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Zeeland potbelly pig could soon be world's oldest

6:02 PM, Jun 19, 2013   |    comments
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ZEELAND, Mich. (WZZM) - They call him Mr. Chops, but he's never been on anyone's plate or part of their meal. In fact, he's just 13 days away from being the oldest potbelly pig in the world, after celebrating his 21st birthday at a Zeeland farm this week.

His loud grunts and old age, have earned him a nickname at the Critter Barn in Zeeland. "Mr. Chops has been known as a grumpy old man," says Mary Rottschafer, executive director of the Critter Barn.

Mr. Chops doesn't move very fast, but he is chasing after a world record.

"It's kind of sad to think we're watching how long he lives, but he's elderly, and he's living a good life right now," says Rottschafer.

Tuesday marked Mr. Chops' 21st birthday, leaving only 13 days until he is the oldest potbelly pig in history. At the Critter Barn where he lives, about 200 celebrated with balloons and cake.

"Of course we served it pig style, just scoop out a little cake, throw it on a napkin, and tell everyone to eat like a pig," says Rottschafer.

Mr. Chops has become such a celebrity that the farm gave him his own wall of fame, showing some of the highlights of his golden years

"Mr. Chops would come out and entertain everybody and do his tricks," Rottschafer explains.

There was no 21st birthday drink, other than apple juice, but Mr. Chops did get a new pillow.

The critter barn says potbelly pigs usually live between 12 and 15 years. The Guinness World Record is currently held by a pig named Oscar, who lived 21 years and 13 days.

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