Story of Harriet

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Journey of a turtle, who lived for 175 years


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Story of Harriet - A turtle who lived till 175 : 

Story of Harriet - A turtle who lived till 175 Source:

When you looked at Harriet, you were looking at history. : 

When you looked at Harriet, you were looking at history. 1830: Harriet is born - and her home country Ecuador becomes independent and elects its first president. 1834: Aged four, the young tortoise is basking in the Galapagos sun when the British abolish slavery and the Tolpuddle martyrs are banished to Australia. 1843: She is just a teenager when Charles Dickens' novel A Christmas Carol is published.

Slide 3: 

1852: When Harriet hits 22, Australia's gold rush kicks off after a half-ounce nugget is found in Queensland and thousands of prospectors flood the area. 1865: As she reaches 35, the world is shocked at the assassination of American president Abraham Lincoln at the hands of actor John Wilkes Booth. 1868: Harriet is 38 - and the last British convicts arrive in Australia. 1880: As Harriet turns 50, the infamous Aussie outlaw Ned Kelly hangs in the Old Melbourne Jail.

Some say she was Darwin’s tortoise… : 

Some say she was Darwin’s tortoise… 1882: The Aussies achieve the unthinkable - and beat England at cricket on home soil for the first time, giving birth to The Ashes. 1901: At 71, Harriet is already a pensioner when her adopted country is unified and the Australian flag flies for the first time. 1915: Gallipoli, the First World War battle against the Turks, claims the lives of 7,600 Australians as Harriet reaches 85. 1945: Harriet is pushing 115 when the atomic bomb obliterates the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

Slide 5: 

1953: The grand old lady is 123 when Queen Elizabeth II is crowned in Westminster Abbey in London. 1956: Dame Edna Everage makes her first appearance, courtesy of Australian comic Barry Humfries. Harriet is 126. 1967: Aborigines are finally given citizenship when Harriet is 137 after 90 per cent of Australians vote Yes in a referendum. 1968: When she reaches 138, Australia's most famous export, Kylie Minogue, is born... and a year later man first sets foot on the moon. 2000: She's 170, and Australia hosts the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, the most successful ever.

Slide 6: 

In 1835, when Harriet was just five and about the size of a dinner plate, she was discovered by Charles Darwin when he landed at the Galapagos archipelago. Darwin was fascinated by the Galapagos tortoises, especially when he noticed that the different islands apparently contained distinct sub-species adapted to each island's particular conditions. Darwin’s tortoise… Source : This was one of many observations that led him to formulate his theory of evolution.

Harriet traverses continents : 

Harriet traverses continents Harriet was called Harry for about a 100 yrs till her sex was determined. "Harry" and two of her friends, Tom and Dick, were sent to England as subjects of scientific research. Freezing winters and a lack of sunshine sent them into a state of virtual hibernation. In 1837 Tom, Dick and Harry were sent to Australia.

Harriet finds new home in Australia : 

Harriet finds new home in Australia In 1842- Harriet then 12-year-old, was donated to Brisbane Botanical Gardens in Queensland, where she began her new life. Sadly, Dick died in the late 1880s while Tom passed away in 1949.

Harriet lived unhappily as Harry : 

Harriet lived unhappily as Harry In vain attempts to mate "Harry" with female Galapagos land tortoises, only lead to her isolation. Harriet was denied young of her own. It was only in 1960, when a visiting director of Hawaii's Honolulu Zoo examined Harry - and found he was a she. For the next 100 years, Harriet lived a confused, frustrated and unfulfilled life as a male tortoise called Harry.

Her last journey : 

Her last journey In 1988, Harriet made her last journey to Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo where she would laze around or give ride to children. Weighing more than 23 stone, she had grown to the size of a large dinner table.

What Harriet loved doing… : 

What Harriet loved doing… Nothing made her more happier than a bunch of flowers and a good scratch. Harriet dined on a diet of aubergines, courgettes, string beans, parsley, squash, endives, carrots, tomatoes, bok choi and her favorite morning treat - pink hibiscus flowers. A daily soapy bath was welcomed because passing birds with no respect for her age used her back as a perch and left their calling card. Lizards too basked on her back in the scorching heat and left their droppings.

Harriet - A Turtle who lived till 175 : 

Harriet - A Turtle who lived till 175