TORTUGA BAY, GALAPAGOS—Saying the aging reptile is “really embarrassing himself,” leading herpetologists expressed embarrassment Monday on behalf of Old Bill, a local giant tortoise who reportedly makes tremendous efforts to appear several decades younger than his actual 120 years. “Yeah, he’s not fooling anyone at this point,” said Dr. Ann Schoenherr of the Charles Darwin Research Station, claiming Bill has had his vertebral scutes brightened and often stretches his neck out in a futile attempt to make it look slightly less wrinkled. “The fungal growth on his carapace is a dead giveaway. It’s time for him to be honest with himself, accept his faded shell markings, and try to age with a little bit of dignity.” Schoenherr’s colleagues concurred, saying the tortoise should just relax and make the most of the 30 or 40 years he has left.
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