Jonathan the turtle was a young hatchling in the year 1832. At that time, the world was a radically different place; neither the lighting nor automobiles had been created.
The Seychelles gigantic tortoise Jonathan, though, lived to witness it all. He is now the oldest animal known to exist, and he has lived on the isolated South Atlantic island of St. Helena since the late 1880s. He is thought to be roughly 189 years old.
One of his main caregivers is Teeny Lucy, the regional SPCA’s chairperson. Lucy and a few others visit Jonathan with fresh vegetables throughout the week at his home on the verdant grounds of the ancient governor’s palace.
In 2019, Lucy remarked, “Right now, Jonathan is a symbol,” to The Dodo. He is a wonderful old man who has experienced everything. He arrived on St. Helena in 1882 as a fully grown adult and has witnessed the arrival and departure of numerous generations.
Many people have been shocked by Jonathan’s tenacity, Lucy said. He is the oldest of the four giant tortoises he lives with at the mansion; his pal David, who is 82 years old, is the second-oldest.
Although Jonathan is probably totally blind, he nonetheless manages to get around fairly effectively. His regular daytime activities include basking in the sun, eating grass, and hanging out with other turtles. He leads a very peaceful existence for someone of his stature; in fact, he is so well-liked that he is shown on the reverse of the five penny coin for the little island.
“He has almost royal rank right here, being the oldest land animal in the world,” Lucy remarked. As long as people walk gently around him, he is respectable and pleasant. He is greatly beloved by all of us.
Jonathan is undoubtedly a content and sociable man, but a few years ago, he started experiencing health problems. Thankfully, a minor diet adjustment was all it took to get him back in terrific form and keep him going, according to Lucy.
“We started feeding Jonathan once a week a few years ago to improve his nutrition and supplement his grass diet plan,” she stated. This was due to the island vet noticing that the animal’s beak, which is used to scythe the grass, was soft and crumbly, that he was cold, and that he had actually lost weight. Currently, everything has changed, and he is in great shape.
Although Jonathan has had a variety of caregivers throughout the years, it is obvious that he regards each one equally—as long as they bring him his favorite treats, of course.
He responds by approaching us because he recognizes our voices like the vet and I do, Lucy said. “Food is everything,”