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130-year-old giant tortoise dies at Vienna zoo

The Schönbrunn Zoo said the tortoise had lived at the zoo for 68 years before passing away on Sunday.

WASHINGTON — A zoo in Vienna, Austria, said its oldest resident, a 130-year-old giant tortoise named Schurli, has died.

On a social media post, the Schönbrunn Zoo said the tortoise had lived at the zoo since 1953, for 68 years, and passed away on Sunday.

“Schurli had a strong character and was adorable and stubborn. He enjoyed being petted on the neck,” said zookeeper Maximilian Schön in a post on the zoo's YouTube page.

The zoo said Schurli was unwell his last few days of life, and was under close observation by zoo veterinarians. The zoo said his caretakers lovingly looked after the tortoise, nicknamed the "old man."

Am Sonntag ist leider unser ältester Bewohner verstorben: Seychellen-Riesenschildkröte Schurli. 🐢 Geschätzte 130 Jahre...

Posted by Zoo Vienna Schönbrunn on Tuesday, July 13, 2021

The zoo said he would often spend his time under the lawn sprinkler or enjoying cucumbers and dry leaves.

"Many zoo visitors knew him almost forever. Its age is not exactly known, but it was probably 130 years old, ”said zoologist Anton Weissenbacher in a statement. 

Schurli lived with two other giant tortoises, a male named Menschik and the female Mädi, in the zoo's terrarium houseNow, Menschik is considered the oldest resident at the zoo.

The Schönbrunn Zoo claims to be the oldest zoo in the world and is home to more than 700 species of animals.

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