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Thread: Jonathan the 176-year-old tortoise

  1. #1
    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Dec 2006

    Default Jonathan the 176-year-old tortoise

    At 176, Jonathan the tortoise is knocking on a bit. In fact, he's said to be one of the world's oldest living animals.
    A photograph from about 1900 has been found which apparently backs up this claim.
    It shows Jonathan, aged around 70, munching on grass with a Boer War prisoner beside him.

    Jonathan the giant tortoise is fit and healthy despite being 176 years old

    It was taken on the British colony of St Helena where Jonathan still lives today and is treated like a celebrity due to his legendary status.
    During his lifetime, Jonathan has seen the coronation of eight British monarchs from George IV to Elizabeth II and a staggering 50 prime ministers.
    Today he lives with fellow land tortoises David, Speedy, Emma, Fredricka and Myrtle in a plantation on the South Atlantic island.
    Despite his old age, locals say he still has the energy to regularly mate with the three younger females.
    A spokesman for the island's tourist board said Jonathan is owned by the St Helena government and lives in the specially built plantation on the governor's land.

    Jonathan in 1900 with a Boer war prisoner on the remote island of St Helena

    He said: 'Jonathan is the sole survivor of three tortoises that arrived on St Helena Island in 1882.
    'He was already mature when he arrived and was at least 50 years old.
    'Therefore his minimum age is 176. He is the oldest inhabitant on St Helena and is claimed to be the oldest living tortoise in the world.
    'He lives in the grounds of Plantation House which is the governor's residence with five other tortoises who are much younger than him.
    'Apparently he remained nameless for the most part of his residence in St Helena until he was named by Governor Sir Spencer Davis in the 1930s.
    'He feeds on the grass of the main paddock. Jonathan is still very active despite his age and adores attention, he is a real poser.
    'He seems to be sightless in one eye, but does not let that slow him down.'
    It is thought Jonathan, from the species Testudinipae cytodira, was brought to St Helena from the Seychelles as a mature adult in 1882.

    His remarkable existence has come to light after the photograph was discovered as part of a collection of Boer War images taken by L.A. Innes who had a studio in the capital Jamestown.
    The pictures were recently sold at auction for 4,000 by Andrew Smith and Son auctioneers near Winchester, Hants.
    Further investigation by the auctioneers revealed the tortoise in the picture was Jonathan who was still alive.
    St Helena has a population of more than 4,200. Its greatest claim to fame came when Napoleon was exiled there in 1815.
    He was held prisoner there until his death in 1821 and is buried there.

    Jonathan the 176-year-old tortoise revealed as world's oldest animal in Boer War photo | Mail Online

  2. #2
    Elite Member yoyoma's Avatar
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    Oct 2005


    Wow! Incredible...

  3. #3
    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    Aug 2008


    Despite his old age, locals say he still has the energy to regularly mate with the three younger females.
    The Hugh Hefner of the animal kingdom.

    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge."

    -- Stephen Hawking

  4. #4
    Elite Member Penny Lane's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    Over the hills and far away


    That's frickin' awesome!

  5. #5
    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    Sleepy night night land


    Just amazing.

  6. #6
    Eli is offline
    Hit By Ban Bus! Eli's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    Grand Canyon


    "Mmm, yes, rather."

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