The champ inspects the carpet in front of his Guinness certificate.
By Kate Augusto, Globe Correspondent
Plenty of hopping? Just a nibble of the finest lettuce? Clean living? Whatever he's been doing, it's working. George, a rabbit living with a Tewksbury family, has been declared the oldest rabbit in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records.
George, who is 14, was awarded the “The Oldest Living Rabbit” honors by Guinness after several vets confirmed his age.
The life expectancy for rabbits is 6 to 8 years, making George nearly double the average, or about 160 years old in human terms.
Joe Breton, 33, got George while at the University of Maine in 1994, four months before he met his wife, Amy.
Amy credits the rabbit with bringing her and her husband together.
“When I first met my husband I had not much in common with him,” said Amy, 32, a veterinary technician. “But I thought, ‘He can’t be that bad because he has a rabbit’ … and eventually I fell in love with him.”
Amy said she and her husband, a civil engineer, had to fill out tons of paperwork and get witnesses to sign papers saying they knew the rabbit in order to get the distinction. A spokeswoman for Guinness in London, Amarilis Espinoza, confirmed that George is the champ.
Amy said she and her husband joke that the Pez and Doritos they fed George in college are part of the reason he’s still alive.
“I would never recommend for anyone to feed that to a rabbit but he was a college dorm room rabbit so maybe that helped with his longevity,” she said.
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