'Usain Bolt' of tortoises smashes world record

Bertie, the tortoise, believed to be around 10 years old, covered 18ft (5.48m) in 19.59 seconds — breaking the previous best of 43.7 seconds, which stood since 1977

London: The ‘Usain Bolt’ of the tortoise world has raced into the Guinness World Records as the fastest ever.

Bertie, thought to be about 10 years old, covered 18ft (5.48m) in 19.59 seconds - smashing the previous best of 43.7 seconds, which stood since 1977.

Bertie lives at an adventure park in County Durham. Pic/Guinness World Records
Bertie lives at an adventure park in County Durham. Pic/Guinness World Records

Bertie won his place with a speed of 0.6mph that would mean he could travel 100 metres in six minutes. He clocked his time in July last year, but the achievement has now been ratified and appears in the new edition of the Guinness World Records.

Bertie, from Adventure Valley in County Durham, raced to his record on a diet of strawberries. Calzini, who runs the adventure park with her husband Marco said, “He’s just like the real-life Usain Bolt as he loves the attention his run has brought and meeting people.

They’re amazed when they see how fast he moves. He lives with his girlfriend, Shelly, but she’s the opposite as she hides away,” Calzini said. Leopard tortoises typically live to between 80 and 100 years old and Calzini, believes Bertie could be spurred on to an even faster time by the media spotlight.

“There’s nothing to say he couldn’t beat his own record. We had a lot of inquiries after Bertie’s run but had to turn them down while we waited for the record to be confirmed.

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