He lives on the island of Saint Helena, a British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic, his home since 1882, arriving when he was 50-years-old.
When he was hatched circa 1832, future U.S. President Abraham Lincoln was just 23. Jonathan has lived through 40 U.S. presidents, eight British monarchs and two world wars.
As well as:
The invention of the flush toilet (1851), telephone (1876), electrified homes (1882), airplane flight (1903), broadcast TV (1939), digital computers (1945), and the Internet (1983).
How big is Jonathan? Where is his residence? And what about his social life?
In size, his shell is four-feet across and he lives on the grounds of the governor’s house with his tortoise companions, Emma, Fred [formerly Frederica, before a gender check] and David.
Jonathan likes to walk, and his interests, according to his vet Dr. Joe Hollins, are eating, sleeping, and mating.
“In spite of his age, Jonathan still has good libido and is seen frequently to mate with Emma and sometimes Fred – animals are often not particularly gender-sensitive,” said Joe.
His favorite foods include apples, bananas, cabbage, carrots, and cucumbers.
At his age, he does have limitations: According to Saint Helena’s government, he is blind and has no sense of smell.
But they add that his hearing is great and he loves humans. Visitors are welcome to play with Jonathan, but gently.