Jonathan the Tortoise, oldest living animal (at 184) and shell star extraordinaire, received his first bath this week!
In anticipation of a royal visitor to his sanctuary on St. Helena, Vet Joe Hollins assisted Jonathan in a little sprucing up. Surgical soap and soft brushes were used to avoid injuring his shell and ensure the spa treatment was enjoyable for the royal tortoise.
‘We gave him a good scrub as we are expecting a royal visitor who is going to meet him so we want him to look his best.
‘He looks so much cleaner and he seemed to enjoy the whole experience.
‘Jonathan stood like a statue when I was washing him, I don’t know whether that was the vibrations he found soothing or he was thinking “at last, I’ve had my first bath!”
Seems even Jonathan enjoys a quality bum rub! We tend to think the royal visitors should be sprucing up for Jonathan but hey, any excuse for a tortoise spa day is a good one!
At 184 years old, Jonathan has lived through more history than most of us can remeber reading in school.
He currently shares his enclosure with four other giant tortoises – David, Emma, Frederika and Myrtle.
Although he has lost his sense of smell and his eyesight is fading, Jonathan is said to be in good health.
Dr Hollins, 58, now has to take his loofah to the other tortoises and some of them are dirtier than their elderly friend Jonathan.
Following the death of Harriet, a 175-year-old giant Galapagos Land tortoise, in 2005 in Australia, Jonathan has been recognised as the world’s oldest living land animal.
St Helena was chosen as the place of Emperor Napoleon’s second exile and the French dictator died there in 1821.
Keep being awesome Jonathan! A true king among shells.