He has spent a lifetime eking out a living in barren mountains but 123-year-old Carmelo Flores Laura looks set to be named the oldest living person ever recorded.
Home is a straw-roofed hut and the widower has eaten foxes and lizards to get by.
Yet he still has a few teeth and can walk unaided around the hamlet he calls home near lake Titicaca in Bolivia.
Mr Laura was born on July 16, 1890.
Queen Victoria still had another 11 years left on the British throne and he was 24 when World War I broke out.
His birth date is confirmed on his baptism certificate, considered an authentic record by Bolivia’s civil registry.
Mr Laura, who lost his wife ten years ago, told a Bolivian TV station that he believes the secret to a long life is taking daily walks, and never eating pasta or sugar.
He has spent his life eating canahua, a wild species of quinoa which is rich in protein and amino acids.
‘I’ve never been lazy,’ he said. ‘I always shared the cooking with my wife. We would eat what we could find growing wild. We ate mostly skunk meat. I still go on long walks every day.’
The native Aymara, who has three children, 16 grandchildren and 39 great-grandchildren, lives alone in Frasquicia, about 80km (50 miles) from the capital La Paz
To claim the title, Mr Laura’s documents must be verified by a Guinness World Records official.
If proven, his age will easily overtake the current oldest living person, 115-year-old Japanese woman Misao Okawa.
He would also eclipse Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 aged 122.
She was the oldest verified person on record.
The oldest recorded man, Japan’s Jiroemon Kimura, died this year, aged 116.
Culled from Metro (UK):