Known as Turkey’s oldest turtle, Tuki, which lives in the Faruk Yalcin Zoo in the northwestern province of Kocaeli’s Darıca district, has turned 99.

Organized on April 13, a birthday celebration was held for the Aldabra giant tortoise (geochelone gigantean), an endangered species, along with a football derby prediction event for Tuki is also believed to be a clairvoyant.

For the Fenerbahce-Galatasaray football match, yellow-red and yellow-blue balls were put in Tuki’s cage, having previously known the winners of five derbies in the past, besides a World Cup game.

On his 99th birthday, the tortoise moved toward the yellow-red ball, the colors of Galatasaray, which is currently second in the Turkish Super League eagerly seeking to overthrow first-place city rival Basaksehir.

Neset Aydin, Tuki’s caretaker of 20 years, gave the animal a birthday gift made of vegetables and fruits.

The deputy general director of the zoo, Simge Celik Atasoy said that 250 species of animals were under protection in the Faruk Yalcin Zoo and 62 out of them are endangered species. She added that Tuki was born in 1920 and also a member of a species risking extinction.

Speaking about the birthday and derby event, she said, “It is both Tuki’s birthday and we have a tradition that we have been doing for years, a prediction before the derby. We wanted it to make a prediction before the Fenerbahce-Galatasaray derby, which coincided with his birthday. Its prediction is Galatasaray will win. Some friends are happy, some of them not about this.”

Source:  Hurriyet Daily News

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