Jonathan, the oldest turtle ever and the oldest living land mammal, is celebrating his 190th birthday

It’s not every day that we get to celebrate someone’s 190th birthday, in fact we’re pretty sure it’s never happened before.

That is, until last weekend, when Jonathan — the oldest tortoise in recorded history and the world’s oldest living land mammal — celebrated the big 190 with a big party.

The island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic, where Jonathan has resided since 1882, organizes year-round celebrations for the famous tortoise.

While Jonathan’s exact birthday is not known, they chose December 4 as his birthday and held a three-day celebration over the weekend.

Jonathan, who resides at the island governor’s mansion, is St. Helena’s most famous resident and biggest celebrity. His face has been depicted on postage stamps and a fivepence coin.

“Jonathan is an icon here,” Teeny Lucy, president of the local SPCA, told The Dodo. “He’s a big old gentleman who’s seen it all. He landed on St. Helena in 1882 as an adult; he has seen generations of people come and go.”

His extraordinarily long life has earned him two major accolades: in 2019, when he was 187 years old, he was officially declared the world’s oldest living land animal by Guinness World Records.

And earlier this year, Jonathan was declared the oldest turtle ever. In a Jan. 12 press release, Jonathan was declared by Guinness to be the “oldest Chelonian,” which includes all turtles, tortoises, and terrapins.

He ousted the previous record holder, Tu’i Malila, who lived to be at least 188 years old until his death in 1965.

“As the world’s oldest land animal, it has almost royal status here,” added Lucy. “He’s dignified and interacts in a friendly way as long as people move slowly around him. We are all very fond of him.”

Jonathan is at least 190 years old, but maybe even more. His estimate of his age comes from his arrival on Saint Helena from the Seychelles in 1882: he has been described as “completely mature”, meaning that he was at least 50 years old at the time. Therefore, his year of birth was 1832 at the latest.

It’s hard to even fathom how long Jonathan lived: In his birth year, 1832, Andrew Jackson was the president of the United States and Queen Victoria was the reigning monarch of England. His life includes the civil war and both world wars; he lived decades before the invention of flight and was already 137 years old when man first walked on the moon.

It’s safe to say that if turtles could talk, Jonathan would have many stories to tell.

Despite being nearly two centuries old, Jonathan is still in relatively good shape. He is blind and has no sense of smell, but he still has the appetite (and libido) of a younger tortoise.

“However, his hearing is excellent and he loves the company of humans, and he responds well to the voice of his vet Joe Hollins as he associates him with a party,” the St. Helena government told Guinness.

“He loves banana, but it tends to fill his mouth. Hearts of lettuce, while not very nutritious, are a favorite,” added Jonathan’s veterinarian Joe Hollins, saying the turtle also likes cabbage, cucumbers, apples and other fruits.

Hollins also said Jonathan is “often seen mating” with his turtle friends Emma and Fred.

The world has changed a lot in the last 190 years, but Jonathan remains the same. He has brought joy to generations of locals and will perhaps be around for many years to come.

“It’s a local icon, a symbol of tenacity in the face of change,” Hollins said.

Jonathan is a true icon and still looks great for his age! Wishing him many happy and healthy years ahead!

Like this post? Please share to your friends:

Videos from internet

Related articles: