Born in Kenya, he lived an active life — including siring offspring — until early Thanksgiving morning, when his body was discovered in a lab at the Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies on the campus of the Texas Research Park in Bexar County.
Among the many mole rats at the institute, however, Old Man stood out. Because of his advanced age and vigor, he'd claimed a special place in the hearts of many researchers. Laboratory animal attendant Cody Villanueva discovered his body early Thanksgiving morning.
"Oh, it was a sad day," she recalled. "I cried. We all did."