Jonathan is the oldest turtle in the world, this turtle is 190 years old

 Jonathan, the world’s oldest living land animal , has earned another Guinness World Records title!

Jonathan, who celebrates his 190th birthday this year, is now the oldest turtle in history.

Its official title is that   of oldest chelonian   , a category that encompasses all aquatic turtles and freshwater turtles.

Jonathan, the turtle photographed in December 2021
Jonathan “has spent the winter well,” according to an update from the Saint Helena government. “Now it grazes well, but it doesn’t perceive food if we simply leave it on the ground.”

“The Veterinary Section still hand-feeds him once a week to increase his calories, vitamins, minerals and trace elements, since he is blind and has no sense of smell.”

“However, his hearing is excellent and he loves the company of humans, and responds well to the voice of his veterinarian Joe Hollins when associated with a feast.”

The   previous oldest chelonian   was Tu’i Malila, a radiated tortoise that lived to be at least 188 years old. Presented to the Tongan royal family by Captain Cook around 1777, Tu’i Malila remained in his care until his death in 1965.

Jonathan is believed to have been born c. 1832, so he will be 190 years old in 2022.

Jonathan’s age is an estimate based on the fact that he was fully mature and therefore at least 50 years old when he arrived in Saint Helena from the Seychelles in 1882. In all likelihood, he is even older than we think. .

Jonathan (left) c.1882-86, in the grounds of Plantation House, St Helena
His age estimate was further supported when an old photograph taken between 1882 and 1886 was discovered. It showed an adult Jonathan grazing on the grass in the garden from Plantation House, the residence of the governor of Saint Helena, where Jonathan spent most of his life.

Since Jonathan was gifted to Sir William Grey-Wilson all those years ago, 31 more governors have come and gone. Jonathan still plods across the same terrain today, where he enjoys the company of three other giant tortoises: David, Emma and Fred.

“He is a local icon, a symbol of perseverance in the face of change,” – Joe Hollins, Jonathan’s veterinarian.

Jonathan has experienced some important human milestones, such as:

• 1838 – the first photograph of a person was taken

• 1876 – the first telephone call was made

• 1878 – the first incandescent light bulb was invented

• 1887: The Eiffel Tower, the tallest iron structure in the world , is completed   .

• 1903: The   first powered flight   took to the skies, piloted by the Wright brothers (both from the US).

• 1969 – Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin (both from the US) became the   first people to walk on the Moon.

Jonathan with his veterinarian, Joe Hollins
As the world around him evolved and moved forward, Jonathan remained the same. To this day, his main interests are sleeping, eating and mating.

According to veterinarian Joe, Jonathan “likes the sun, but on very hot days he seeks shade. On mild days, he basks in the sun: his long neck and legs stretch completely out of his shell to absorb heat and transfer it to his core.”

When it’s cold, the world’s oldest tortoise prefers to “dig through leaf mold or grass clippings and stay there all day.”

“Despite his age, Jonathan still has a good libido and is frequently seen mating with Emma and sometimes Fred. “Animals are often not particularly sensitive to gender!” Joe revealed.

Jonathan’s favorite foods include cabbage, cucumber, carrots, apples and other seasonal fruits.

“He loves banana, but it tends to make his mouth gum. Lettuce hearts, although not very nutritious, are a favorite.”

We wish Jonathan a very happy 190th filled with his favorite treats!

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