Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Never too old.


I have just discovered (thank you Jaywalker) that the tortoise is called Kiki. Even more astonishing is that he is around 120 years old and weighs 250 kg. That's a hell of a lot of giant tortoise to have jump you. Perhaps the female wasn't looking bored just crushed.

I don't wish to name drop but I once met an elderly relative of Kiki on the British island of St Helena (five days on a slow mail boat from Cape Town sharing a cabin with a photographer who was not my husband...that set tittle-tattling tongues going!). This is the island on which Napoleon died in exile. The tortoise is - yes, he's still around - called Jonathan and is thought to be 170 years old. One of his finest moments was being introduced to King George VI who bowed to him. Queen Elizabeth, then plain Princess Elizabeth, was there too.

I digress. All I can say is I don't know what's in the water at the Jardin des Plants but it's making one aging tortoise very happy.

5 comments:

Jaywalker said...

Ok, I realise we are turning your blog into a two person giant tortoise love-in, and I promise to stop now BUT do they still have the manège where you can ride IN a Kiki? I loved that, but my thrill-seeking son preferred the pterodactyl...

parisgirl said...

Manège? What manège? We - La Fille - that is being the Royal 'we' are manège mad, but I've never found one in the JdP. Is it in the menagerie itself. I heard some kids talking about a manège when we were there but assumed it was somewhere else.

Jaywalker said...

It's sort of opposite the Menagerie on the side of the JdP near that museum with the plastic mammoth. And full of peculiar animals to ride on. I do somewhere have a picture of Lashes in Kiki. Must see if I can dig out. Do go and see if it's still there some day - though the prospect of riding on Kiki is now a little tainted in my mind...

Marianne said...

I'm loving the tortoise chat! I can't wait to get down to the JdP asap and check out the action! Can't believe you met the famous 170 year old tortoise too, have heard so much about him.

parisgirl said...

Marianne, if this blog wasn't sort-of anonymous I'd post the photo.(But then I'd have to find it). I can only reveal that I look star-struck and Jonathan looks like he's seen it all before. Many, many times before!