By J Brock (FINN)


The world’s oldest land animal, Jonathan, celebrated his 190th birthday this weekend at his home on the South Atlantic Island of St. Helena.


According to his Guinness Book of World Records entry, Jonathan was born around 1832.   He is the longest-lived chelonian, a category that encompasses all turtles, terrapins and tortoises.


Jonathan has lived through two World Wars, watched more than 35 governors of the island come and go, and has seen the island introduce radios, telephones, TVs, internet, cars, and an airport.




Jonathan happily at home at Plantation House on the Island of St Helena  Photo © SHG via Facebook



Jonathan’s feast: who needs cake? Photo © SHG via Facebook

“When you think, if he was hatched in 1832 — the Georgian era — my goodness, the changes in the world,” Joe Hollins, a retired veterinarian who helps care for Jonathan, told SWNS.

“And he’s just been here, enjoying himself,” Hollins added of the aged tortoise. “I do think he’s fabulous actually, he’s a great animal. And as a vet — what greater privilege is there than to be looking after the oldest known living land animal in the world?”


Jonathan is a Seychelles Giant Tortoise, and there’s even a photo of him taken back in the mid-1880s, possibly as early as 1882, when he was just a young whippersnapper of 50 or so.  He’s a tortoise and doesn’t look much different, though he’s now blind and has no sense of smell.