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Tortoises "divorce" after 115-year romance

After 115 years together, a turtle couple at an Austrian zoo can no longer stand to share a cage.
Wildlife tortoises zimbabwe 2012 4 11Enlarge
Endangered tortoises in Zimbabwe are being eaten by Chinese expatriate workers. The tortoise shown here is in the Seychelles. (Alberto Pizzoli /AFP/Getty Images)

If he won't share his cage with you, he's just not that into you. Two tortoises are "divorcing" after sharing a cage together at an Austrian zoo for 36 years. The tortoises had been a couple for close to 115 years, the Austrian Times reported

Zoo staff knew something was amiss when Bibi, the female turtle, tried to bite off her lover's shell. The staff intervened by feeding the tortoises "romantic good mood food" and playing games with them, but the efforts failed. "We get the feeling they can't stand the sight of each other anymore," zoo boss Helga Happ told the Times. 

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Both of the tortoises are 115 and had been friends since they were young. Eventually, that friendship turned romantic. Perhaps it was the cages, not fading attraction, that eventually did them in. Bibi and Poldi were kept together in a cage at a zoo in Switzerland before they were moved to Austria 36 years ago, The Daily Star reported

The concept of long-term relationships and break-ups in the animal kingdom seems strange, as most reptiles are polygamous. But reptile monogamy isn't entirely rare. For example, a study in 2009 showed that "most female crocodilians prefer to mate over and over with the same male, despite encountering a vast array of eligible alligator bachelors each year," Wired Magazine reported

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/turtles-divorce-after-115-year-romance