Zoo Puts Down Creature Born at End of Civil War

San Diego's 'Speed' had slowed down in his old age
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2015 3:12 AM CDT
Calif. Zoo Puts Down 150-Year-Old Tortoise
This undated photo from the San Diego Zoo shows Speed, a Galapagos tortoise that has been at the zoo since 1933.   (San Diego Zoo via AP)

(Newser) – The San Diego Zoo has said goodbye to its oldest creature, which may have been the oldest creature in America: Speed, a giant Galapagos tortoise who was born around the same time the Civil War ended and who came to America the same year as King Kong. The zoo says Speed, who arrived in 1933 as part of a breeding program to save the endangered species, had been suffering from arthritis and other health problems for some time and was treated with remedies including hydrotherapy and acupuncture, the Los Angeles Times reports. Unlike "Lonesome George," who died in 2012 at the age of 100, Speed leaves dozens of descendants, the BBC reports. (Read more giant tortoise stories.)

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