Deva Pillay, zoo asistant at Mitchell Park, with Admiral the Tortoise who will be turning 100 years old. Picture: S'bonelo Ngcobo

Durban’s oldest tortoise, Admiral (pictured), has a lot to celebrate. He’s seen two World Wars, the dawn of democracy in South African and on Saturday, he’ll be turning 100-years-old.

Admiral, carefully strolls up to Mitchell Park zoo assistant Deva Pillay. It’s been a big week for the four-legged centenarian-to-be. With a party that’s to be hosted at the zoo and an estimated guest list of an expected 4 000 people, according to zoo spokesman Karl Westphal, the pressure will certainly be on.

The Mitchell Park Trust has organised birthday celebrations on the paddock lawn from 11.30am, where Admiral will be presented with a birthday cake and fruit baskets. The head of the city’s Parks, Recreation and Culture department Thembinkosi Ngcobo, said: “It will be Heritage Day [and] Admiral is part of Durban’s heritage. We are allowing residents free entry to the park tomorrow.”

Admiral, a Giant Aldabra tortoise, is the last survivor of three that were left at the zoo in 1915 - during World War I. Their owner, a naval officer, brought them from the Aldabra Islands. He received his name in 2001, as the one surviving male of the three and was made an honorary member of the Durban naval base. - The Mercury and IOL