Oldest captive fish euthanized in his mid-90s by Chicago aquarium

Granddad circa 1933 or 1934 at the Shedd

Lungfish can live up to 100 years and are a protected species in Australia.

"The last living link with Shedd's earliest history was broken Sunday, Feb. 5, when our animal care team made the hard decision to euthanize Granddad, the world-famous Australian lungfish, after a rapid decline in his health", the aquarium said in a statement.

Aquarium officials estimate he was more than 90 years old.

An Australian lungfish that entranced visitors to Chicago's Shedd Aquarium for more than 80 years has been euthanized due to old age, the popular tourist attraction announced Monday.

"For a fish who spent much of his time imitating a fallen log, he sparked curiosity, excitement and wonder among guests of all ages who would hear his story and learn about the incredible biology that makes his species a living fossil and one of the oldest living vertebrate genera on the planet", Coughlin said. Shedd Aquarium said it will conduct a full autopsy, even as early findings revealed that Granddad's condition was consistent with his geriatric age.




"Granddad was an iconic resident and made dark brown, slow moving fish extremely loveable", said the aquarium's Vice President of Public Relations Andrea Rogers.

In 1933, an exposition expected to draw millions of people was set to take place close to Shedd's facilities, and Granddad arrived from Australia's Taronga Zoo in Sydney as part of a bid to give aquarium visitors some new aquatic animals to see.

"Granddad delighted guests when several times an hour he would slowly rise from his apparent torpor at the bottom of the habitat, slowly flap his large pectoral and pelvic fins, and slurp air at the surface".

One Facebook user wrote a remembrance of Granddad, describing a role that the fish had in his wedding. Sattler, who has provided care for Granddad for more than 15 years, said he will be missed.

Granddad was one of three other Australian lungfish who are exhibited at the aquarium, one of which is an African lungfish who is scheduled to go on display soon.

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