Saint Helena, the British crown estate in the South Atlantic Ocean, is celebrating the 190th anniversary of the island’s oldest inhabitant: a giant Seychellois tortoise named Jonathan. Zoologists believe that he was born in 1832.
Plantation House, the governor’s residence, on the territory of which the old-timer lives, opened its doors to all visitors for three days. Commemorative stamps have been issued on the island in honor of the hero of the day, whose portrait has long adorned the local fivepence coin.
In 1882, four giant tortoises were brought to Saint Helena from the Seychelles. However, Jonathan received his own name only in 1930 – that’s what the governor Sir Spencer Davis called him. In total, during his life, 28 governors were replaced on the island.
Jonathan is the oldest land animal known to science. Years gradually take their toll, he is blind, does not smell, but is perfectly oriented by hearing. Saved the old-timer and libido. At the same time, he mates not only with a female named Emma, but also with a male, whose name is Fred. “Animals often don’t pay attention to gender,” veterinarian Joe Hollins was quoted as saying by CNN.