SaveComment4Like
Comments (4)
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
siegel2

Sad, but interesting story. Thanks for posting!

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardeningfireman

Harriet the tortoise died a couple of days ago. It was on AOL news. She apparently had a heart attack.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Day_By_Day

This is my pal Lil Squirt. He still has a long way to go since he still a little guy. The grape is bigger than his whole head.

[

](http://photobucket.com)

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
buyorsell888

Wow, may they rest in peace.

What a little beauty.

Save    
Browse Gardening and Landscaping Stories on Houzz See all Stories
Houzz Tours Houzz Tour: 800-Year-Old Walls, Modern Interiors in Provence
Old architecture and new additions mix beautifully in a luxurious renovated vacation home
Full Story
Most Popular Get Ideas From This Year’s Top 20 Kitchen Tours
Smart storage, functionality for cooks and families, vintage touches and lots of personality mark your favorites of 2015
Full Story
New Year's Eve Your Clutter-Clearing Plan for the New Year
Tackle these tasks month by month for a decluttering strategy that will really pay off
Full Story
Our business thrives on bringing smiles to our customer’s faces and adding property value to their homes. We are... Read More
Pond Roofing Company is a family-owned and operated business serving Northern Virginia residents for nearly 50... Read More