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This Seychelles Giant Tortoise Is The Oldest Animal In The World

This Seychelles Giant Tortoise Is The Oldest Animal In The World

Meet Jonathan - the 187-year-old Seychelles giant tortoise who recently received the Guiness World Record for being the oldest-known land animal alive today.

Estimated to be born in 1832, Jonathan is just one year off holding the title of the oldest chelonian (aka turtle, terrapin or tortoise) of all time, a title which is currently held by Tu'i Malila, a radiated tortoise who reached at least 188 years.

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Jonathan (left) on grounds of Plantation on St Helena - shortly after Jonathan arrived on the island (est. 1882 - 1886). Credit: Wikipedia
Jonathan (left) on grounds of Plantation on St Helena - shortly after Jonathan arrived on the island (est. 1882 - 1886). Credit: Wikipedia

The old guy is living on the remote island of St Helena in the South Atlantic, where he's cared for by Teeny Lucy, the chairperson for the local SPCA. Jonathan is said to live the life of Riley at the historic governor's mansion, where he's a bit of a celeb.

"Jonathan is an icon here. He is a grand old gentleman who has seen it all. He landed on St. Helena in 1882 as a fully grown adult; he has seen generations of people coming and going," Lucy told the Dodo.

"Being the oldest land animal in the world, he has almost royal status here," and quite right, too.

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Jonathan (left) with his friend, David. Credit: Teeny Lucy/Facebook
Jonathan (left) with his friend, David. Credit: Teeny Lucy/Facebook

"He is dignified and interacts in a friendly way as long as people move slowly around him. We are all very fond of him."

Jonathan is joined on the island by another tortoise called David, who could be considered as pretty old at the grand age of 80, despite being considerably younger than his buddy.

Unfortunately, 188 years on earth doesn't come without any health issues, but thankfully he's back in great shape thanks to a little diet change.

"We started feeding Jonathan on a weekly basis a few years ago to supplement his grass diet and boost his nutrition," Lucy continued.

"This was because the island vet realized that his beak was soft and crumbly and that he was too cold and had lost weight. All that has reversed now and he is as fit as a fiddle.

"He knows my voice and he knows the vet's voice and reacts by walking toward us. It's all about the food."

We couldn't agree more, Jonathan.

Featured Image Credit: Teeny Lucy

Topics: Life, Life News, Real, Animals

Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Junior Journalist at PRETTY52. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the team in 2017. Contact her on emma.rosemurgey@pretty52.com

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