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Reports of the death of King Farouk’s turtle at Giza Zoo in Egypt caught me by surprise on a rainy Saturday morning after nine sunny days in Berlin. According to one of the Arab news sites, the turtle was 270 at the time of its death. Another site put the deceased’s age at 280, while a third said it was just 217. Even 217 is no small number, especially considering the pictures from the turtle’s final days showing...