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Peanut Butter and Jelly Free at Last, Free at Last!!


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MESA, Arizona (AP) -- A pair of conjoined tortoises -- named "Peanut Butter" and "Jelly" because you can't have one without the other -- were separated at a Tempe animal hospital.

"I think it was a great success," said Sharon Ehasz, 24, who owns the African leopard tortoises with her husband, Bobby Ehasz. "I think they're going to be a little confused -- the world as they knew it is going to be somewhat tilted."

Peanut Butter and Jelly were joined at the side of the belly near the tail end, slightly offset in a heart-shaped configuration.

The two tortoises spent about half of their lives with one on its back, the other trying to kick itself over.

Bobby Ehasz, 29, said he and his wife routinely flipped over the tortoises, carefully logging the time one stayed on its back while the other was upright.

Veterinarians Jay Johnson of University Animal Hospital in Tempe and Jim Jarchow of Orange Grove Animal Hospital in Tucson worked for about three hours Sunday to separate the tortoises.

Johnson said the condition is "extremely rare." That's partly why Johnson and Jarchow agreed to operate on the animals at no charge to the Ehaszes, other than the cost for anesthesia and other items.

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