Meet 190-year-old Jonathan who lived through TWO world wars, the rise and fall of the British Empire, and 25 US presidents (making this turtle the oldest living animal ever)
- The world’s oldest turtle lived to be 190 years old Seychelles Giant Tortoise is the
- Jonathan the Seychelles giant tortoise survived two world wars
- He has lived on the island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic since 1882
- There will be a three-day party for him at his house to celebrate
The world’s oldest turtle, who survived two world wars, turned 190 years old and his entire island celebrates for three days.
Jonathan the Seychelles giant tortoise was officially declared the oldest tortoise ever to have existed after the rise and fall of the British Empire and the fall of 25 US presidents.
He has lived on the South Atlantic island of Saint Helena since 1882, and the locals celebrate for three days to celebrate the milestone.
Dated back to the Georgian era, it is the oldest known living land animal on Earth and the oldest chelonian on record.
Jonathon has gotten help to stay clean and healthy from the island’s retired vet, Joe Hollins
Jonathan’s age has been estimated, but dimensions of the shell have been documented from a photograph taken shortly after his arrival in Saint Helena showing him to be fully mature and at least 50 years old when he arrived from the Seychelles.
Joe Hollins has been taking care of Jonathan since becoming St. Helena’s vet.
Retired vet Mr. Hollins said: ‘If you think, if he hatched in 1832 – the Georgian era – my goodness, the changes in the world.
‘The world wars, the rise and fall of the British Empire, the many governors, kings and queens who have passed, it’s quite special.
“And he’s just been here and he’s having a good time.”
In early 2022, Jonathan won the Guinness World Records title for the world’s oldest living terrestrial animal, and this month he has also been named the oldest turtle ever.
He has lived on the island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic since 1882 and the locals celebrate for three days to celebrate the milestone
Jonathan has spent most of his life in the British Overseas Territory, one of the most remote islands in the world.
He lives on the grounds of Plantation House next to three much younger turtles named David, Emma and Fred.
He has seen more than 35 governors come and go from Plantation House and has seen the island introduce radio, telephones, TVs, the Internet, cars and an airport.
Mr Hollins said it was a ‘privilege’ to look after the elderly animal, which he described as ‘magnificent’.
“I actually think it’s fantastic, it’s a great animal,” he said.
“And as a veterinarian—what greater privilege is there than to care for the world’s oldest known living terrestrial animal? I mean, how often does that happen?
“It’s such a privilege to care for this beautiful animal.”
To celebrate his 190th birthday, residents across the island will gather on Friday to honor Jonathan at a three-day birthday party at the Governor’s House.
He lives on the grounds of Plantation House next to three much younger turtles named David, Emma and Fred
The locals of Saint Helena celebrate all weekend to celebrate Jonathan’s milestone
Highlights include a series of posters celebrating Jonathan’s life, with photos and messages from those who have visited him over the years.
On Saturday, there will be a series of activities in honor of his birthday, including chatting with the Governor and his wife as they feed Jonathan his favorite vegetables.
The event will be streamed live online from Plantation House, allowing everyone from around the world to join in the celebrations.
An animated video and song dedicated to celebrating Jonathan’s life will premiere Sunday, and he will receive a “birthday cake” – made entirely from his favorite healthy foods.
There will also be a special stamp for sale alongside other memorabilia that islanders can win during new turtle themed games.