Pour some out for Addwaitya this weekend

From the SM newswire (thanks Aninda) we learn sad news of the passing of “the one and only,” possibly the last living witness to the original Sepoy Mutiny of 1857:

Rest in peace now homey, there’s a heaven for a G

A giant tortoise, thought to be more than 250 years old, has died of liver failure in Calcutta, India.

Named Addwaitya, which means the One and Only in Bengali, he had a long and storied history that goes back to the early days of the British colonial empire.

Historical records show he was caught by British sailors in the Seychelles Islands and carried to India where he was presented to Robert Clive, a rising star in the British East-India company. West Bengal Forest Minister Jogesh Barman said he spent many years on Clive’s estate before he retired to the local zoo in Calcutta about 130 years ago. [Link]

Interestingly the Times of India titles its article about Addwaitya’s passing, “Tortoise that saw Sepoy Mutiny dies.” Now because I blog for Sepia Mutiny I am going to eat that headline right up and not challenge it by pointing out that turtles usually don’t get caught up in insurrection or survey the ranks of the enemy.

The minister said details about Addwaitya’s early life showed that British sailors had brought him from the Seychelles islands and presented him to Clive, who was rising fast in the East India Company’s military hierarchy.

On Thursday, the tortoise’s enclosure wore a deserted look.

“This is a sad day for us. We will miss him very much,” a zoo keeper said. [Link]

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p>Addwaitya was an Aldabra tortoise:

They are generally shy, though when agitated they often release a foul-smelling, musky liquid that can be targeted at enemies from up to 3 feet away. [Link]

We’ve actually been looking for a pet to guard our bunker.

18 thoughts on “Pour some out for Addwaitya this weekend

  1. Oh, so sad. The only pet I ever had was a turtle I named Kurma. I was so sad when he died. I’ve never really had the heart to have another pet since. :-(

  2. my long term fascination for giant tortises has lead me to the galapagos islands…and an upcoming trip to the seychelles (where this chap was brought from)..the only 2 places in the world where they exist.. oh poor thing.. such sweet beings..

  3. i can confirm that as recently as the mid-1970s, the brother was still getting his groove on. there is a photo, somewhere, of young yours truly at the calcutta zoo with in the background two big-ass giant tortoises enjoying the pleasures of the flesh. it was quite moving to watch, really. like a reptilian compay segundo, this tortoise was enjoying life to the fullest for the longest time. we should all be so lucky. rest in peace, o tortoise, rest in peace.

  4. They are generally shy, though when agitated they often release a foul-smelling, musky liquid that can be targeted … from up to 3 feet away.

    Isn’t this true for most desi males? Caution – contents under pressure?

  5. The name is SANSKRIT; most Indian languages are derived from Sanskrit, and so it would mean the same thing in any Indian language, even south Indian…..

  6. it would mean the same thing in any Indian language, even south Indian…..

    I don’t know any one who speaks South Indian. Maybe it’s the same guy who speaks Hindu.

  7. he spent many years on CliveÂ’s estate before he retired to the local zoo in Calcutta about 130 years ago.

    That’s one heck of a retirement the dude had.

  8. No need to rush, take it slow…

    Who gives a toss about a silly race? The hare got all the girls.

    But seeing as this chap has lived the life of 250 wild hares and about 40 captive ones, I’m willing to believe that story had some sense.

  9. Savya # 9

    The One and Only in Sanskrit is ekmayadwitiya

    Advaita, I believe, is non-dual or single existence i.e theres is no distinction or dual presence between God and human beings as opposed to Dwaita philosophy on which Abrahamic religions are based.