Jonathan The Giant Tortoise Celebrates His 190th Birthday And Becomes World’s Oldest Tortoise

Very few people and animals live to be 100 years old, but a giant tortoise named Jonathan just celebrated his 190th birthday.

He is proving that age is just a number.

Documents show that Jonathan arrived fully grown on St Helena Island in 1882. He was a gift for Sir William Grey-Wilson and thought to be roughly 50 years old. That means he hatched in 1832.

If only he could talk…

His recent milestone birthday earned him another Guinness World Records title. Aside from being the oldest living land animal, he is now the world’s oldest tortoise (chelonian) that ever lived. He is also St Helena’s oldest resident.

His caretakers shared he is still going strong and gets by with a little help from his friends. St Helena Government shared with Guinness World Records, “The Veterinary Section is still feeding him by hand once a week to boost his calories, vitamins, minerals and trace elements, as he is blind and has no sense of smell. His hearing though is excellent and he loves the company of humans, and responds well to his vet Joe Hollins’ voice as he associates him with a feast.”

His custom birthday cake was made up of his favorite foods, which are fruits and vegetables. For three days, the people of St Helena celebrated their national treasure and made sure he received plenty of carrots, apples, and lettuce hearts.

Jonathan spends his days soaking up the sun and munching on grass in the garden of Plantation House, the same area where he was photographed shortly after he arrived in 1882.

Originally, he roamed free but is now enclosed in the gardens with three other giant tortoises named David, Emma and Fred.

While things around him have changed, he has remained the same. The gentle giant is living his best life and proof that the tortoise wins the race called life.

His vet, Joe Hollins, was featured in a video alongside Jonathan in celebration of his 190th birthday. He said many times what a marvelous and fabulous animal he is. He also shared what a “great privilege” it is to be the vet of the oldest land animal.

Learn more about Jonathan in the video below and be sure to follow St Helena on Facebook for more updates on the world’s oldest tortoise.

People, Pets & Planet

Help where it’s needed most at GreaterGood for free!