The World's Oldest Land Animal is Called Jonathan and Is 190 Years Old
Jonathan is a 190-year-old tortoise and the world’s oldest living land animal. He lives in Plantation House, the governor’s mansion on the island of St. Helena, located in the South Atlantic, 1000 miles off the African coast.
The title he holds as the world’s oldest living land animal was awarded to him by Guinness World Records. Learn all the details about his life history in this interesting article.
The oldest land animal is a tortoise
The title of the oldest land animal was awarded to Jonathan in 2022, after he celebrated his 190th birthday. This means that the tortoise, which belongs to the Seychelles species (Aldabrachelys gigantea hololissa), was born in 1832 or earlier.
“To be honest, I suspect he’s older, but we can never know,” explained the veterinarian looking after the turtle to The Washington Post.
Although Jonathan’s age is surprising, it must be said that the species he belongs to has this characteristic. Although the official report is that they can live up to 150 years, this tortoise has far exceeded the expectation of scientists. The same thing happened with Tu’Malila, a radiated tortoise (Astrochelys radiata) that was also very famous, and died at 188 years old.
Jonathan has a great life story
Besides going viral as the oldest living land animal in the world, Jonathan is famous because he came into the hands of the governor of the island in 1882, after being owned by the British Crown since 1833.
At Plantation House, Jonathan is much loved and is always looked after by the governor’s staff. A whole team is dedicated to taking care of him, because, despite his age, he’s very active, even sexually.
Although he’s the oldest, Jonathan doesn’t live alone; he shares time and space at the mansion with three other tortoises: David, Emma and Fred. “Despite his age, Jonathan still has a good libido and is often seen mating with Emma and sometimes with Fred (the animals are not usually particularly sensitive to the sexes),” says Hollins, his head veterinarian. Check out this gorgeous video!
His current state of health
However, it’s true that Jonathan’s health has been declining, it is true. He’s now blind and has no sense of smell; although he does still hear very well. He enjoys eating healthy, with carrots, cucumbers, cabbage, apples, bananas, and lettuce being his favorite foods.
It’s hoped that Jonathan will be able to continue enjoying his life as he has so far.It might interest you...
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- The Daily Mail: Jonathan the 176-year-old tortoise revealed as world’s oldest animal in Boer War photo (5 December 2008)