Halifax tortoise Gus, the ‘lettuce king,’ celebrates 100th birthday

Click to play video: 'Gus the Tortoise Turns 100 Years Old!'
Gus the Tortoise Turns 100 Years Old!
Gus the tortoise, who is believed to be the world’s oldest living gopher tortoise, is celebrating his 100th birthday this weekend at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History—and you’re invited! – Aug 12, 2022

Tortoise Gus — a local celebrity in Halifax — is celebrating his 100th birthday this weekend.

The birthday boy joined the Global News Morning Show live from the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History where he lives year-round.

Tortoise Gus joined us live on the morning of his birthday weekend. Global News

Museum manager Jeff Gray says 100 tortoise years are comparable to 100 human years — a big milestone for Gus.

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“In the wild, they generally live to be about 60 (years old),” Gray said. “That, though, is largely due to human impact.”

Gus, dubbed “the lettuce king,” is believed to be the oldest living Gopher tortoise in the world.

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“Owing to the fact that he doesn’t have those external threats is likely the reason for his longevity,” Gray said.

Gus has been at the N.S. museum since the 1940s, when a former director bought him for $5 while travelling through Florida.

Since then he’s become a well-known figure in the province, and brings many to the museum. He used to attend events, but retired when he was 85.

“The only time he really leaves the building is for walks in the backyard or during fire drills,” Gray said.

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This weekend, staff are hosting six birthday parties to celebrate his centennial year.

The first party kicked off at 11 a.m. with about 50 children and their families in attendance.

Dozens of children gathered around Gus to watch him eat his birthday lettuce. Reynold Gregor / Global News
Gus posed with his ‘one hundredth birthday’ certificate.

More parties will be held at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day this weekend.

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