Long Live Longevity

I remember reading some time around 1929, when I was about 10, that the tortoise that Isma’il Pasha, the Khedive of Egypt, had presented to Empress Eugénie at the opening ceremonies of the Suez Canal in 1869, had just died.

This brought history to life.

(I did not know that Empress Eugénie herself had died as late as 1920 at 94, having survived her husband, Napoloen III, by 47 years.)

The death of Adwaita, the giant tortoise that died in 2006 in the Alipore Zoological Gardens of Kolkata, India, which was believed to have lived to the age of 255 years, cannot be connected to an historical event.


8 responses to “Long Live Longevity

  1. It can be argued that the death of 255 year-old Adwaita was itself an historical event. I read the last sentence as saying “… any other historical event.”

  2. How coincidental is it to be celebrating today – Earth Day – ‘long live longevity’?

  3. And Long Live Eric’s enthusiasm and observations on Longevity (and everything else).

  4. There was once a tortoise from Calcutta…..

    The start of a good limerick I would think.

    • Sorry, Fred. I could not think of anything that rhymes with Calcutta and have forgotten Kenneth Tynan’s “Oh Calcutta”.

  5. A Galapagos Tortoise that died in 2006 at Steve Irwin’s zoo was originally owned as a pet by Charles Darwin in 1835… There once was a tortoise from Pondicherry who found his reflection quite scary. He then told the hare, “I will race you on a dare”, and to the fountain of youth they trekked so merry.