Meet Jonathan, The World’s Oldest Living Tortoise


At 183, Jonathan may be the oldest living land creature.

Jonathan  is the oldest living tortoise, or even terrestrial animal, that lives on the island of Saint Helena, a British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic Ocean. When the media got hold of the idea that Jonathan  might be the oldest living creature on the planet, he also became the best-known tortoise on the planet 🙂

Jonathan was brought to the island from the Seychelles in 1882, along with three other tortoises at about 50 years of age. He was named in the 1930s by Governor Sir Spencer Davis. He continues to live in the grounds of Plantation House, the official residence of the Governor, and belongs to the government of Saint Helena. Jonathan is probably the oldest land animal currently living, but he isn’t the oldest ever – other tortoises have lived longer, with one unconfirmed tortoise in India that may have lived up to as many as 250 years of age.


Image credits: Guy Gatien


Image credits: Guy Gatien






Image credits: Darrin Henry