[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
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.