Wildlife in Canakkale

Wildlife in Canakkale

It’s great to be back in Turkey. It feels comfortable and familiar after my visit last year, and here in the coastal town of Canakkale there’s a nice beachside holiday vibe.

I was walking through one of the local parks the other day, and noticed something a little unusual on one of the paths. Looking very much like a tortoise, I assumed it was a kid’s toy. The tortoise looking thing then started moving in a very tortoise like manner, and after a closer look I realised that it was, indeed, a tortoise.

Now you don’t see tortoises every day, particularly down the park, so I thought it must have been someone’s pet. Perhaps they had brought it to the park so it could have a walk and a look around. I couldn’t see anyone, but assumed that the owner must be somewhere nearby, confident that they could catch up with their tortoise if it wandered off somewhere.

There were a couple of young blokes on some park gym equipment nearby, and having noticed me peering at the tortoise, I asked if it was theirs. It wasn’t, and they hadn’t noticed it, so they came across for a look too.

Tortoises always look like old men to me, so I’m going to take the 50:50 punt (there are still only two genders of tortoise as far as I’m aware) and called it a ‘he’. I’m also going to assume it was old, as apparently tortoises can reach a great age, even though he quite possibly hadn’t.

I watched old mate tortoise move along the path, munching down unripe mulberries that had fallen from the tree. He didn’t appear to care about me or anyone else; he just went about his business. A poodle turned up and gave him an earful, but he didn’t give a crap about that either.

I followed him for a while, and he passed a group of old blokes (I am quite sure that they were both old and blokes) sitting on the grass, who smiled but didn’t seem surprised to see a tortoise in the park. Perhaps they see each other regularly.

After a while the tortoise bulldozed his way under a shrub and disappeared behind a set of steps. Thinking about it now, I reckon that is the first tortoise I have ever seen outside a pet store. Wildlife in Canakkale? I certainly didn’t expect that. But I have to say, it was ace*.

*For international readers, ‘ace’ is slang from the 1980’s used by Australians from Melbourne in particular. It means ‘great’ or ‘fantastic’. I don’t know how many people still say it, but it’s such a perfect descriptive term that I’m determined to keep it alive. Help me out and use ‘ace’ in a sentence today.

If you enjoyed this post you may also like Istanbul: City of Cats, The Dogs of Istanbul

Know someone who might like this post?

4 thoughts on “Wildlife in Canakkale

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

The maximum upload file size: 512 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here