This holidays I’ve spent the most wonderful 2 weeks on an internship in zoo. I was put in the “terrarium” department where I was taking care of all kinds of reptiles and amphibians. It was truly my dream come true, the best experience in my veterinary adventure so far.

I’ve been thinking for a long time that I would like to specialise in exotic animals in my future career and this experience made me sure in that decision.

I got hands on experience on caring for various species of turtles and tortoises, (the one you see me petting in the picture is Galapagos tortoise, the largest living tortoise species) I was administering medicine to the little spiny tailed lizard- Uromastyx acanthinura you can see me holding in the second picture, the little guy has some skin problems and needed ointment to be put on the affected areas. I also got to hold snakes for the first time in my life and was amazed how quick to run away they are😅


These two photos both feature the same Aldabra giant tortoise named Jonathan. The photo on the left was taken in 1902 and the photo on the right was taken in 2017. Jonathan was born in 1832 and today he is 186 years old.

Jonathan, the oldest known living terrestrial animal in the world, lives on the land of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean. Born in 1832, Jonathan has seen the invention of the electric guitar, the Ferris wheel, and the moving picture. He lives with a few other tortoises, although he’s yet to produce and offspring.

The life expectancy of a giant tortoise is around 150 years, and even though Jonathan is definitely beating the average he’s still not the oldest living reptile, a tortoise that lived to be 188 years old.