x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

You can't hurry love

After 115 years of marriage, two Austrian zoo turtles are parting ways, proving once again that familiarity breeds contempt.

In marriage terms, it was almost an eternity. But it probably felt much longer than that.

From Reptilienzoo Happ in Austria comes the heartbreaking news that a pair of zoo turtles who have been partners for 115 years have recently "divorced", bringing a not-too-premature end to what has been called the world's longest animal "marriage".

Bibi and Poldi have been inseparable since just after their births. But as the saying goes, familiarity breeds contempt; more than a century's worth of contempt in this case. Eventually they had to be separated after Bibi, with her lightening quick reflexes, surprised her partner with several attacks, one time even biting his shell.

"We get the feeling they can't stand the sight of each other anymore," said zoo boss Helga Happ. Indeed, despite a period of trial separation, and even a few counselling sessions with zoo experts, the two could not be reconciled.

It is still unknown what finally tore the ex-lovers apart. Maybe Poldi felt Bibi was slowing his career down. Or perhaps Poldi stopped listening to or, in fairness, hearing what Bibi had to say about how her day had gone.

We wish both Bibi and Poldi a long and happy life. But they should beware of jumping into new relationships.