Students across Oxford are mourning the loss of St Anne’s College’s tortoise, Tortellini. A College press release on Tuesday announced that the much loved College pet had “became poorly several days ago and, following a visit to the vet, has since died in his sleep”.
An Oxlove post in memorandum of the tortoise received over 300 reactions in 24 hours.
Tortellini entered College life in 2016 as a gift from Tim Gardam, the outgoing Principal of St Anne’s at the time.
Tortellini boasted an impressive online following. The Facebook page ‘The Tortoise of St Anne’s College, Oxford’ has over 550 likes at the time of writing. Tortellini also participated in a tortoise fair at Corpus Christi last Trinity, triumphing in the tortoise race. The fair raised over £3700 for charity, a testament to the deep affection Oxford students have for their college mascots.
College pets and the associated fanfare which follows them are a common sight across Oxford. Two beloved cats can be found at St Hugh’s, Wadham has a tortoise, St Peters’ is home to ‘Aristurtle’, and Trinity College hosted an alpaca petting session in Hilary to name but a few examples. Indeed, Wadham’s tortoise, called Archibald Manshella allegedly is constitutionally able to vote on every JCR motion and will always vote for change, once again demonstrating the warmth these pets generate in College life.