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Jonathan The Giant Tortoise Celebrates Birthday And New World Record!

jonathan the tortoise

Jonathan the Giant Tortoise just celebrated a milestone birthday earlier this month. Not only did he turn an estimated 191 years old, he also officially grabbed the Guinness World Record title of oldest living land animal—again.

Scientists believe that Jonathan, who is a Seychelles tortoise, was born in 1832. That means he was already a man when the Civil War broke out in 1861. He also predates indoor plumbing, the lightbulb, and the Pony Express.

Johnathan in 1886
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The friendly giant has lived most of his life on Saint Helena island, which is located in the Atlantic Ocean. He was gifted from Seychelles to Nigel Phillips, a former Saint Helena governor, on Dec. 4, 1832. At that time, he was fully grown, which means he was at least 50. While no one thought to document Jonathan’s exact birthdate, experts were able to guess his age with that bit of knowledge. However, they believe he may actually be older than 191.

Jonathan The Giant Tortoise Breaks Guinness World Record For the Fourth Time

Jonathan first earned his Guinness record in 2019, when he turned 187. In 2022, Dec. 4 became Jonathan the Tortoise’s official birthday so the world has a day to celebrate his shocking longevity. On average, Seychelles giant tortoises live about 150 years. But according to Guinness World Records, Jonathan may continue to break his own record. His longtime vet, Joe Hollins, says he showing “no sign of slowing down.” 

Jonathan and His Vet
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The reptile does have some age-related issues. He can no longer smell, and he’s almost entirely blind from cataracts. However, he has a “keen” appetite and seems to be healthy and happy.

“He is still being hand-fed once a week with a fortifying helping of fruit and vegetables by a small, dedicated team,” Hollins told the publication. “This not only supplements his calories but provides those essential drivers of his metabolism: vitamins, minerals and trace elements.”

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Watch the video below to learn more about this amazing animal.

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