After a recent visit from the BBC News Magazine crew, Jonathan the Seychelles tortoise of St. Helena Island seemed young and spry and happy for rejuvenated press attention, as he may die literally any day now. He is 182 years old.
It is speculated that Jonathan is the oldest living land creature on the planet. He is in complete and total disrepair.
Joe Hollis, the sole vet on St. Helena Island told the BBC:
"He is virtually blind from cataracts, has no sense of smell - but his hearing is good."
Mysteriously, no one really knows why or how Jonathan ended up on the island. He has only four friends—Myrtle, Fredrika, David, and Emma—but many, many fans.
A photograph taken in 1882 shows Jonathan at his full size, and it can take 50 years to reach that physical maturity.
The years since haven't always been kind. Tourists would often do whatever it took to get "that" photo.
Now, a viewing corridor runs along the bottom of the lawn to keep overzealous sightseers at bay. It was a huge privilege for me to get so up close and personal.
An exceptionally extensive profile of the tortoise is available for your reading pleasure, a bizarre seemingly preemptive obituary for this oldass tortoise.
[Image via Mrondenberg.com]