Two 115-year-old giant turtles have parted ways—refusing to share their cage any longer—after decades of what the Austrian Times has deemed “the world’s oldest animal marriage.”
Staff at the Austrian zoo, where the turtles have lived for the last 36 years, noticed the pair’s relationship was deteriorating when Bibi, the female, bit off a chunk of her partner Poldi’s shell. As the attacks persisted, the staff had no choice but to move Poldi to another cage.
“We get the feeling they can’t stand the sight of each other anymore,” Helga Happ, the zoo director, told the Austrian Times.
Before moving to Austria, the former couple resided at the Basel Zoo in Switzerland. “They are both 115 years old—they have been together since they were young and grew up together, eventually becoming a pair,” Happ added. “But for no reason that anyone can discover, they seem to have fallen out. They just can’t stand each other.”
The Austrian zoo even found animal experts to coerce the turtles back together through couples’ counseling. They fed Bibi and Poldi aphrodisiacs and encouraged them to play games together. Unfortunately, their problems proved too tough of a shell to crack.
The staff has observed that, since being separated, their routines have remained fairly consistent. Bibi, in particular, just evidently wished to live alone.
Disheartened by the divorce, Happ isn’t giving up. “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,” she said. “We hope though we can bring round a reconciliation.”