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Bobi the Portuguese mastiff stripped of record as world’s oldest ever dog – The Guardian

Guinness World Records ‘no longer has the evidence’ that animal – 31 years and five months old when it died – was as old as claimed
Every dog has its day, they say, but Bobi the Portuguese mastiff’s reign as the “world’s oldest” hound has proven short-lived.
The once record-breaking dog has been stripped of his title by Guinness World Records (GWR) after officials declared there was no proof he was as long in the tooth as his owners claimed.
In a statement, GWR said it had concluded it “no longer has the evidence it needs to support Bobi’s claim as the record holder”.
It was claimed that Bobi was 31 and five months – a dog’s life spanning about 220 canine years – when he died in October, eight months after GWR declared him the world’s oldest living dog and the oldest dog ever.
The previous record-holder was Bluey, an Australian cattle dog who died in 1939 aged 29 years and five months.
However, no sooner was Bobi crowned than questions were raised by veterinary experts over whether it was biologically possible for a dog to live that long. Online photographs of Bobi in 1999 suggested he had different coloured paws to the dog that died in Portugal last year.
Sceptics pointed out that although his age had been registered on Portugal’s national pet database, this was based on the owners’ self-certification and chipping pets had only begun in 2008. Genetic testing established that Bobi was old but not exactly how old.
Just days after Bobi’s demise, Danny Chambers, a vet and council member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, suggested that claims the dog had lived more than three decades were false.
Chambers said that, of the 18,000 members of the Veterinary Voices group he runs, “not a single one” of his colleagues believed Bobi was actually 31 years old.
“This is the equivalent of a human living to over 200 years old which, given our current medical capabilities, is completely implausible. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and no concrete evidence has been provided to prove his age,” he said.
A then “totally serious” investigation by the technology magazine Wired discovered the Portuguese database had “no registration or data that can confirm or deny” the owners’ claims he was born in 1992. Bobi’s owner, Leonel Costa, did not respond to Wired’s questions.
Announcing that Bobi had been scratched from the records, Mark McKinley of GWR, who conducted the review into the entry, said: “We take tremendous pride in ensuring as best we can the accuracy and integrity of all our record titles. Following concerns raised by vets and other experts, both privately as well as within public commentary, and the findings of investigations conducted by some media outlets, we felt it important to open a review into Bobi’s record.”


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