There’s a chance that the world’s oldest dog may not be able to keep his Guinness World Record title much longer.
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The authority for all things world-record-breaking said Tuesday that it was conducting a formal review into the oldest-dog record, which was awarded to a 31-year-old Rafeiro do Alentejo named Bobi from Portugal in February 2023, Guinness spokesperson Amanda Marcus told USA TODAY on Tuesday.
Bobi died about eight months later, USA TODAY reported.
The review was launched in response to a number of veterinarians expressing skepticism over Bobi’s age, The Associated Press reported.
The statement from Guinness said the publication is “reviewing evidence we have on file, seeking new evidence, reaching out to experts and those linked to the original application.”
Here’s what we know.
Who is Bobi?
Bobi spent his whole life in rural Portuguese village Conqueiros, about 93 miles north of the country’s capital, Lisbon, with his owner Leonel Costa and his family, USA TODAY previously reported.
Costa’s father decided that they could not care for the litter of four puppies Bobi was born into, because they already had too many animals to care for. So, they decided to do away with the litter.
“Unfortunately, at that time it was considered normal by older people … to bury the animals in a hole so that they would not survive,” Costa shared with Guinness.
Costa and his brothers were able to find Bobi alive nearby. He was lucky enough to escape, hiding in a pile of wood at their home.
The siblings kept the puppy’s existence a secret for as long as they could, but when the boys’ parents discovered Bobi was alive, “it was too late to put him down, so Bobi became a part of the family,” Guinness reported.
Bobi led a life full of love and celebration despite the rocky start.
His family threw the senior dog a “a lavish birthday party” with than 100 guests to celebrate his 31st birthday. Bobi died about 165 days after his birthday celebration.
He was described by his owner as “one of a kind” – adding that his family was “very happy and grateful to life for allowing us, after 30 years, to have Bobi in our daily lives.”
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What will happen to Bobi’s Guiness World Record title?
Whether Bobi will continue to be known as the world’s oldest dog depends on the outcome of the review.
His age had been independently verified and confirmed by a couple of agencies, including Guinness and the Sistema de Informação de Animais de Companhia, a database for pets authorized by the Portuguese government and managed by Sindicato Nacional dos Médicos Veterinários, the country’s national union of veterinarians.
The average life span for a dog like Bobi, the Rafeiro do Alentejo, is 12 and 14 years, Guinness reported.
No action has been taken in relation to any record holders yet, and any actions will be determined by the outcome of the review, Marcus said.
Guinness has also decided to “temporarily pause applications” on records for both the oldest living dog and the oldest dog ever “until all of our findings are in place and have been communicated.”
Contributing: Natalie Alund
More Bobi:World’s oldest dog ever, dies at age 31