2022-05-28

Jonathan the gay, sex-crazed tortoise is now the oldest to have ever lived


Jonathan’s libido shows no signs of slowing down. (AFP via Getty/ GIANLUIGI GUERCIA)

Jonathan, a world-famous 190-year-old gay giant tortoise in St Helena, has officially become the oldest tortoise to have ever lived.

According to the Guinness World Records, this year Jonathan will take the title of “oldest chelonian” – a category which encompasses turtles, terrapins and tortoises.

Before Jonathan, the oldest chelonian was Tu’i Malila, a radiated tortoise in Tonga who died at the age of 188.

According to Jonathan’s personal vet, despite his old age and the fact that he is both blind and without a sense of smell, Jonathan still enjoys his three favourite activities: eating, sleeping and sex.

Jonathan, who roams free on the grounds of the official residence of St Helena’s governor with three other giant tortoises, made headlines around the world in 2017 when he was accidentally outed.

When his partner, then known as Frederika, went for a check-up for a shell lesion, the vet discovered that the tortoise was in fact male. 

Jonathan and the 31-year-old tortoise now known as Frederik, have been together for three decades, and vets say Jonathan’s libido shows no signs of slowing down.

However, Jonathan isn’t strictly monogamous, and will also have sex with Emma, another tortoise that roams the grounds.

David, the fourth tortoise, appears to be the only one rejected by Jonathan.

Jonathan the giant tortoise’s exact birthday is unknown

The official website of St Helena contains an encyclopaedic amount of information on Jonathan, and clarifies that the tortoise’s date of birth cannot actually be determined.

The giant tortoise was brought to the island in 1882, when he was already around 50-years-old. There is no record of the date he hatched and he could even be up to 200-years-old.

However, due to some misreporting in the media, Wikipedia lists Jonathan’s date of birth as 7 February 1832, which some have accepted as his de facto birthday.

According to St Helena’s website, in 2015 St Helena Independent editor Mike Olsson said he “rather liked the idea”.

“If Wikipedia says it’s his birthday, then we’ll give him a birthday,” he said. Olsson then explained have a word with Joe Hollins, the vet who hand-feeds Jonathan once a week, and rubs his neck to help the food go down.

“We’ll give him a piece of lettuce, with a candle.”

Olsson added that Jonathan would only be given a single candle, because “183 candles on a piece of lettuce would look ridiculous”.



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