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Blackpool Zoo’s giant ‘much-loved’ tortoise Darwin dies aged 105

Blackpool Zoo's giant 'much-loved' tortoise Darwin dies aged 105 2

Blackpool Zoo’s giant tortoise Darwin dies aged 105: ‘Much loved’ creature was credited with inspiring generations of conservationists

  • Darwin survived two world wars and two pandemics before his death yesterday
  • He was receiving specialist treatment for leg issue but his condition deteriorated
  • Darwin arrived before the zoo opened in 1972 and became an iconic resident

A ‘much-loved’ giant tortoise and Blackpool Zoo’s longest-staying resident has died at the age of 105.

Darwin the Aldabra tortoise lived through two world wars and two global pandemics before his death, which was announced by ‘extremely saddened’ staff on Wednesday.

The ‘irreplaceable’ and ‘iconic’ reptile had been a popular attraction at the zoo since its opening 50 years ago.

Zookeepers said he had been receiving specialist treatment for a leg problem before his condition deteriorated.

Despite consulting with leading worldwide veterinarians, the zoo said it made the ‘very difficult decision’ to put him to sleep.

Darwin arrived before the zoo opened in 1972 and became an iconic resident over the five decades he lived there. 

A spokesman said: ‘He was a wonderful link for so many people to the fascination of reptiles and he has really inspired the next generation of conservationists.

Darwin the Aldabra tortoise (pictured with keeper) lived through two world wars and two global pandemics before his death, which was announced by 'extremely saddened' staff on Wednesday

Darwin the Aldabra tortoise (pictured with keeper) lived through two world wars and two global pandemics before his death, which was announced by ‘extremely saddened’ staff on Wednesday

Darwin (pictured) arrived before Blackpool Zoo opened in 1972 and became an iconic resident over the five decades he lived there

Darwin (pictured) arrived before Blackpool Zoo opened in 1972 and became an iconic resident over the five decades he lived there

Born in 1916, Darwin (pictured) had lived through 20 prime ministers and four monarchs as well as the invention of television and the moon landings

Born in 1916, Darwin (pictured) had lived through 20 prime ministers and four monarchs as well as the invention of television and the moon landings

Blackpool Zoo (pictured) said Darwin 'was hugely popular' and had 'inspired conservationists' since it opened in 1972

Blackpool Zoo (pictured) said Darwin ‘was hugely popular’ and had ‘inspired conservationists’ since it opened in 1972

‘He was an irreplaceable feature of the zoo’s history

‘He had a personality on par with his size and was loved by all of our visitors.

‘Staff and keepers are extremely saddened at his passing and are being comforted by the kind messages of condolence we are receiving.’

The species, which originate from Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles, are among the longest-living animals on Earth.

Born in 1916, Darwin had lived through 20 prime ministers and four monarchs as well as the invention of television and the moon landings.

The zoo said ‘he was hugely popular’ and had ‘inspired conservationists’ since the zoo’s opening in 1972.

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