JANUS THE TWO-HEADED TORTOISE TURNS 25
When Janus hatched in 1997, experts never thought he would have a long and healthy life. On his 25th birthday, Janus once again proved them wrong.
Hatched at the Geneva Natural History Museum, Janus has lived there ever since while being looked after by Angelica Bourgoin.
What makes Janus so unique is that he has two heads, two hearts and two distinct personalities.
Janus would not have been able to make it on his own in the wild because he cannot retract his heads into his shell to seek shelter when being attacked by predators.
Janus is living a life fit for a royal.
RTE reports that his carers feed him organic salad and give him daily massages and baths in green tea and chamomile. For exercise, he goes for regular walks, sometimes with music, and rides on a custom-made skateboard.
Bourgoin told RTE that Janus thrives on the love and attention that he receives from them.
“I think it’s because of the attention we give him and our devotion that he’s still here today.”
Being Janus, or caring for him, is no easy walk in the park though. If Janus flips over, he could die. That’s why he’s under constant surveillance.
In 2020 he survived a bladder stone operation and he needs period treatment with Vaseline to stop his two heads getting sore when they rub together.
RTE further reports that his two personalities also generate different moods and tastes that can occasionally lead to conflict, for example over which direction to walk.
Image credit: Fun Kids