Pets and Animals : Fact check: Viral image doesn't show oldest known land animal! The claim:…

Fact check: Viral image doesn't show oldest known land animal! The claim:…

A photo shows a giant tortoise named Jonathan that is the oldest, known terrestrial animal.

On the remote British island of St. Helena, a tortoise named Jonathan resides as the oldest, known living land animal. His story has gained a lot of attention online.

“Say hello to Jonathan. He was born in 1832 and is 189 years old," claims a July 6 post, alongside a picture of a tortoise. "He was 30 during the Civil War. He is the oldest known living terrestrial animal in the world.".

Other users shared the same image and claim.

But there's just one problem. The image in the post isn't actually that tortoise.

Photo shows another tortoise named Hugo:

The photo shows a Galapagos tortoise named Hugo who lives at the Australian Reptile Park. Hugo is 70 years old and the oldest animal at the park.

In an email a spokesperson for the park confirmed the tortoise in the photo is Hugo.

“The photo makes the rounds on reddit every couple of months or so, claiming to be Jonathan!” wrote Caitlin Vine. "Jonathan is a real tortoise but he’s actually a Seychelles giant tortoise, a subspecies of the Aldabra giant tortoise.".

Zookeeper Dan Rumsey confirmed that he took the photo of Hugo that's misidentified in social media posts. On Dec. 16, 2019, Rumsey posted the image.

The park and Rumsey frequently post photos of Hugo.

Jonathan is the oldest living terrestrial animal:

Jonathan, roughly 189 years old, lives on the Atlantic island of St. Helena on the grounds of the historic “Plantation House” with other tortoises and St. Helena's governor.

In February 2019, Guinness World Records named Jonathan the world’s oldest animal on land. Experts estimate Jonathan was born in 1832. He has resided on St. Helena since he was brought to the island in 1882 and gifted to then-Gov. William Grey-Wilson.

Kimberley Peters, a digital media officer for the St. Helena government, said the photo does not show Jonathan.

“Just to confirm this is definitely not Jonathan the tortoise from St. Helena,” she said.

Fact-checkers have previously debunked other posts that misrepresented images of other tortoises as Jonathan.

Our rating: False:

Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that a photo shows a giant tortoise named Jonathan that is the oldest, known living land animal. Jonathan is a Seychelles giant tortoise living in St. Helena and the oldest known living terrestrial animal, however, he is not the tortoise in the image. The Australian Reptile Park confirmed the image shows its Galapagos tortoise, Hugo.
Our fact-check sources:

Guinness World Record, Feb. 27, 2019, Introducing Jonathan, the world’s oldest animal on land at 187 years old.

Australian Reptile Park, Sept. 30, 2020, Hugo the Giant Galapagos Tortoise Turns 70!

Caitlin Vine, July 8.

Dan Rumsey, July 8.

Dan Rumsey, Dec. 16, 2019.

Australian Reptile Park, July 6.

Dan Rumsey, June 21.

St. Helena Island . info, accessed July 11, Plantation House.

Kimberley Peters, July 9.

AFP Fact Check, June 24, The photo shows a giant Galapagos tortoise in Australia, not Guinness record-holder “Jonathan the Tortoise”.


“IF you made it to Heaven, your life was a SUCCESS! HOWEVER, IF you made it to Hell…your life was a FAILURE! YOU FAILED! YOU'RE a FAILURE!”!

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Re: Fact check: Viral image doesn't show oldest known land animal! The claim:…

Oh no! Jonathan is really Hugo! 😱

Re: Fact check: Viral image doesn't show oldest known land animal! The claim:…

🐢

“IF you made it to Heaven, your life was a SUCCESS! HOWEVER, IF you made it to Hell…your life was a FAILURE! YOU FAILED! YOU'RE a FAILURE!”!
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