Watch out Foxe, Oldham and Tilly: a new tortoise heartthrob is set to steal the affections of Oxford students.
St Peter’s follows Corpus and Jesus as the latest college to get its own JCR tortoise.
However, the tortoise wasn’t the first choice of college pet. JCR President, Sophia Nayak-Oliver said: “I amended the motion from a cat, as myself and several other college members are allergic to cats.”
Peter O’Connor, the proposer of the motion, said: “I wasn’t too bothered- it looked like no-one would have a problem with that so we went for it! I think get- ting a pet was cool, and whilst itmaynotseemascuteasa cat, it’ll definitely be cool.”
With the JCR voting overwhelmingly in support of the motion, Nayak-Oliver explained their plans for the future: “We were hoping eventually to enter the tortoise into the Corpus race and maybe appoint a JCR member as the tortoise trainer. But we haven’t fully decided on this yet. We are probably going to set up a tortoise committee, although the members of that committee are yet to be decided.”
Jessica Campbell, a second-year English student added: “We haven’t decided the breed but it’ll probably be a mongrel tortoise- maybe a rescue tortoise if we can find one.”
O’Connor agreed: “We want to get a breed which isn’t endangered and which is particularly easy to keep.”
Campbell – who has a pet tortoise, Horace, at home – outlined the regimen that the JCR will follow to ensure that the tortoise remains in the pink of health: “We will keep the tortoise on a diet of good tortoise foods: peaches, rocket, pears, green beans, tomatoes. No cucumber because, although they love cucumber it takes so much energy to digest that it tires them out. We hope the tortoise will put himself into hibernation- I don’t like all that ‘put your tortoise in a box filled with straw and keep him in the fridge over winter’ stuff.”
However, the name of the future pet is yet to be decided. Campbell suggested Dis, the name of the Roman god of the Underworld. But O’Connor said “I think “Cat” would be quite amusing myself.”
While Peter’s is still finalising the details for their college tortoise, students are already looking forward to the pet’s arrival. Campbell said: “They’re a lovely presence, it’s nice to have non-human companionship, it’s a nice quirk for the college, and it’s very good to have a mascot.