Meet Jonathan, a Tortoise Who’s So Old, He’s Already Lived in 3 Centuries

4 years ago

This elderly gentleman has lived through a lot in his lifetime. He’s seen 7 monarchs on the British throne, the invention of light bulbs and motorized cars, the completion of the Eiffel Tower, and the first skyscraper! But despite all that, Jonathan The Tortoise is still active and not at all tired of living his life.

Bright Side would like to tell you the story of this incredible tortoise who is considered to be the oldest known land animal in the world.

Jonathan is a Seychelles giant tortoise who was brought from Seychelles to Saint Helena Island in 1882. This isolated, peaceful island in the South Atlantic Ocean is widely known as the place of Napoleon’s exile.

Since that time, Jonathan has been living on the grounds of the Plantation House, the official residence of the governor.

Although nobody knows Jonathan’s age for sure, it was estimated that he already reached his full adult size when he arrived at the island, meaning that he was around 50 years old at that time. So the vets believe that he could’ve been born in 1832 and is 187-188 years old now.

The average life expectancy for a tortoise of his species is about 150 years. This means that Jonathan has already outlived all his fellow tortoises by more than 30 years!

Thanks to this fact, he was officially recognized as the oldest living land animal by Guinness World Records.

Although Jonathan is blind from cataracts, has lost his sense of smell, and can’t detect food anymore, he’s still going strong. Except for these age-related things, he’s doing well health-wise and lives his best chilled-out life on the island.

On sunny days, he usually stretches his long neck and legs out of his shell and enjoys the sun. But if the weather is cold, he digs into leaf piles or grass clippings and stays there all day.

Once a week, Jonathan also enjoys his favorite foods which include carrots, cucumbers, cabbage, apples, and bananas.

Despite his age, Jonathan is still very active and adores people’s attention. He loves when someone strokes his neck and is always ready to pose for a picture.

Jonathan shares his home with 3 other land tortoises, David, Emma, and Fred, who are much younger than him. His best friend, David is the second oldest tortoise on the island, but he’s only 80 years old.

On the island, Jonathan is considered a true legend. He has seen a lot of generations of people come and go and that’s why he’s become a symbol of persistence and stability for local residents. As for tourists, they’re willing to come from any corner of the world to see this ancient animal with their own eyes.

Would you like to meet Jonathan in person? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


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I have a Tortoise who is ten years old and a little baby one years old and I love them to bits the tortoise was lucky to find a good home with your family


I have never had a tortoise, but they seem like cool animals.. and they live so long ?

but this one definitely holds a record


I love your story. It’s great to have “good news stories” right now while we are fighting the Covid 19 virus. All of the giant tortoises are amazing. Living On and on. They, like virtually all animals, seem to enjoy contact with us. Hopefully we will continue to protect them so future generations can enjoy them as we do.

Great story.



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