While cats and dogs remain the undisputed kings of the pet world, turtles and tortoises refuse to be outdone, and are steadily climbing the ranks.

With their cute little eyes and the way they stand proudly in the sunshine like those majestic statues often found outside shrines, there’s no denying that tortoises and turtles have a magical charm all of their own.

And this little fella, it would seem, has been especially blessed…

Currently going viral across Asian websites, the video shows a middle-aged man and his pet, a tiny, jet-black tortoise, taking a walk around a park in Wuhan city, China on a sunny day.

As if talking to a dog, the tortoise’s owner barks the command “Come here,” at which point the tortoise marches confidently forward towards his master. At the command to stop, he freezes on the spot, waiting for the next command. Next, the owner steps over his little friend, who soon follows excitedly after him.

Can the tortoise really understand what his master is saying to him, or are we simply witnessing the tortoise version of Hans the counting horse, albeit with more obvious non-verbal clues?

After showing off his pet’s skills, the owner tells onlookers to pick his little friend up and take a sniff of his shell, asserting that he smells pleasantly of sandalwood. Sure enough, the spectators, with cries of “Wow, he smells incredible!” confirm it to be true, although one woman seems to be sniffing a little too close to a dangerous area of the tortoise’s body, if we’re being honest…

Being both a rare breed and, perhaps more importantly, able to understand its master’s commands, there have been reports of bids to buy the tortoise for an incredible 150,000 yuan, or more than 23,000 US dollars. Despite being offered such an extravagant sum, however, the owner, clearly attached to his little pal, refused on the spot, making millions of people go “aaaaw” and crinkle up their noses.

Personally, I’m not all that impressed by this man’s tortoise, no matter how obedient, since back in the UK I have a cat with genuine physic abilities. No matter how quiet and still I am, from more than twenty feet away she instinctively knows when I’m watching her in the garden, and immediately turns to glare at me for looking at her while she’s trying to do her number twos…

Source: Sina Video

▼Order to “come!” the little guy sets off at a tremendous pace.

▼The proud owner.

▼ If only all pets smelled this good…

[ Read in Japanese ]