Sunday, January 22, 2006 (Kolkata):
A giant tortoise in a Kolkata zoo believed to be 255 years old is ailing as caretakers struggle to keep it alive. Referred to as Adwaitya meaning incomparable, it is probably the oldest living creature on Earth. About 130 years ago Governor General Lord Clive brought it to the zoo.
The tortoise has a ventral infection and has been refusing food and drink for the past week, say veterinary doctors.
According to the Director of Alipore Zoo Dr S Choudhury it is an Aldabra giant tortoise brought to the zoo in 1875.
"The ventral side of the tortoise is cracked, vets apply appropriate medicine everyday".
Choudhury added that after a long treatment the tortoise is in better condition and hoped it will recover soon.
A Galapagos tortoise has a normal lifespan of about 250 years.
Adwaitya has crossed that mark, his admirers want him to reach his three century mark.