Meet Alagba: A mysterious tortoise who lived for 334 years in Soun of Ogbomoso palace 


Almost everyone is interested in the story of an old tortoise in the palace of Soun of Ogbomoso in Oyo State, Nigeria. The tortoise was nicknamed “Alagba”. 

Alagba was a very giant male tortoise believed to be about 334 years of age. Although, there are arguments about the age of the tortoise; some people believed that the tortoise is older than the official age while, some other people said it’s age is not up to that. Depending on their history sources. 

Alagba moves around in the palace that whoever comes into the palace premises will be able to see it. It is popularly regarded as the “elderly one”(Baba Agba). 

According to history. It is believed that Alagba is older than everyone in Ogbomoso land. 

The tortoise had been in the palace since the period of the third Soun of Ogbomoso, Soun(Oba) Ikumoyede Ajao. The monarch was born in the 16th century and attained the throne in the 17th century which was used to actually determine the age of the mysterious tortoise.

Seven things you don’t know about the Alagba tortoise 

The Alagba tortoise had several mysterious things you might have never heard about. Let’s take a look at the following:

  1. The tortoise lived more than any tortoise in history. 
  2. The tortoise used to eat foods eaten by human beings before his death. Foods like Amala(yam flour), beans, rice Eba and fruits. 
  3. It was taken into the palace by king Ikumoyede Ajao. 
  4. Despite the old age of the tortoise, no medical check-up was carried out on him and was never been injected or used any kinds of drugs. 
  5. People do pray to Alagba for blessings and prayers especially those suffering from spiritual attacks. 
  6. The tortoise has never near the palace gates whenever he lumbers around the palace premises. 
  7. Alagba has two palace workers assigned to cater for his needs. 


The popular aged tortoise in the Ogbomoso palace died on the 3rd of October, 2019 after a brief illness. 

Photo source: Facebook

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