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Celebrating 190 years of Jonathan (the tortoise)

Imagine what this (not so little guy) has seen, considering he has been roaming the earth since 1832. Jonathan travelled under the British administration in 1882 when he was just 50 years of age to the historic landmark that is Saint Helena island on the South Atlantic Ocean.

Jonathan is known to be the oldest land animal but is the furthest thing from a grumpy old fart (as they say). He is more lively and inquisitive than ever and is the first of the lot to come out and meet his visitors, as he loves the company of humans. Weighing between 150-200 kg, he loves his fruits and some of his favourites are lettuce, cucumber, carrots and apples or anything juicy really, he also thoroughly enjoys guava’s from the loquat and Brazilian trees.

Jonathan leads a pretty lazy life, much like some of us humans, by getting up with the sun, he spends his day grazing on the green grass and natural herbs and by 17h00 he takes himself to bed. However in the winter when it’s cold and rainy, he usually slows down and will often sleep for several days between meals. The veterans that work on the island feed him by hand once a week to make sure he is kept on a healthy and balanced diet. Considering his age, he is blind and cannot smell as well as a young one but has exquisite hearing. Perhaps better than some people?

Jonathan will be celebrating his 190th birthday which is quite a lot of candles to be blowing out for a chelonian, but has many fans who I am sure would not mind giving him a hand.

Antonio Constance, otherwise known as Mazaren mentioned in an interview that he was delighted to hear of Jonathan being a world record holder but expressed his sadness about Jonathan not living in Seychelles where he hatched. “I am against the idea of giving away our endemic species, including the giant land tortoises. They should be here or in Aldabra, roaming their habitats as nature intended.” Mazaren added.

Mazaren mentioned that if anyone is keen on seeing some of these gentle giants in person, you are able to go and visit them in Seychelles – 115 islands western in the Indian Ocean, which is home to over 200 giant tortoises.

Jonathan is an endemic Seychelles tortoise and has been named the “Oldest Tortoise ever” by Guinness World Records, currently living on the Saint Helena island. Stated by his vet is in great condition for his age, which quite frankly is crazy to believe considering he has lived through both the World War one and two.

To explore Seychelles to the fullest, ensure that you make use of Car Rental in Mahe. Kreol Car Hire offer a range of vehicles up for rent that you and your fellow travellers can make use of to get places and of course meet these slowpokes.

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