Nov 062017

    St. Helena

Jonathan, the tortoise, is a young 186 years and lives on St. Helena, a British Overseas Territory off the coast of southern Africa.  It is worth noting that I actually met Henriette in Steve Irwins’zoo, Australia at a time when she was the world’s oldest tortoise.

Jonathan – doesn’t look a day over 185

The world’s oldest tortoise is in a relationship with a younger mate, and it turns out that tortoise is a male.  They have been together for 26 years.


Given as a gift to the governor in the 30s, he features on the Saint Helena five pence coin.

Vets decided Jonathan needed a mate in 1991.

And it worked, ‘Frederica’ and Jonathan had enjoyed regular mating sessions every Sunday morning.

After three decades, vets now know why the couple never had young.

Vets find out Jonathan’s mate is a male

Vets repaired a lesion on shell of ‘Frederica’, and it turned out the tortoise was a male.

So he’s been renamed Frederic, according to The Times.


Catherine Man, the island vet, said the pair were ‘creatures of habit’, eating and sleeping at the same times. They live off a healthy diet of vegetable titbits and vitamins.

Jonathan is blind from cataracts and has lost his ability to smell. However, the tortoise has retained excellent hearing.

St Helena’s fight for same-sex marriage

St Helena, which has a population of 4,255, is currently deciding on whether to legislate for same-sex marriage.

Earlier this year, a gay couple applied to get married as the law is unclear on the issue.

The Legislative Council asked for the public for their opinions on marriage equality, with comments needing to be submitted by 27 October.

A Supreme Court hearing on marriage equality in St Helena is expected in January 2018.

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