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Meet Jonathan, The World’s Oldest-Known Animal

Jonathan the tortoise was a little hatchling when the year was 1832.

Back then, the world was a completely different place; the lighting had not yet been conceived, and automobiles were still a half-century away.

Jonathan, a Seychelles giant tortoise, however, survived to see it all.

He’s currently the world’s oldest-known animal, at roughly 189 years old, and he’s having a peaceful existence on the lonely island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic, where he’s been since the late 1880s.

One of his primary caregivers is Teeny Lucy, the local SPCA’s chairperson. Jonathan resides on the verdant grounds of the ancient governor’s palace, where Lucy and others bring him fresh vegetables throughout the week.

In 2019, Lucy told The Dodo, “Jonathan is an icon here.” “He’s a wonderful old gentleman who’s seen it all,” says the narrator. He arrived on St. Helena as an adult in 1882, and he has witnessed generations of people come and go.”

Many people have been amazed by Jonathan’s longevity, Lucy added. He is the oldest of his three companions at the home, who are all gigantic tortoises; his pal, 82-year-old David, is the second-oldest tortoise.

Jonathan is probably completely blind, although he manages to get around rather effectively.

He usually spends his days sunbathing, eating on grass, and relaxing with his tortoise pals. He lives a relatively peaceful existence for someone of his stature; his likeness even appears on the back of the small island’s five penny coin.

“As the world’s oldest land animal, he has practically regal status here,” Lucy explained. “As long as people walk gently around him, he is respectable and interacts in a kind manner. He is adored by all of us.”

Jonathan is unquestionably a happy and outgoing individual, but he began experiencing physical concerns a few years ago.

Fortunately, a simple diet modification was all it needed, and he’s now in terrific health and still going strong, according to Lucy.

“A few years ago, we began feeding Jonathan on a weekly basis to complement his grass diet and improve his nutrition,” she explained. “This was because the island vet saw his beak (with which he scythes grass) was fragile and crumbly, as well as the fact that he was too chilly and had lost weight. Everything has finally turned around, and he is as fit as a fiddle!”