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Published:January 29th, 2009 16:39 EST

Henry The Reptile Becomes Daddy At Age 111

By Robert Paul Reyes

A captive reptile in New Zealand has unexpectedly become a father at the ripe old age of 111 after receiving treatment for a cancer that made him hostile toward prospective mates.

The centenarian tuatara, named Henry, was thought well past the mating game until he was caught canoodling with a female named Mildred last March - a consummation that resulted in 11 babies being hatched on Monday.

Ray Lilley/Associated Press

Henry gives us middle-aged guys the hope that perhaps we won`t lose our virility when we reach our 60s and 70`s. Henry the Reptile has 11 babies at age 111 -- that`s the most heartwarming story of the year. I don`t ever again want to hear that I`m a cynical columnist who never reports any good news.

Henry`s lover is named Mildred, all the human Mildreds that I know are blue-haired old ladies. If the same thing holds true in the animal kingdom Mildred is probably as old as Henry.

I hope the new and improved Henry is able to canoodle well into his 120s. I hope Henry isn`t one of those critters who eats his brood, that wouldn`t be a heartwarming story at all.