Jonathan the Turtle celebrates his 190th birthday : NPR

Jonathan the Turtle celebrates his 190th birthday : NPR
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Jonathan, St. Helena, October 2017. The world’s oldest tortoise celebrates its 190th birthday this year.

Gianluigi Guercia/AFP via Getty Images

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Gianluigi Guercia/AFP via Getty Images

Jonathan, St. Helena, October 2017. The world’s oldest tortoise celebrates its 190th birthday this year.

Gianluigi Guercia/AFP via Getty Images

He lived through two world wars, eight British monarchs and 40 US presidents. Throughout his life, he witnessed the first telephone call (1876), the first skyscraper (1885), the first powered flight (1903), the first people to walk on the Moon (1969).

He was alive when the first photograph of a person was taken (1838); now he poses for selfie with fascinated tourists. It was born before the creation of the postage stamp (1840) and now appears on stamps.

He is the world’s oldest tortoise, Jonathan. And it celebrates its 190th birthday.

Jonathan spent the weekend on the South Atlantic island and British overseas territory of St. Helena is where she spent most of her long life (minus the first 50 years or so).

Jonathan is believed to have been born in 1832, but he could potentially be even older. Her estimated age It is based on the fact that he was fully mature when brought to Louis. Helena from Seychelles in 1882 as a gift to the then-governor.

And an old photograph of a fully grown Jonathan grazing on the lawn at the Governor’s residence – called Plantation House – between 1882 and 1886 further supports this theory. Guinness World Records. He has lived there ever since and now enjoys the company of three giant tortoises named David, Emma and Fred.

Guinness World Records declared Jonathan world’s oldest chelonian – A category covering turtles, tortoises, and aquatic turtles – three years after it was named, in January oldest known living land animal.

Jonathan is blind and has no sense of smell, but has a great sense of hearing and enjoys being with people. Helena government told the record holder at the beginning of 2022.

Jonathan’s favorite foods include cabbage, cucumber, carrot, apple, banana and lettuce hearts. Veterinarian Joe Hollins described his primary interests as sleeping (in the sun or under mowing, depending on the temperature), eating, and mating.

“Jonathan still has a good libido despite his age and is often seen mating with Emma and sometimes Fred – animals are generally not gender sensitive!” said Hollins.

Jonathan has actually been hailed as a gay icon for some time now. In 2017, caregivers met with his wife of nearly thirty years, Frederica, during a medical procedure. not actually a woman as the two have been thought to be since they were first introduced in 1991 – which explains the name Fred and the lack of offspring.

This is just one of the interesting aspects of Jonathan’s fascinating life (the other being, first bath a few years ago, at 184 mature years old), this far exceeded the typical expectation that Hollins said was 150 years.

“Despite being aware of his responsibility and of course that he will die one day, I believe we have greatly increased his life expectancy.” guinness in 2019. “Like every celebrity, we made plans for his death in advance, but we hope not to put them into practice yet.”

Jonathan’s birthday party closes a year of celebration

While Jonathan’s exact date of birth is unknown, Governor Nigel Phillips granted him a leave of absence. official birthday December 4, 1832, earlier this year and timed the big party to coincide with the popular annual Christmas market at Plantation House.

People can visit a private Stalls at Jonathan market to watch an animated video of his life, see the winners of an art competition held in his honor, and purchase Jonathan-themed stamps and souvenirs, among other perks.

And the birthday boy was served a special salad cake with some of his favorite foods like tomatoes and bananas.

The festivities this weekend weren’t fans’ only chance to wish Jonathan well. st. Helena actually i was celebrating (some might say crushing a shell) it’s his birthday every year.

Local art and souvenir competitions are held; limited edition portraits, prints and postage stamps; He gave his visitors certificates bearing the first image of the footprint and created crowdsourced photo and video montages celebrating Jonathan’s life – including “everything he’s been through, the people who connected with him, and that DNA research could change our understanding.” the aging process and cancer.” Also depicted on the reverse of the island’s 5-pence coin.

st. Helena’s tourism site says she has also applied for a national holiday in Jonathan’s honor.

It’s an honor befitting local celebrities and attractions who have met many high-profile visitors over the years, including the late Queen Elizabeth when she was still a princess in 1947.

Today, visitors can see Jonathan wandering around Plantation House, but some restrictions have been imposed after what Hollins called “mobbing and inappropriate behavior on cruise tours.”

Tiny Lucy, another of Jonathan’s caretakers, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that there is a strict policy of not doing anything that will cause undue stress – so, for example, children visiting dignitaries standing on their shell to take pictures should not be children.

“Turtles don’t move fast and they think about everything. When I get up, it definitely reduces the anxiety you might feel and everything has a slower pace,” he said. “He’s a charming old gentleman. He really is.”

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