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Saturday, August 7, 1999 Published at 03:16 GMT 04:16 UK


Oldest goldfish has his chips

Tish turned from orange to grey in his twilight years

The world's oldest captive goldfish has died peacefully in his bowl, 43 years after he was won as a prize at a funfair.

Tish the goldfish achieved fame late in life after being recognised by the Guinness Book of Records only last year.

He was found dead at the bottom of his bowl earlier this week after a short illness.

Tish was buried in a yoghurt carton at the bottom of his owner Hilda Hand's garden.

Golden oldie

Mrs Hand, 72, of Thirsk, North Yorkshire, said she had become close to Tish over the years.

"Goldfish are supposed to have a four-second memory, but I'm sure Tish recognised me," she said.

"He always knew when it was feeding time and I used to talk to him."

As word of Tish's longevity spread, he "became something of a celebrity", she said.

"People always used to ask how Tish was doing. I don't think we will be getting another one.

"We couldn't replace Tish, he was part of the family."

Mrs Hand's son, Peter, won Tish, along with another goldfish, Tosh, playing roll-a-penny at a funfair in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, in 1956.

His parents took on the fish after Peter married and left home. Tosh died in 1975.

Piscean pensioner

In 1998 the fish took the longevity title from Fred, a Worthing goldfish who died in 1980 aged 41.

Although his age could not be verified by biological tests, the Guinness Book of Records investigators were persuaded there was nothing fishy about the claims and recognised his status.

In later life, Tish faded from bright orange to a distinguished silver, but remained healthy until shortly before his death.

Mr Hand said the secret of his long life was not being overfed, and being put in the sun occasionally.

The 11.5cm fish had a habit in his earlier days of trying to jump out of his bowl, and was kept safe by a net placed over the top.

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