Wildlife in Canakkale, Turkey

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.

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4 responses to “Wildlife in Canakkale, Turkey”

  1. Changa Avatar


    1. Jim Clayton Avatar
      Jim Clayton


  2. Sonya Avatar


    1. Jim Clayton Avatar
      Jim Clayton

      Love that NT slang!

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