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World's oldest tortoise celebrates birthday

2022-12-05T19:09:45.327Z

World's oldest tortoise is having a big birthday party Created: 05.12.2022, 20:00 By: Lara-Sabrina Kiehl Jonathan is the oldest tortoise in the world. At the age of 190 he has experienced a lot. Including two world wars and the construction of the first skyscraper. Nobody really knows his exact date of birth. However, a historical letter and a photo prove it: Turtle Jonathan is estimated to be



World's oldest tortoise is having a big birthday party

Created: 05.12.2022, 20:00

By: Lara-Sabrina Kiehl

Jonathan is the oldest tortoise in the world.

At the age of 190 he has experienced a lot.

Including two world wars and the construction of the first skyscraper.

Nobody really knows his exact date of birth.

However, a historical letter and a photo prove it: Turtle Jonathan is estimated to be 190 years old.

Since 1882 he has lived on the island of St. Helena off the west coast of Africa.

Actually in the garden of the governor's residence.

At that time it was a gift for the British Sir William Grey-Wilson, who later became Governor of St. Helena (1890 - 1897).

Jonathan has now experienced more than 30 governors and is in the Guinness Book of Records.

190 years - the world's oldest tortoise celebrates a big birthday party

At 190 years old, Jonathan the giant tortoise is the world's oldest tortoise.

© picture alliance/dpa/PA Media/ St Helena

When Jonathan moved into the governorship of St. Helena, he was already an adult, according to a letter from the year of his arrival.

But photos from 1882 and 1886 also show him as a full-grown turtle.

Recognizable by its stately shell diameter.

Experts estimate him at the time to be 50 years old.

Flossie is the name of the oldest cat in the world who is the same age as her owner.

Vet Joe Hollins has taken care of Jonathan for 12 years and sees him as a "survivor".

Because “the average life expectancy of his conspecifics is 150 years,” Hollins told

dpa.

 Jonathan belongs to the subspecies of the Seychelles giant tortoise and spends his time with David, Fred and Emma - three other representatives of his kind. A tortoise wants to cool off and snatches a garden hose from a dog.

190 years - and now a "lazy gentleman"

Since his birth, which is believed to have been in 1832, Jonathan has witnessed some world history: world wars, eight monarchs on the British throne, 40 US presidents, the printing of the first postage stamp (1840), the building of the first skyscraper (1885) and completion of the Eiffel Tower (1887).

Now at an advanced age, Jonathan has become a "lazy, older gentleman" who likes to go his own way.

He's now blind and has lost his sense of smell, but his hearing is still excellent, Hollins says.

Because a giant tortoise wants to cross the street, the police intervene.

You can find even more exciting animal topics in the free partner newsletter from Landtiere.de, which you can subscribe to here.

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That Jonathan has become an icon of St. Helena is shown by a 5pence coin depicting him.

But also the scale of his birthday party: three days of celebrations, live broadcast and even his own stamp series.

“For us, Jonathan is a symbol of perseverance and survival.

He's seen wars and plagues come and go, empires rise and fall, without knowing it himself,” says Hollins.

"He gives us hope that something can survive on our planet despite the brutality of humanity."

Source: merkur

All life articles on 2022-12-05

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