Blackpool Zoo’s oldest resident will get a special treat this Sunday – a celebratory centenary birthday party.
Darwin, a 35-stone Aldabran tortoise, arrived at the zoo in 1972 and is thought to be more than 100 years old.
With his exact date of birth unknown, Darwin’s keepers will mark the big day on the birthday of his namesake, Charles Darwin, who worked to establish a preserve for tortoises in the late 19th century.
Andy Bubbins, who has looked after Darwin since 1980, said: “He really is one of the most popular animals in the zoo, he lives just by the entrance and is the first resident that people meet. He is so calm and laid back and loves everyone – apart from the vet.”
When Darwin was hatched, there was no NHS, man had not been into space, the M6 didn’t exist, and the Queen hadn’t been born yet.