The 344-year-old tortoise popularly known as Alagba, in the palace of the Soun of Ogbomoso, has died. The tortoise which was the oldest in Africa, was sick for a few days before her demise on Thursday.
The tortoise became a popular breed upon ascension of the throne of the current Soun of Ogbomosoland, Oba Oladunni Oyewumi with the monarch providing good shelter and health support for the tortoise during its sojourn on earth.
Confirming the incident to the Nigerian Tribune, the Private Secretary to Oba Oyewumi, Toyin Ajamu, stressed that the tortoise, which attracted people from all walks of life from Nigeria and abroad, will be greatly missed not only by the palace household but everyone who came in contact with Alagba during her lifetime.
“Alagba had 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, Kabiyesi shared great moments with Alagba. Every day, Alagba, had tourists visiting her from different parts of the world. The palace household, Ogbomoso community and stakeholders in the tourism sector are mourning Alagba’s passing,” he added. The palace secretary explained that plans were underway to preserve Alagba’s body for historical records.