The 344-year-old tortoise in the traditional ruler of Ogbomoso’s palace, popularly known as ‘Alagba’, has passed on.
Mr Toyin Ajamu, the Private Secretary to Oba Jimoh Oyewunmi, Soun of Ogbomoso, confirmed this to newsmen on Thursday in Ogbomoso.
The dead tortoise attracted several visitors both from Nigeria and abroad to the palace.
Ajamu said that the tortoise, whom he described as the oldest in Africa, died on Thursday during a brief illness.
He said the tortoise would be greatly missed not only by the palace household but everyone who came in contact with it during its lifetime.
“Alagba lived in the palace for centuries. The tortoise played host to many monarchs in Ogbomoso in the past. 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. They provide food, health support and other logistics, so as to make sure she gets the best treatment.
“Oftentimes, Kabiyesi shares great moments with Alagba.
“On a daily basis, Alagba, had tourists visiting her from different part of the world.
“The palace household, Ogbomoso community and stakeholders in the tourism sector are mourning Alagba’s passage,” he said.
Ajamu explained that plans are underway to preserve Alagba’s body for historical records.