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Meet Jonathan, oldest known living animal on Earth at 189 years old


A Seychelles giant tortoise named Jonathan who was born circa 1832 – five years before England’s Queen Victoria’s coronation – is 189 years old now, making him arguably the oldest known living land animal. Jonathan currently resides on Saint Helena Island, a British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic Ocean. What’s interesting is that in his lifespan, Jonathan has seen two world wars, the flu, now coronavirus but he continues to live and thrive in this world at the age of 189. 

Jonathan was born in Seychelles, an island in the Indian Ocean, and was brought back in 1882 when he was 50-years-old. He was given the name Jonathan in the 1930s by the then Saint Helena Governor Sir Spencer Davis. 

Who is Jonathan? 

Jonathan is a giant tortoise, originally from Seychelles but currently resides at the Plantation House, the official residence of the governor of St Helena. His age was estimated on the basis of authorities saying that he was brought to his current residence when he was ‘fully mature’ which is 50 years for tortoises. Hence, Jonathan was not born later than 1832. 

Is Jonathan healthy? 

You will be surprised to know that Jonathan has already crossed the usual lifespan of 150 years and his veterinarian says that Jonathan is still thriving apart from some age-related issues. For the unversed, Jonathan is also featured in the Guinness Book of World Records as the giant tortoise is even older than Paris’ famous Eiffel Tower which was completed in 1887. 

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