The world’s oldest tortoise is in a relationship with a younger reptile, who vets recently discovered is a male.
Jonathan (pictured) is 186 years old and believed to be the world’s oldest living land animal.
He lives on St Helena, a British Overseas Territory 1,200 miles off the coast of southern Africa, and he’s such a celebrity on the island he has his own Facebook and Wikipedia pages. He was given as a gift to the island’s governor in the 1880’s and now features on one of the territory’s coins.
Jonathan has been in a relationship with the much younger tortoise Frederica – as he was previously known – for 26 years after vets decided he needed a mate and introduced the pair, The Times reported.
Frederica underwent a medical procedure recently and it was discovered he was male, prompting him to be renamed Frederic.
Local vet Catherine Man said the pair eat and sleep at the same times, and attempt to mate on Sunday mornings.
Last year, vets noticed Jonathan’s health deteriorating due to his blindness and his loss of his sense of smell, they put him on a special diet to extend his lifespan.
“The life expectancy of a giant tortoise is 150 but there is no reason why Jonathan won’t still be here after we have all gone,” Dr Joe Hollins said at the time.
With a population of just 4,255, St Helena is currently deciding on marriage equality legislation. A ruling from its top court is expected next year.
(Photo by David Stanley/Flickr)