People have only just found out that this 186-year-old tortoise may be gay

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The world’s oldest tortoise has just been outed as gay.

At 186 years old, Jonathan is the oldest inhabitant of the island of St Helena, and may even be the oldest reptile on Earth.

Back in 1991, the French consul, guardian of Longwood, decided to matchmake on behalf of Jonathan.

Jonathan the Tortoise
Jonathan the Tortoise

He brought him another tortoise, named Frederic, and the couple have enjoyed a wonderful 26 years together, and are said to be inseparable.

The only thing is, the female tortoise Frederica may actually be a male tortoise, and has tentatively been rechristened Frederic, The Times reports.

Their keepers only discovered this very recently, when “Frederica” was being treated for lesions to their shell.

Related: Meet our favourite LGBT animals: From Benjy the Bull to gay penguins

Same-sex sexual activity for human beings was only legalised in St Helena in 2001.

Although various anti-discrimination laws were passed in 2009, same-sex marriage is still not permitted in St Helena.

It was however passed in the adjacent islands of Ascension and Tristan da Cunha in 2017.

Jonathan is believed to have hatched in around 1832, though no-one is certain of his exact date of birth.

What is known that he was brought to St Helens in 1882, and given that he was fully mature he must have been at least 50 years old.

Jonathan was given a new diet a few years ago to help extend his lifespan and improve his health.

He is blind and lost his sense of smell, though his hearing is still said to be good.

Assuming his age is correct, he’s only got a few years to catch up with the all-time verified worlds oldest tortoise.

According to Guinness World Records, that’s Tu’i Malila, who died in Tonga in 1965 at the age of 189.