Giant Tortoise - Giant Spat

Tortoises do not have the reputation of moving very rapidly, so it’s not surprising to hear that a couple of giant tortoises have been together for rather a long time. It is estimated that they are about 115 years old and have been chums for all of that time. Firstly in Switzerland at Basel, before moving to Austria and Klagenfurt.

As they were male and female, it was always taken for granted that they were a couple. Bibi was the female and Poldi was the male and everything was going along nicely until recently. Suddenly there was a spat during which Bibi gave Poldi a piece of her mind and chomped off a large piece of his shell to boot.

It seems that the rift is not repairable (1,2,3). Couples therapy has been tried and their friends have even fed them quantities of aphrodisiacs, but all to no avail; they refuse to come out of their shells. So it’s a case of giant tortoise – giant spat.

Now this might seem to be a simple problem, but they weigh in at about 100 kg each and have a very powerful bite (no teeth but very hard gums – at 115 what can you expect) so ignoring Bibi’s demands to have the house and furniture could be a mistake.

The diehards at Klagenfurt are still trying to jolly them along with games and the tortoise equivalent of candlelight dinners, but so far she is adamant. I guess if she has been thinking about it for 115 years, she’s not going to change her mind overnight and everyone should move on.

Poldi will just have to set up in a new location and get his shell manicured before going out to check out the local equivalents of tortoise bimbos. Perhaps he should try a computer-dating site, but I would advise him against signing up for any speed dating events.


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