A giant turtle believed to be 330 years old was found in Nigeria. The male land reptile named Alagba is possibly the oldest living being in Ogbomosoland, Oyo State and the oldest turtle in the world. According to a report on Gossip Mill Nigeria, Alagba lives and enjoys its life at the palace of Ogbomoso King.
Members of the community said that Alagba was brought to the palace by Soun Ikumoyede Ajao, the third Soun of Ogbomoso, about three centuries ago. Soun Ikumoyede Ajao was said to have been born in the late 16th century and reigned from 1770 to 1791.
To ensure the safety of the oldest turtle, the creature is reportedly guarded by the Soun of Ogbomoso himself alongside three caretakers: Mr. Adeniyi Alagbe, Mr. Abdulahi Bello and Baba Iyabo.
The animal which weighs over 100 kilogram they say, feeds three times a day and its meals are prepared together with other people’s food in the palace. Mr. Bello said;
“He usually eats food of three to four people whenever it is eating and finishes one and half bucket of water which he takes once in every three months.”
Mr. Alagbe added:
“No matter how heavy a person is, Alagba will carry him or her on its back and be moving about, but the incumbent Oba, who cares so much about the well-being of Alagba, stopped people from climbing on its back as the animal got older.”
Speaking during an interview with Daily Trust, Suleiman Abdullahi, Alagba’s photographer, revealed that the creature used to be caged and chained for its protection from thieves. Unfortunately, captivity affected its legs and perforated its shell.
“The animal has attracted lots of tourists from all over the world and majority of them even wished to take the tortoise away, if they were permitted.”
Meanwhile, residents of Osogbo are still expecting representatives of Guinness Book Of Records to come and confirm Alagba’s age.
Presently, a Seychelles-born giant tortoise named Jonathan, aged about 184 years, is believed to be the oldest turtle as well as the oldest known living reptile on earth.
Jonathan resides on the tiny South Atlantic island of St Helena, a British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic Ocean.