This past week Jonathan, the oldest living tortoise in the world, celebrated his 190th birthday! This achievement not only makes him the oldest living land animal alive today, but also wins the record of oldest known chelotan to date, surpassing the old record of 188.
Jonathan is believed to have been born in 1832 in the Seychelles before being moved to St Helena. Just to put that in perspective, this means that Jonathan had seen the rise of modern technology (including things like electricity and flight), The American Civil War, and both world wars. Not to mention he predates even the Eiffel Tower. Yet through most of this Jonathon has lived out his life at Plantation House, where the governor of St Helena lives. He has lived through 31 governors taking residence there. He now lives in the company of three other tortoises. Jonathan’s age comes with its own complications. He is now fully blind and has no sense of smell. Most of his meals have to be hand fed, otherwise he cannot find them. He has quality care from an invested veterinarian to make sure he gets all the care he needs. Despite the challenges of losing his senses, Jonathan still has plenty of energy for a 190 year old! He enjoys sunbathing when it’s warm out and grazing on his favorite foods of carrots, cucumber, or apples.
There are many things in this world worth celebrating, and reaching an incredibly old age is one of those things. From all here at the City Voice, we wish Jonathan a very happy birthday and here’s to another year of treats and increasing that record!