183-Year-Old Tortoise Gets a Special Makeover! How He Braves It for A Special Visitor! How Gorgeous!

I always love seeing these stories about people who live to be over 100. It’s especially nice if they have all their faculties and are aware of what century they are in. We could learn a lot from them too, they have many more decades of life, wisdom and experience than we do. That said, Jonathan, a giant tortoise who was born in 1833, has them all beat. That’s not a typo, by the way. When he was born, the American Civil War had yet to begin. This cool video shows him getting his shell cleaned for the first time.

It would be really cool if they could somehow tap into his memories over the near two-centuries he’s been alive. Then again, he’s been on the island of St. Helena for over 130 years, so it’s not like he’s seen the entire industrial boom from, say, London. A royal visitor was going to come to the island to recognize him as the oldest living land animal, so they wanted him to look his best.

The whole wash wasn’t a bad process. The vet, Dr. Joe Hollins, used a gentle soap and non-abrasive cloth to wipe him down. It turned out it was the first time EVER for him. Apparently, the other caretakers there didn’t consider cleaning him a priority. Hollins found out that Jonathan was so old that the rings around his shell had worn away. That’s old. I wouldn’t say that he looked like a new tortoise at the end, he just looked slightly less aged.

Longevity has long fascinated me. Why is it a struggle for humans to reach 100 years while these tortoises can hurdle the 150-year mark with ease? Certainly, part of it is because they do NOT rush anywhere. “Hurry” is not in their vocabulary. If they were walking around outside and someone told them that their house was on fire: Oh well. It was a good home. Got to find a new one eventually…

Jonathan looked awesome. May he make it to 200 and beyond. What did you think? Leave a comment below!

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