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Love nest planned for the oldest old romantic in the world

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Jonathan extends his neck, side on to the camera
Jonathan the giant tortoise: fond of necking. Picture by Guy Gatien

Jonathan the tortoise may still have the energy for romantic love-ins with his young lady companions, but it seems the attention of tourists on St Helena may be too much for him.

Despite the evidence of his lively libido, there are concerns for the health of the giant tortoise – the oldest known living creature on Earth.

As a result, proposals have been drawn up for changes to the paddock shared by the five giant tortoises at Plantation House.

On Wednesday 11 July 2012, the island’s planning board considers an application for new fencing arrangements at the historic house.

Details of planning applications on St Helena are not routinely published on the internet but island vet Joe Hollins has welcomed news that his advice appears to have been put into effect.

He said: “Done tastefully it’ll be a great solution to the paddock issue – providing access and good views, but without impairing the heritage and harming the tortoises.

FEATURE: Jonathan the tortoise: a slow heart-throb keeps on going: His great age means he can barely see or smell the grass, and his beak is so blunt he has to be fed by hand. But Jonathan, the oldest known creature in the world, enjoys a vigorous private life. Even so, keeping him alive well beyond his natural span is a challenge.
FEATURE: The great survivor: how Jonathan turned out not to be extinct

Lonesome George, the giant tortoise, dies in Galapagos – June 2012
Planning board agenda 11 July 2012 (Word document)

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