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2-min read

Shell Be Loved: Tortoise Couple Breaks Up After Century Together, and We're Not Over It

Bibi and Poldi, a pair of Galápagos tortoises, who had been a couple for close to a century (beginning their relationship in the 1920s), decided to call it quits.

Shantanu David | News18.com

Updated:February 15, 2019, 1:08 PM IST
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Shell Be Loved: Tortoise Couple Breaks Up After Century Together, and We're Not Over It
(AFP)

In the constant stream of "Breaking News" updates that floods your screens, sends you notifications and generally demand your attention, it's easy to let smaller news items slip through the cracks of your attention. And in a world filled with terrorism, Trumpisms, income inequality and other horrors, we could all use some feel-good news stories, even if we have to take out the time to look for them.

We're here to help, and will be bringing you the sweet and the unusual, stories from around the world that will help you get through the day, maybe even smile and chuckle.

And what better time to begin our endeavour than the day after Valentine's, as the world recovers from its annual Hallmark hangover. Atlas Obscura recounted an old tale of love, loss, and one long break-up, which we suggest you check out.

Bibi and Poldi, a pair of Galápagos tortoises, who had been a couple for close to a century (beginning their relationship in the 1920s), decided to call it quits in 2011, and clearly unlike the both of them, the rest of the world is not over it.

But let's begin at the beginning . Bibi and Poldi are thought to have hatched at roughly the same time (in 1897!) and grew up together in a Swiss zoo. While they first got together in the '20s, it was in the '70s, when they were shifted to a reptile house in Austria, that the two really got out of their shell(s). As reported by Atlas Obscura, "they had built a longstanding, comfortable relationship, with a healthy physical component."

Alas, it was not to be. After nearly a century of domestic bliss, in November 2011, the couple split up, going from loving to loathing almost overnight. Desperate zoo keepers and animal handlers, who fawned over their celebrity charges, still can't explain what caused Bibi and Poldi's relationship to crack, but they did make every effort to reconcilliate the suddenly warring pair, but to no avail. Cold-blooded as they were, relations between the reptiles only went from bad to worse, and soon enough the distraught keepers were forced to house the tortoises in separate enclosures.

What makes the story all the more remarkable is that Galapagos tortoises are not known for monogamy, or fidelity. Over the course of their long lives (averaging to around 200 years), Galapagos tortoises mate with several different members of their species; they may be slow, but they sure aren't steady. And so Bibi and Poldi's long, committed relationship was an outlier to begin with. Too bad, in the end, they resorted to type.

But don't take our word for it. Read the full story here.

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