Diet Tips From Jonathan, the World’s Oldest Living Tortoise

By Adam Campbell-Schmitt |

© Gillian Moore / Alamy Stock Photo

A short while back, things didn't look good for Jonathan. The 183-year-old Seychelles giant tortoise was losing his sense of smell and eyesight. (Hey, that's already happening to me in my 30s!) The poor guy was grabbing at random twigs, which not only left him weak and malnourished, but blunted his beak, making eating life-sustaining grass nearly impossible. Jonathan has already surpassed the 150-year life expectancy of the average giant tortoise, but that's no reason to just give up on life. If there's one thing Jonathan can teach all of us, it's that it’s never too late to change your eating habits. 

According to the Daily Mail, Jonathan's caretakers at the governor's house on the south Atlantic island of St. Helena decided it was time to intervene. They put him on a diet of high-calorie fruits and vegetables, including apples, bananas, cucumbers, carrots and guava. (Honestly, if I actually meant what I said about these New Year’s resolutions, that's probably what I should be eating for lunch.) The new regimen has helped Jonathan gain weight and his fat layer back, which is crucial for cold-blooded animals to survive the winter months. And yes, his beak is back in excellent grass-clipping condition. That means it’s probably only a matter of time before some insufferable friend of yours is touting the life-changing benefits of the Old-Ass Tortoise Cleanse.

While things are looking up for Jonathan, he’s still going to have to take it easy. His handlers say a trip back to his native home in the Aldabra Atoll would be too much for the reptile who's been around since before Abraham Lincoln was elected president. Also, the prospect of a seductive wild female tortoise raising his blood pressure could prove fatal, so breeding is out of the question (which is a shame, because he would make an excellent spokestortoise for reptile Cialis). But given his current lavish lifestyle, the island's vet says there's no reason Jonathan shouldn't expect to live into his 200s. Looks like fruit-hating Tom Brady had better get his act together and chow down on some guava if he ever wants to achieve immortality.

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