Century-Long Tortoise Marriage Ends In Divorce
Bibi and Poldi have been together since they were young -- back in the 1890s -- but "they can't stand the sight of each other anymore." Bibi has attacked Poldi, biting a chunk out of his shell, and managers at the Austrian zoo where they live had no choice but to put them in separate enclosures.
Bibi and Poldi the tortoises (torti?) have been together at the Austrian zoo in Klagenfurt for 36 years, before that living together at the Basel zoo in Switzerland. No one is sure exactly how long their marriage has lasted until now, but zoo boss Helga Happ says that they met when they were "young," so it's safe to say that their 'marriage' has passed the century mark.
Bibi attacked Poldi several times before he was moved to a separate enclosure to protect his own safety. Happ said "We get the feeling they can't stand the sight of each other anymore." Experts have been called in to feed the pair aphrodisiacs and get them to play games together, but to no avail so far.
We have staff talking to and trying to engage the two in interacting, and we hope that they might find their harmony again. We were told that it's very rare that after so many years animals who are a pair will fall apart, but that's where we are. We hope though we can bring round a reconciliation.