ST. HELENA – The world’s oldest living animal is finally clean.
Jonathan, a 184-year-old tortoise who lives on the British territory of St. Helena, received his first-ever bath last week ahead of a Royal visit.
Nearly two centuries of grime was scrubbed off his shell using a loofah, a soft brush and surgical soap, according to The Telegraph.
Dr. Joe Hollins, the vet for the tiny British outpost island in the south Atlantic, 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.
After the bath, Dr. Hollins discovered that the rings on his shell, which usually show how old a tortoise is, have almost completely worn away.
In its time on St Helena the tortoise has seen 28 British governors come and go. Eight British monarchs from George IV to Elizabeth II have been crowned during its lifetime and 51 British Prime Ministers have served at 10 Downing Street.