Meet Jonathan, the 189-year-old tortoise and the world’s oldest living land animal photographed in 1886 and today

When Jonathan hatched, it was 1832. Now he is almost 190 years old, he has seen a lot and is completely blind. In 1880, the tortoise was moved to Saint Helena. Jonathan grew old there and became the oldest animal of all that lives on land.

Older than him is only a 300-year-old shark that plows the waters of the ocean. He has official guardians who are born and die. He has almost royal status on the island. His portrait even adorns the reverse of the five pence coin that circulates on the island.

For a creature with such a high position in society, his life is simple and relaxed – he spends most of his time exposing his shell to the sun or slowly chewing grass side by side with his friends. In the years when Jonathan was born, many exotic turtles were taken out of their native land.

Timothy, an Aldabra giant tortoise, served as a ship’s mascot during the Crimean War, grew old in Rose Castle, and died in 2004 at the age of 160. Galapagos Tortoise Harriett lived to be 175 years old and died in Australia a year before him. Jonathan’s longevity surprised many. A few years ago, the turtle began to have health problems, everyone was terribly worried and called the veterinarian to the star.

The doctor advised to adjust the diet: he explained that with age, chewing grass, the turtle’s beak softened, and fresh vegetables should be included in his diet. Which was immediately done by his guardians. Jonathan seems to have become completely blind. But the turtle moves very confidently and recognizes both his guardian and the veterinarian by their voice.

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