Jonathanfrom Plantation House, St. Helena

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.

His possible age was realised when a photograph was uncovered from a collection of Boer War images showing a tortoise next to a war prisoner around the year 1900. On 5 December 2008 the Daily Mail published a story claiming Jonathan is the same tortoise pictured in the photograph. If he were about 70 years old at the time of the photo, he could now be the oldest known living reptile on earth. The article erroneously stated Jonathan was of the species Testudinipae cytodira. This appears to be a double misspelling as well as a reference not to his species, but rather to his family, Testudinidae and suborder, Cryptodira respectively.


Make Daisy Meadow a brighter place and light a candle in memory of Jonathan

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