An 83-year-old grandmother from northeastern China dubbed “Turtle Granny” by her neighbors can often be seen walking her 110 lb pet tortoise along the streets of her hometown.
Winters in northeastern China's Jilin province can be bone-chillingly cold, so both Man and beast eagerly take advantage of warmer weather by getting out to enjoy the sunshine. That goes double for elderly grandmothers and cold-blooded reptiles... and in the city of Changchun you'll find a pair that fits those descriptions like a glove.
Hao Yulan bought her pet African Spurred Tortoise ten years ago when the then-septuagenarian was visiting China's southwestern province of Yunnan. “Susu”, as she named her hard-shelled pet, weighed just over a pound and was about the size of a fist.
Hao stated to China Plus the reason she bought Susu was to “celebrate her granddaughter's college admission.” It would seem, however, that instead of presenting the tortoise to her granddaughter, she instead kept him for herself.
Over the next decade, Susu grew to a strapping 50 kg (about 110 lbs), his prodigious growth fueled by twice-daily vegetarian meals. Hao substituted an egg for one of his vegan meals during the winter.
These days (on sunny ones at least), Hao and Susu enjoy gentle walks together on the quiet streets near their home in Changchun. Sometimes Susu gets tired, so Hao constructed a cart for him to ride in. The pair have become fixtures of the neighborhood, so much so that neighbors jokingly call her the “Turtle Granny.” Hao doesn't seem to mind... to paraphrase an old cliché: if the shell fits, wear it.