In breaking news, researchers have at long last confirmed that tortoises are intelligent, trainable and have memories like elephants.
This really is exciting....at least for the rest of the world.
As for me, I have to admit I already knew all this.
Reason being - I live with a tortoise.
Of course, Malti is not a giant Galapagos or Aldabra tortoise like the ones from the research study. She doesn't live in a zoo. Her life expectancy is a mere 50 years rather than 100+.
But I suspect none of these variables actually matters much (if at all) and I further suspect it is only a matter of time before the researchers realize this too.
The tortoise research participants were trained to bite a ball of a certain color in exchange for a food reward. Each tortoise was then tested to make sure they remembered "their" color. Finally, after a period of nine years had elapsed, all tortoises were retested on both tasks.
Every single tortoise performed splendidly on all tasks on both occasions.
Malti is a South American redfooted tortoise. She, like all tortoises, comes out of the egg and is completely on her own from day one. It is on her to survive, find shelter, find food, find mates - the whole nine yards.
Malti came to me when she was five weeks old. For the first year she basically hid under her bedding like all hatchling tortoises tend to do.
But after year one, her smarts really started to show. She quickly figured out that all her victuals come from the big white box (the household refrigerator) and took it upon herself to start walking right up to it and biting on the door when she wanted to eat.
Watch for yourself and see!