A Tortoise in India Lived for 250 Years: Facts

Picture about A Tortoise in India Lived for 250 Years
A Tortoise in India Lived for 250 Years


A giant tortoise in India lived for 250 years.

Picture about A Tortoise in India Lived for 250 Years
A Tortoise in India Lived for 250 Years


Picture messages shared online claim to show that a Giant Tortoise in India has lived for 250 years, making it possibly the oldest known tortoise in the world. The claim is a fact with some missing information.

Picture about A Tortoise in India Lived for 250 Years
A Tortoise in India Lived for 250 Years

Story of Adwaita Tortoise

The unbelievably interesting story is about a giant, male Aldabra tortoise called Adwaita (meaning “unique” in Sanskrit) that lived in the Alipore Zoological Gardens of Kolkata, India. The state officials of West Bengal said records showed that the tortoise Adwaita was at least 150 years old, but other evidence pointed to 250.

Picture of British General Robert Clive
British General Robert Clive

The giant tortoise is reportedly gifted to British general Robert Clive (1725–1774) of the East India Company by British seafarers who captured it from the four-island Aldabra atoll of the Seychelles (north of Madagascar). It was one of the four tortoises that resided at Clive’s estate at Barrackpore, in the northern suburbs of Kolkata. While the other three tortoises died, Adwaita reportedly thrived, living in Clive’s garden before being transferred to the Alipore Zoo in 1875 by Carl Louis Schwendler, the founder of the zoo. The giant creature, however, died of liver failure in March 2006 in the Kolkata zoo.

Aldabra Tortoises

Aldabra tortoises are found in the four-island Aldabra atoll of the Seychelles (north of Madagascar); a UN World Heritage Site that currently has thousands of giant tortoises. On an average, they weigh about 120kg (265lbs) and are thought to be the longest-lived of all animals, often surpassing 100 years.

Oldest Known Tortoise

Adwaita, the giant tortoise became most famous specimen in the Kolkata zoo and brought in many visitors. Weighing 250 kg (590 lb), Adwaita was a solitary animal living on a diet of wheat bran, carrots, lettuce, soaked gram, bread, grass and salt. Few months before his death from liver failure, Adwaita’s shell cracked and a wound had developed. To know its actual age, the shell of the Aldabra tortoise Adwaita was later carbon-dated to confirm that he really was born around 1750, making it around 255 years old. So the giant tortoise Adwaita that lived in Indian zoo of Kolkata is the oldest known tortoise in the world, also thought to be one of the world’s oldest creatures.

Earlier, a 176-year-old tortoise Harriet (owned by “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin and his wife Terri) was believed to be the world’s oldest living tortoise, however, for the verified record, according to Guinness Book of World Records, the oldest tortoise is Tui Malila, a Madagascar radiated tortoise that was presented to the royal family of Tonga by British explorer Captain James Cook in the 1770s. Tui Malila died at the ripe age of 188 in 1965.

Hoax or Fact:

Fact with some missing information.

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Prashanth Damarla