World's oldest known tortoise in gay relationship

  • 21/10/2017
World's oldest known tortoise in gay relationship
Photo credit: Wikipedia

A 186-year-old Seychelles giant tortoise has recently been forced out of the closet after it was revealed his partner of 26 years is probably a male.

Jonathan the tortoise arrived on the British overseas territory of St Helena, nearly 2000 kilometres off the coast of southern Africa, in the 1880s, as a gift from the Seychelles.

He's a local icon on the island, featured on tourist posters and even money. Multiple visiting dignitaries have met the animal.

In 1991 another tortoise believed to be female was gifted to the Governor of St Helena. The hope was the new tortoise, named Frederica, would breed with Jonathan.

But in the 26 years since 1991 they never did breed, despite Jonathan clearly being smitten with Frederica. 

The reason why has now been discovered, with The Times reporting that upon recent examination it was discovered Frederica was actually most likely a Frederic.

St Helena currently has no plans to legitimise Jonathan and Frederic's relationship; plans on the island to legalise same-sex marriage were shelved in 2016.