BBC Home
Explore the BBC



Last Updated: Tuesday August 29 2006 11:26 GMT

Oldest woman 'drank donkey milk'

Maria Esther de Capovilla
Maria Esther de Capovilla
A lady whose diet of donkey milk helped her become the world's oldest woman has died aged 116 in Ecuador.

As a young woman, she drank fresh milk from the donkeys at her aunt's farm - something her family believe helped her live for so long.

Maria Esther de Capovilla - born in 1889 - died on Sunday after getting pneumonia, which is a lung disease.

An US woman, Elizabeth Bolden - who was born 11 months after Maria - is now thought to be the world's oldest woman.

To get an idea of Maria's incredible life, just consider she was 22 years old when the Titanic went down in 1912.

Her husband died in 1949 after the couple had been married for more than 30 years.

Maria drank donkey's milk

And she was a whopping 79 years old when astronauts first set foot on the moon in 1969.

Oldest ever

The oldest person ever recorded was a French woman, Jeanne Louise Calment, who died aged 122 in 1997.

BBC Homepage >> | CBBC Homepage >>

Meet the Team | Help | Contact Us | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy