[QODLink]
Archive
Harriet the tortoise turns 175
One of the world's oldest living animals, Harriet the tortoise, has celebrated her 175th birthday.
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005 15:36 GMT
Harriet is at the Australia Zoo north of Brisbane
One of the world's oldest living animals, Harriet the tortoise, has celebrated her 175th birthday.

The herbivore enjoyed her birthday on Tuesday with a pink hibiscus flower cake at her retirement home in northern Australia.

 

Australia Zoo, where Harriet has spent the past 17 years, says the Giant Galapagos Land Tortoise was collected by British scientist Charles Darwin in 1835, although some historians have disputed this.

 

But DNA testing vouches for her venerable age and her birth in the Galapagos.

 

There is no doubt over the age of Harriet - who for more than a century was thought to be a male and named Harry - and she is recognised by Guinness World Records as the world's oldest living chelonian, or reptile with a shell of bony plates.

 

Record breaker

 

"She would definitely be the oldest living animal on Earth ... I can't see why she shouldn't live till 200," Australian conservationist and television celebrity Steve Irwin, who owns Australia Zoo north of the city of Brisbane, told Guinness World Records.

 

Harriet has not far to go before she beats the longevity record of 188 years set by another Galapagos-born tortoise that, until his death, was the pride and joy of the King of Tonga.

 

"We're well and truly hoping that Harriet lives a lot longer than that," keeper Laura Campbell said.

 

Irwin and his zoo staff have cared for Harriet since 1987, prior to which she had been at Fleay's Fauna Sanctuary for 35 years.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
Iran's government has shifted its take on 'brain drain' but is the change enough to reverse the flow?
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
join our mailing list