Friday, 25 March 2016

World's oldest tortoise, Jonathan, enjoys his first ever bath at age 184


World’s oldest living animal, Jonathan the tortoise is starting over with a clean sheet at 184 years old - after a vet gave him his first ever bath. Dr Joe Hollins, the vet for the British outpost of St Helena in the south Atlantic where Jonathan lives, decided to give him a spruce up ahead of a royal visit in a few weeks' time. The 58-year-old doctor scrubbed off his back with a loofah, soft brush and surgical soap.


Although he has lost his sense of smell and his eyesight is fading, Jonathan is said to be in good health. More photos below;


The world's oldest living animal is starting over with a clean sheet at 184 years old - after a vet gave him his first ever bath

Surgical soap was chosen as it is not caustic and soft brushes and a loofah were gently used to avoid damaging his shell

Jonathan the giant tortoise has come out of his shell after centuries of grime were painstakingly scrubbed off his back

Dr Joe Hollins said that Jonathan stood as still as a statue during the scrub. He's pictured here dealing with the rear of his shell 

There was no medical reason for his hour-long soak but it was done ahead of a visit by an unknown Royal to the tiny island of St Helena in May for the dedication of the new airport

There was no medical reason for his hour-long soak but it was done ahead of a visit by an unknown Royal to the tiny island of St Helena in May for the dedication of the new airport

He carefully scrubbed each of the segments of Jonathan's shell, known as scutes, and removed black sludge and bird droppings while the tortoise sedately chewed on grass

The spring clean comes months after Jonathan, who was aged 50 when he arrived on the historic isle in 1882, was placed on a special high calorie diet as it was feared his health was on the wane

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

Jonathan, who is 45ins long and can stand up to 2ft tall, arrived on St Helena as a gift to the governor from the Seychelles in the late 19th century

Before the scrub which left the ancient tortoise looking gleaming ahead of the upcoming royal visit

In his time on St Helena he has seen 28 British governors come and go. Eight British monarchs from George IV to Elizabeth II have been crowned during his lifetime and 51 British Prime Ministers have served at 10 Downing Street

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