[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
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
Marginalised and jobless, desperate young men in Nairobi slums provide fertile ground for al-Shabab.
The Khmer Rouge tribunal is set to hear genocide charges for targeting ethnic Vietnamese and Cham Muslims.
join our mailing list