Jonathan the Seychelles giant tortoise turned 191 years old, and has set a record as the World's Oldest Living Land Animal

Last year we brought you news that Jonathan, a Seychelles giant tortoise living in St. Helena, a small island in the Atlantic, turned 190 years old on December 4, 2022. In that piece, Thom Dunn described Jonathan as "horny as fuck, but also old as fuck." Both seem to still be true.

Old Jonathan is still going strong, as he's now just turned 191, which just earned him a spot in Guinness World Records as the World's Oldest Living Land Animal. He also broke his own record for being the oldest documented chelonian (tortoise, turtle, or terrapin). Despite his very advanced age, though, according to his veterinarian Joe Hollins, Jonathan shows "no sign of slowing down." 

Smithsonian Magazine provides more information about Jonathan and his new record:

Jonathan is estimated to have been born around 1832, before the invention of the telephone, lightbulb or postage stamp. He's lived through 40 U.S. presidents and 31 governors of Saint Helena, the small island in the Atlantic where he lives. St. Helena is widely known for being the final residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, who died while in exile there after his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo. Bonaparte's remains were transferred to Paris from St. Helena in 1840—just 42 years before Jonathan arrived on the island.

Though his exact age is unknown, Jonathan was fully grown when he was gifted to the island's governor from Seychelles in 1882, which experts said meant he was at least 50 years old. Last year, the tortoise was granted an official birthday of December 4, 1832, by St. Helena Governor Nigel Phillips—but experts say he's likely even older. Seychelles giant tortoises (Aldabrachelys gigantea hololissa) have an average life expectancy of 150 years . . . 

"In spite of losing his sense of smell and being virtually blind from cataracts, his appetite remains keen," Hollins tells GWR. "He is still being hand-fed once a week with a fortifying helping of fruit and vegetables by a small, dedicated team. This not only supplements his calories but provides those essential drivers of his metabolism: vitamins, minerals and trace elements."

Happy birthday, Jonathan! Here's to many more!