At the age of 105, a much-loved giant tortoise and Blackpool Zoo’s longest-staying inhabitant passed away.
Darwin the Aldabra tortoise survived two world wars and two worldwide pandemics before passing away on Wednesday, according to ‘very heartbroken’ officials.
Since the zoo’s founding 50 years ago, the ‘irreplaceable’ and ‘iconic’ reptile has been a popular attraction.
Before his condition deteriorated, he was undergoing professional care for a leg ailment, according to zookeepers.
Despite conferring with top vets from across the world, the zoo claimed it had to make the very tough choice’ to put him down.
Darwin arrived at the zoo before it opened in 1972 and became a legendary resident over his five decades there.
‘He was a tremendous connection for so many people to reptile passion, and he has really encouraged the next generation of conservationists,’ a spokeswoman added.
‘He was an indispensable part of the zoo’s history.’
‘He had a personality to match his girth, and all of our visitors adored him.’
‘Staff and keepers are deeply grieved by his death and are comforted by the many condolence letters we’ve received.’
The species, which originated in Seychelles’ Aldabra Atoll, is one of the world’s longest-living creatures.
Darwin, who was born in 1916, saw 20 prime ministers and four kings come and go, as well as the development of television and the moon landings.
Since the zoo’s founding in 1972, ‘he was extremely popular and had ‘inspired environmentalists,’ according to the zoo.