Meet the worlds oldest animal - Jonathan the tortoise, 176!

December 4th, 2008 - 4:24 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Dec 4 (ANI): A photograph taken in 1900 during the Boer War has led to the discovery of the worlds oldest living animal - Jonathan the tortoise.

In the photograph taken, a tortoise can be seen nibbling grass as a Boer War prisoner and guard posed in the background.

At the time the picture was taken, Jonathan was already 70-years-old, and now he has reached the age of 176, and is still fully functioning in every sense of the word, though he cant see out of one eye.

Jonathan lives on the British colony of St Helena, and that was where the picture had been taken.

He now lives with pals David, Speedy, Emma, Fredricka and Myrtle in a special plantation on land owned by the governor of his South Atlantic Island.

And the aged turtle has proved that he is still young at heart as he regularly mates with three sprightly young females in his compound.

Going back through the years, Jonathan has lived through the coronations of eight British monarchs and survived fifty Prime Ministers.

Jonathan is the sole survivor of three tortoises that arrived on St Helena Island in 1882, the Sun quoted a spokesman for the St Helena tourist board as saying.

He was already mature and at least 50 when he got here. Therefore hes at least 176.

He lives in the grounds of Plantation House the governors residence with five much younger tortoises, including three females.

He feeds on the grass of the main paddock and is still very active despite his age, the spokesman added.

Guinness World Records names the oldest known animal ever as a tortoise from Madagascar called Tui Malila, who died in 1966 aged 189.

Giant Land Tortoises live a hell of a lot longer than humans and, due to this, you need to have several generations of people keeping reliable documents to provide 100 per cent proof of its age, British expert Dr Henry Nicholls said.

About 200 is a really good age for a giant tortoise. They reach adulthood at 20, he added. (ANI)

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