Blackpool Zoo has announced “with great sadness” that its oldest resident and much-loved tortoise has died.
Darwin – who was an Aldabra tortoise, was believed to be around 105-years-old, and was a popular mainstay at the Lancashire zoo – had been receiving specialist treatment for a severe progressive leg problem for a period of time, but despite all the best efforts of his keepers and veterinary team, his condition kept deteriorating.
After consulting with leading worldwide reptile veterinarians, Blackpool Zoo said that there was sadly there was no cure for his decision, and “the very difficult decision” was made to put him to sleep earlier this week.
Darwin arrived before the zoo opened in 1972, and it’s fair to say that he became an iconic animal, mostly due to his hefty size and the fact he was the first animal that people came across when visiting the zoo.
Blackpool Zoo described him as “a wonderful link for so many people to the fascination of reptiles”.
He helped inspire the next generation of conservationists, the zoo said.
Aldabra tortoises are one of the largest species of tortoise in the world, and they originated from the islands of Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles.
They are known to be the longest living animal on the planet.
As mentioned, Darwin himself was thought to be around 105 years old, although the zoo doesn’t have an exact age as there are no detailed records of his history – but what they do know is that he remains “an irreplaceable feature” of the Blackpool Zoo’s history.
Blackpool Zoo said that Darwin had “a personality on par with his size”, which is what made him such a “hugely popular member” of the family and was loved by all of our visitors.
The staff and the keepers at Blackpool Zoo have said that they are “extremely saddened” at Darwin’s passing, but they are being comforted by the “kind messages of condolence” they are receiving from members of the public.
Portugal deny claims Ronaldo threatened to leave World Cup after being benched
Portugal have denied recent claims that Cristiano Ronaldo threatened to leave the 2022 World Cup after he was benched before their match against Switzerland.
Speaking in an official statement, the Portuguese FA rubbished a number of reports that their all-time leading goalscorer and national hero threatened to leave the tournament following manager Fernando Santos’ decision to drop him ahead of the game in the round of 16.
Ironically, the previous European champions weren’t left in short supply of goals, as they went on to win in a staggering 6-1 victory against the Swiss, with Ronaldo only coming on for 17 minutes at the end.
Nevertheless, the Portugal Football Federation (FPF) has insisted that no such conversation took place between the player and head coach Santos. As per national outlet A Bola, Ronaldo has apparently also made it clear that his country’s success at Qatar 2022 is his top priority.
The FPF went on to clarify in the statement: “Cristiano Ronaldo builds up a unique track record every day at the service of the national team and the country, which must be respected and which attests to the unquestionable degree of commitment to the national team.”
They also went on to thank him for his dedication and continued contribution to the squad by coming on as a substitute regardless of his reaction to being dropped.
The statement concludes by saying that the “players, coaches and FPF structure is, as it has been since the first day, fully committed and enthusiastic in building what the country wants to be Portugal’s best-ever participation in a World Cup.
Featured Image — Portugal/Cristiano Ronaldo (via Twitter)
Peter Kay issues heartfelt thanks to Manchester fans and teases ANOTHER big announcement
Peter Kay has sent a lovely message to fans in Manchester after making his triumphant return to the live scene last weekend.
The Bolton comedian has just ticked off the first two nights of a mammoth run at the AO Arena, which includes 42 Manchester shows between now and 2025.
On his opening night – his first real venture into the spotlight since he largely stepped away from the public eye 12 years ago – he was moved to tears by the standing ovation he received before he’d even started the show.
And now Peter has issued a heartfelt thank you message.
He said in a statement: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who came to the first shows in Manchester.
“It was incredible to be part of such a happy experience.
“Everybody deserves a bit of joy. Here’s to a lot more in the shows to come!!”
And that’s not all – his post also hinted that there’s yet another announcement to come (because apparently more than 100 tour dates and breaking the internet with ticket demand wasn’t enough).