There are plenty of incredible sights to see on the city streets of Tokyo, but a man walking with his pet tortoise might be the strangest one of all. The odd pair is certainly catching our attention.
Hisao Mitani, a 62-year-old funeral parlor owner, has had his giant African tortoise Bon-chan for almost 20 years. His wife bought the animal from a pet store. Mitani and Bon-chan recently gained attention when pictures of their walks in downtown Tokyo surfaced and went viral.
The giant tortoise was about 110 pounds the last time Mitani weighed him and most likely weighs even more now. He is expected to get bigger as he gets older. Bon-chan lives in a wooden structure that Mitani designed and enjoys a diet of fresh fruits and vegetables. Walks with Mitani are a daily part of his life, but the tortoise has grown more stubborn as he ages.
"He’s becoming a little selfish, so he tries to go on different walk paths than the usual ones, and he tries to develop new paths, so that’s a little bothersome. He tries to go different ways," Mitani told Reuters.
The two strolling along the streets together is a familiar sight for locals, and Bon-chan even goes to Mitani’s funeral parlor with him.
"When families who are sad come to our store, and they see Bon-chan, they have a moment when they smile, and I think that’s nice," Mitani told Reuters.
Mitani and his wife have no children of their own, so Mitani hopes that someone from his neighborhood will adopt Bon-chan if he outlives them.