130-year-old tortoise dies at SD's Reptile Gardens

AP News
Posted: Jul 12, 2011 5:46 PM
130-year-old tortoise dies at SD's Reptile Gardens

A 130-year-old giant tortoise that has delighted visitors to a South Dakota reptile park for more than half a century has died.

KEVN-TV reports that Methuselah (muh-THOO'-zuh-luh) died Sunday night.

Reptile Gardens in Rapid City estimates that tens of thousands of visitors have met the giant tortoise since it arrived at the park in 1954 from the Galapagos Islands. Park officials say it wasn't unusual to hear grandparents tell grandchildren about meeting the reptile when they were young.

Park Manager John Brockelsby says Methuselah was Reptile Gardens' best ambassador and that "losing him is like losing an old, good friend."

The park plans to build a memorial for Methuselah.

Giant tortoises can live well over 100 years and grow to be hundreds of pounds.


Information from: KEVN-TV, http://www.kevn.com