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The World’s Oldest Tortoise

By Linda Tancs

St. Helena and Ascension, together with the Tristan da Cunha islands group, are among the world’s most isolated islands and comprise a British overseas territory in the South Atlantic. It’s the perfect spot for, say, a giant tortoise to live a peaceful life. That’s what Jonathan, a giant tortoise, is doing on St. Helena. He’s at least 190 years old, earning him the title of “oldest tortoise ever” in Guinness World Records. Given his advanced age, he also holds the record as “world’s oldest animal on land.” He’s lived through two world wars, the rise and fall of the British Empire, changes in the monarchy as well as the passing of dozens of governors of his island home.

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