I subscribe to the German publication Der Speigel daily newsletter. It’s translated for me, though I wish that I spoke German, I find it to be such a cool language. Who knows, maybe one of these years I’ll get ambitious and take introductory German. Anyway, I digress, I was reading the saddest article in today’s newsletter. As I was scrolling down the various articles, the upcoming Greek elections, the mystery and conspiracies going on in the Vatican, Venice sinking and flooding, the Indonesian Island nations being flooded by rising seawater or sinking from shifting tectonic plates in the Australian sea, I came upon the last article and this was the one that really grabbed me. I opened it because I don’t know about you, but a century old love story between the Galapagos tortoises intrigues me.
Their journey began in 1897 when they were born, they grew up together and eventually became a couple. Isn’t that cute, they survived World War 1, World War 2 and the Cold War. They have been at various zoos in Austria and in 1976 were transported to their current zoo in Austria. Their handlers saw Bibi, the female, turn and attack her partner, Poldi, in a “rage” and bite off a piece of Poldi’s shell. The handlers intervened before Bibi could do more damage to Poldi. This was so upsetting to all of their handlers and to the scientists as well. This tireless love story suddenly over? The tortoise experts thought that Bibi may have undergone some mental degradation, but after a battery of tests, they determined that Bibi was fine both mentally and emotionally. They then fashioned a fake tortoise and sprayed it with essence of Poldi and put it into her enclosure but to no avail, Bibi wasn’t interested. The experts were so sad that this epic 115 year old companionship was over, could it be a simple mid life crisis on Bibi’s part? Galapagos tortoises live 150+ years so who knows,maybe Bibi felt that Poldi wasn’t fulfilling her needs any longer and she wants a new beau, only time will tell. I hope that the journalists keep an eye on this story to give us an update on Bibi and Poldi and if they ever reconcile or if they find new love elsewhere.