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Oldest Seychelles Resident Turns 120

New Year’s Day on Denis island is not solely about ringing in another year – it also marks the birthday of one of our most famous island residents. Toby, the oldest giant tortoise on the island, celebrated his 120th birthday on 1st January, with a little help from Denis Island staff and guests alike.

The team from the kitchen and gardens prepared a giant tortoise-sized “fruit pie” for Toby to share with his family and friends in the spacious tortoise park where they reside. “The guests loved the chance to interact with the island’s oldest resident,” Denis Island Resident Manager Werner du Preez said. “Toby’s become a bit of a celebrity.”

Seychelles is home to the world’s largest population of giant tortoises, with at least 150,000 believed to be interspersed throughout the archipelago’s 115 islands. Most of the giant tortoises are native to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Aldabra, the world’s largest raised coral atoll.

This news snippet has been extracted with acknowledgement to the Saint Ange Tourism Report – Edition 3 of 2018.

Editor’s note: In case you’ve ever wondered if there’s a difference between a Tortoise and a Turtle – all tortoises are in fact turtles! That is, they belong to the order Testudines or Chelonia — reptiles with bodies encased in a bony shell — but not all turtles are tortoises! Which begs the question: if tortoises are turtles, why not just call all turtlelike creatures ‘turtle’? Because if the animal you’re referring to is a tortoise, some wise guy is going to correct you every time.

So, just remember that tortoises are exclusively land creatures and are generally vegetarians, while other turtles are omnivorous.Visually, tortoise forelimbs are not flipperlike, and their hind feet are not webbed. Each digit in their forefeet and hind feet contain two or fewer phalanges. Finally, if you can’t see their legs, try feeding them meat.

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