He took up residence in Saint Helena in 1882. Jonathan celebrates, on Saturday December 3, at least 190 years, making him the oldest turtle ever recorded in the world.

A photo taken upon his arrival on the island shows that he was already at least 50 years old at the time, but he is surely older.

Jonathan entered the Guinness Book of Records at the start of the year.

“When you think about it, if it hatched in 1832 – Georgian times – my god the changes there have been in the world” since then, muses Joe Hollins, the island’s retired vet who takes care of the turtle.

"The world wars, the rise and fall of the British Empire, the governors, the kings and the queens who succeeded one another, it's quite extraordinary!", He lists.

The animal has lived on Saint Helena since 1882 and its age is only an estimate.

The animal has seen 35 governors pass through this British overseas territory but missed Napoleon, who was in exile on the island from 1815 to 1821. He now lives in the governor's residence alongside David, Emma and Fred, much younger turtles.

Three days of celebrations

"I hear him regularly on the lawn frolicking with Emma. But I have to watch them when they take action because turtles can turn on their backs and not get up again. It was not in the description of my position!”, assured AFP in 2017 the governor at the time, Lisa Phillips.

To celebrate the anniversary, the people of Saint Helena have organized three days of celebrations at the island's governor, who will feed him his favorite vegetables.

Jonathan - blind, without smell but with intact hearing - will have the right to a birthday cake.

A special stamp has been created to celebrate the most famous inhabitant of this island of 4,500 souls.

It already appears on 5-cent coins and immigration stamps.

With AFP

The summary of the

France 24 week invites you to come back to the news that marked the week

I subscribe

Take international news everywhere with you!

Download the France 24 app