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When Turtles Divorce

Bibi and Poldi in more romantic times

It may have been one of the longest relationships on record. But two Giant Turtles at the Austrian Zoo have fallen out of love and are making it clear they want to go their separate ways.

Bibi and Poldi, both said to be 115 years old, have lived at the zoo in Klagenfurt for 36 years, and were together at the Basel Zoo in Switzerland before that. They’ve shared a cage together since they were young, and got along just fine … until quite recently.


Now, according to the Austrian Times, they simply don’t like each other any more.

Zoo management have called in animal experts to try and give the pair counseling – feeding them romantic good mood food and trying to get them to join in joint games – but so far without effect.

“For no reason that anyone can discover, they seem to have fallen out,” zoo boss Helga Happ said. “They just can’t stand each other.”

Zoo staff said it was clear that something was up when Bibi attacked Poldi, biting off a chunk of his shell.

Zoo experts fed the turtles aphrodisiacs and tried to make them play games with each other, but it was no good. Bibi kept attacking Poldi to the point where he had to be moved to another enclosure.

Although they have no teeth Giant Turtles have a horn rimmed mouth and powerful jaws that can cause plenty of damage. Each of the 200-pound animals has the ability to kill the other if they wanted.

Helga added: “We have staff talking to and trying to engage the two in interacting, and we hope that they might find their harmony again.

“We were told that it’s very rare that after so many years animals who are a pair will fall apart, but that’s where we are. We hope though we can bring round a reconciliation.”