The 344-year-old tortoise in the palace of the traditional ruler of Ogbomoso, popularly known as ‘Alagba’, has passed on.
Alagba’s death comes at about the time when the only surviving chimpanzee at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), zoo passed away aged 50.
Toyin Ajamu, the private secretary to Jimoh Oyewunmi, soun of Ogbomoso, confirmed the sad news to journalists on Thursday in Ogbomoso.
The dead tortoise attracted several visitors both from Nigeria and abroad to the palace.
A 344 year old tortoise popularly known as ALAGBA in the palace of the Soun of Ogbomoso has died today. Wonderful!
Only if he could speak, we could have learnt so much from him. He was there before every name you know(apart from mythical legends) in Nigerian history. pic.twitter.com/wPDtFfKP0I
— Bello Shagari (@Belshagy) October 3, 2019
Ajamu said that the tortoise, whom he described as the oldest in Africa, died on Thursday due to a brief illness.
He said the tortoise would be greatly missed not only by the palace household but everyone who came in contact with it during its lifetime.
“Alagba lived in the palace for centuries. The tortoise played host to many monarchs in Ogbomoso in the past. Alagba became popular because Oba Oladunni Oyewumi, Soun of Ogbomosoland, used his personal resources to cater for her well being,” he said.
“The tortoise had two staff members of the palace, dedicated to her. They provide food, health support and other logistics, so as to make sure she gets the best treatment.
”Often times, Kabiyesi shares great moments with Alagba. On a daily basis, Alagba, had tourists visiting her from different part of the world.
”The palace household, Ogbomoso community and stakeholders in the tourism sector are mourning Alagba’s passage.”
Ajamu explained that plans are underway to preserve Alagba’s body for historical records.
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