178-year-old tortoise believed to be world's oldest

A 178-year-old tortoise is believed to be the world's oldest living animal.

178-year-old tortoise believed to be world's oldest

A 178-year-old tortoise is believed to be the world's oldest living animal.

Images of the animal, named Jonathan, with a Boer war prisoner and guard in 1900 were recently sold at auction near Winchester, England for £4,000 - and it has now been discovered that the Testudinipae cytodira is still alive and living on the remote island of St Helena.

The tortoise is owned by the St Helena government and has had a life that's spanned three centuries, eight British monarchs, and 50 prime ministers – but locals say the old-timer still has the energy to regularly mate with three younger females.

A spokesman for the island's tourist board said: "Jonathan is still very active despite his age and adores attention, he is a real poser."

The previous oldest tortoise was widely thought to be Harriet, a giant Galapagos land tortoise, who died in 2005 aged 175 in Australia.

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