When Jude and Dan King purchased Ernestine the pig at 3 months old, little did they know how historic their purchase would one day become.
Now, more than 23 years later, Ernestine has been officially recognized by Guinness World Records as the oldest pig ever.
Born July 17, 1991 to breeder Judy Caron, Ernestine found a home with the Kings and their daughters Morgan and Rhiannon in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
“She lives in our house and loves to sleep most of the day, especially in the cold months here,” Jude said. “But loves to get outside in the summer to bask in the sun.”
Since joining the family, Ernestine has been part of every birthday, anniversary, and other celebration.
Her life almost took an extremely different turn, as Ernestine had been sold to a different family at 6 weeks old.
But the family returned her after she made too much loud noise whenever the owners would pick her up – a common trait among many pigs, who are scared of heights. The Kings had been waiting for a pig from Judy’s breed and happened to be looking when Ernestine was returned.
She breaks the previous record that had been officially verified at 21 years 166 days old by “Pig,” a pig owned by Kris and Tricia Fernandez in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
After surgeries to remove two back molars and detach inner eyelashes that has grown stuck to her corneas within the first year, Ernestine has lived a healthy and happy life since.
When Judy sold Ernestine to the Kings two decades ago, she told them to expect her to live about 12 years. She’s now nearly doubled that prediction en route to history.
"Well she knows she's a big deal," Jude recently told CBC News. "She gets a few extra grapes and raspberries, you know, just cause she's old."
The 60th Anniversary Diamond Edition of the Guinness World Records book is out now! Find out all about it and see record holders like the longest tongue at www.guinnessworldrecords.com/2015
And for the latest on all things world record, visit Guinness World Records on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and our brand-new Instagram. Plus check out Guinness World Records on YouTube to subscribe for the latest record-breaking videos!