San Antonio's New Country Leader


Updated: March 24, 2016

184-year-old giant tortoise Jonathan gets first bath ever

By Ryan Biek

Video includes clips from St. Helena government.

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The world's oldest land animal just got his first bath ever, and it only took an estimated 184 years.

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Jonathan the giant tortoise is considered a national treasure on St. Helena Island in the Atlantic.

Surgical soap and soft brushes were reportedly used to protect his shell.

Dr. Joe Hollins, the vet who gave Jonathan his bath, said it was "purely for aesthetic reasons," but after the cleaning, Hollins noticed that the rings on Jonathan's shell, which would usually tell his age, had faded away.

Giant tortoises are usually only expected to live 150 years. After switching Jonathan to a more nutritious diet last year, St. Helena hopes he'll have plenty of years ahead of him.

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