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Oldest Dog in the World Faces Posthumous Title Stripping Amid Suspicions of Fraud

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Photo: Oldest Dog in the World Faces Posthumous Title Stripping Amid Suspicions of Fraud. Source: Guinness World Records
Photo: Oldest Dog in the World Faces Posthumous Title Stripping Amid Suspicions of Fraud. Source: Guinness World Records

A purebred dog of the Rafeiro do Alentejo breed, nicknamed Bobi, who passed away in October 2023 at the age of 31, has temporarily lost the title of "World's Oldest Dog." This comes as experts raise doubts about the authenticity of the information, reports The Guardian.

Bobi, officially born on May 11, 1992, gained recognition from the Guinness World Records in February 2023 as the oldest dog in history. He surpassed the previous record held since 1939 by Blue, an Australian Shepherd who lived for 29 years and 5 months.

Despite Bobi's birthdate being confirmed in the Portuguese government's database and the National Veterinary Association, experts have cast suspicions on his age, equating it to over 200 human years.

Veterinarians, in particular, pointed out differences in the colour of Bobi's paws in photographs from 1999 compared to later pictures.

Genetic research confirmed Bobi's old age but did not pinpoint the exact age. Danny Chambers, a veterinarian and member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, expressed doubts about Bobi's actual age, stating, "None of my veterinary colleagues believe that Bobi was truly 31 years old."

An investigation by Wired revealed that although the Portuguese government's database contained a record of Bobi, there was insufficient data to confirm or refute his age. A representative from the government's database stated that Guinness World Records had not reached out to verify the information.

On Tuesday, a representative from Guinness World Records officially confirmed the stripping of Bobi's title pending the completion of the investigation. Meanwhile, Bobi's owner, Leonel Costa, claims that the "veterinary elite" is trying to distort his pet's history.

Costa attributes the scepticism about Bobi's age to his explanation of Bobi's longevity through a human-like diet, rather than pet food, contradicting the recommendations of many veterinarians. "Everything would be different if we said he ate pet food for three decades," said Costa, adding that all Guinness World Records' requirements for confirming Bobi's age were met.

In May, The Gaze reported on a party hosted in celebration of Bobi's 31st birthday, attended by over 100 guests and even featuring a dance performance.

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