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World's longest animal marriage ends after 115 years

Tuesday - 6/12/2012, 2:13pm  ET

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Bibi and Poldi in happier days. (Courtesy Discovery News)

WASHINGTON - After 115 years, the world's oldest known animal marriage is over.

Bibi and Poldi, tortoises at the Reptilien Zoo Happ in Austria, no longer get along, the zoo reports.

"For no reason that anyone can discover they seem to have fallen out, they just can't stand each other," Helga Happ, the zoo director, tells The Austrian Times.

The breakup between the two was easy to spot, Happ says. At first, Bibi bit Poldi's shell after seeming to tire of his attentions. Later, after she attacked him again, the staff was forced to move him into a separate enclosure.

"They are both 115 years old -- they have been together since they were young and grew up together, eventually becoming a pair," Happ tells the Times.

The zoo staff have made several attempts to help repair the bond, including joint games, good food and counseling, but nothing has eased the rift.

Happ says the two met at a zoo in Switzerland and were then moved to the zoo in Austria, where they have lived together for 36 years.

She says tortoises can live for more than 150 years and zoo staff remain hopeful that the pair will pull through these tough times.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)