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The oldest living land animal in the world, a giant tortoise, celebrates his 191st birthday

Jonathan, the tortoise, has lived almost two centuries to the fullest as the crowning jewel of his idyllic town.

The oldest living land animal in the world, a giant tortoise, celebrates his 191st birthday
Cover Image Source: YouTube| St Helena Tourism

Nature never fails to amaze humans. Every time humans make the mistake of thinking that they are the most superior beings on the planet, something comes up and trips them from their high horse. The recent one to do that is Jonathan, the tortoise who has shocked every researcher in the world by completing a whopping 191 years on this planet, as reported by Sunny Skyz. This achievement makes him the longest-living mammal in the world, firmly ahead of any human that has ever walked the earth. The tortoise is still in good health, making experts hopeful that he will live to see his third century on Earth.



 

The tortoise lives on the South Pacific island of St. Helena and is one of its main attractions. The residents love the wonder so much that they organized a three-day celebration on the occasion of his milestone 190th birthday, as per USA Today. The tortoise first came to the idyllic town in 1882. On his arrival, the tortoise's age was 50 years, according to Guinness World Records. He was brought as a gift for the future governor of the British Overseas Territory. Smithsonian Magazine shared that since then he has lived on the grounds of the governor's residence, the Plantation House mansion. He has witnessed the rise and fall of many governors in his stay of more than a century.



 

Jonathan does not reside alone in this giant ground and is accompanied by three other giant tortoises: David, Emma and Fred. He has long surpassed his average life expectancy of 150 years. It is not all smooth for the oldest mammal though; just like others, he has to also contend with some rough patches. His long-time vet, Joe Rollins, revealed in his interview with Guinness World Records that the turtle has gone blind and has also suffered from a loss of smell. Despite these drawbacks, he is living life to the fullest. “In spite of losing his sense of smell and being virtually blind from cataracts, his appetite remains keen,” Joe said.



 

The vet ensures that the tortoise maintains a healthy diet of vegetables and fruits. Joe added, “He is still being hand-fed once a week with a fortifying helping of fruit and vegetables by a small, dedicated team. This not only supplements his calories but also provides those essential drivers of his metabolism: vitamins, minerals and trace elements." Jonathan is firmly ahead of the last turtle that held the honor of being the longest-living chelonian, Tu’i Malila. Tu’i Malila lived a hearty life of 188 years, from 1777 to 1965. Like others, Joe is also awestruck by Jonathan's resilience. He states, “It is extraordinary to think that this gentle giant has outlived every other living creature on land, including, of course, the whole human race. Jonathan is in good health and all the indications at present make us hopeful that he will reach his third century—if indeed he hasn't done so already!"



 

The tortoise, even after almost two centuries on Earth, has a huge zeal for life. "In spite of his age, Jonathan still has good libido and is seen frequently mate with Emma and sometimes Fred—animals are often not particularly gender-sensitive!" Joe revealed. Some of his favorite daily activities include sunbathing, sleeping, eating and mating, which everyone hopes he will continue to do for many years. His town is set for another three days of festivities filled with celebration for this wondrous creature and the momentous life he has lived.



 

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