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Jonathan The Tortoise Celebrates His 191st Birthday

A Seychelles giant tortoise named Jonathan turned 191 years old on December 4, 2023! To put it in perspective, the reptile was born before the invention of the telephone, postage stamps and photographs. With this milestone, Jonathan extended two previously-held Guinness World Records (GWR). He is the oldest living land animal and the oldest documented chelonian (tortoise, turtle, or terrapin).

Jonathan, who lives on the island of St. Helena, is thought to have been born around 1832. The estimate is based on the fact that he was at least 50 years old when he arrived at the small South Atlantic island in 1882. However, some experts believe the tortoise could be even older!

Not surprisingly, Jonathan is a local celebrity and even featured on the island's currency. His December 4th birthday, chosen by the island's current governor in 2022, was observed for three days!

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