A 344-year-old tortoise, popularly known as Alagba, in the palace of the Soun of Ogbomoso in Oyo State has died. Until her death, Alagba was the oldest known tortoise in Africa. The tortoise died yesterday while recuperating from illness.
In her lifetime, Alagba was a popular tourist attraction at the palace. Confirming the death, the Private Secretary to the monarch, Toyin Ajamu said the tortoise, which attracted people from all walks of life, would be greatly missed, not only by the palace household but by everyone who came in contact with her.
He said, “Alagba had lived in the palace for centuries. The tortoise played host to many monarchs in Ogbomoso.
“Alagba became popular because Oba Oladunni Oyewumi, Soun of ogbomosoland, used his personal resources to cater for her well-being.
“The tortoise had two staff members of the palace dedicated to her.
“On a daily basis, 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 passage.”
The palace secretary explained that plans were underway to preserve Alagba’s body for historical records.