Chicago aquarium euthanizes more than 90-year-old lungfish

Chicago aquarium euthanizes more than 90-year-old lungfish
In this Dec. 2, 2004, file photo, An Australian lungfish, named Granddad, is seen on display at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium. Aquarium officials said Monday, Feb. 6, 2017, the 4-foot-long and 25-pound fish was euthanized on Sunday due to old age. The aquarium acquired the lungfish in 1933 from the Sydney Aquarium in Australia. AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

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.

Granddad, who was 4-foot-long and weighed 25 pounds, had stopped eating and started showing signs of . He was euthanized on Sunday. A necropsy—or animal autopsy—found conditions consistent with old age, aquarium officials said.

"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," said Bridget C. Coughlin, Shedd Aquarium's president and .

Shedd estimates Granddad was more than 90 years old. The aquarium acquired him from the Sydney Aquarium in Australia during a 1933 collecting expedition and Granddad was one of two that attracted visitors during that year's A Century of Progress International Exposition in Chicago. Aquarium officials estimate more than 104 million people saw Granddad over eight decades.

Rob Vernon, a spokesman for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, said the nonprofit group is unaware of any older fish kept by a zoo or aquarium that it accredits in the U.S. or eight other countries.

"Granddad lived a pretty relaxed life, enjoyed interactions with us, including gentle pats along his back, and loved to eat his leafy greens," said Michelle Sattler, who was Granddad's caretaker for more than 30 years.

Lungfish can live up to 100 years and are a protected species in Australia. The species has existed for more than 380 million years and has not changed for 100 million years, according to the . Lungfish, as the name suggests, can breathe air. The fish was euthanized with an overdose quantity of anesthetic that was added to his tank.

© 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Citation: Chicago aquarium euthanizes more than 90-year-old lungfish (2017, February 6) retrieved 15 April 2024 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

National Aquarium to close in DC after 128 years


Feedback to editors