Are there days when we you feel just a bit older than your years? Everybody has them. Maybe you didn’t get enough sleep or the stress of work had you down. Maybe you pulled a muscle or had no idea who the band Bowling for Soup was in the midst of a conversation with your niece and you thought she was participating in some kind of charity event. That can make you feel pretty up there in years. But, have you ever felt 182? Could you even conceptualize what it would feel like to actually be 182?

Jonathan the tortoise can. Jonathan is a rare Seychelles Giant Tortoise who calls the official residence of the Governor of the British Overseas Territories, located in St. Helena, his home. It’s unknown how Jonathan came to be at the property in the first place, though his age indicates that massive exploitation of tortoises for food between the 1600 and 1700s probably had something to do with it.

No one knows how Jonathan avoided that fate, but one thing is for certain. Jonathan is a well respected resident on the property and allowed free reign, clearly demonstrating that the members of the community know what it means to respect their elders!


Though there are no records, it’s believed that Jonathan arrived in St. Helena at the age of 50 in 1882.

He’s lived through 37 U.S. presidents, starting with Andrew Jackson!

His life has also spanned 8 British Monarchs, starting with George IV, and 51 prime ministers.

Governor Capes, the 33rd Jonathan has met, sees to it “that he should be treated with the attention and care he surely deserves.”

Cataracts have made hunting difficult, so his caretaker Joe supplements his diet with a bucket of fresh fruit and vegetables every Sunday.

He loves to have his neck stroked!

A viewing corridor was constructed at the bottom of the mansion’s lawn to keep tourists at bay and allow Jonathan to roam in peace.

With a life expectancy of 250 years, Jonathan should see many more years to come!


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