Bledlow's Ernie the Duck in the running for world record

Ernie and his 'guide duck' Elmo
Ernie and his 'guide duck' Elmo

Ernie Waddles has proved that he's no lame duck when it comes to age and at the ripe old age of 21, is a contender for the world's oldest duck!

Ernie has doubled the average 'Call' duck's life expectancy and has beaten the previous record holder by SEVEN months!

Ernie and Winston the dog

Ernie and Winston the dog

Ernie belongs to Chloe Timberlake, 31, an environmental scientist who was given to her on her tenth birthday.

We spoke to Gina Timberlake, whose daughter Chloe owns Ernie and FIFTY other ducks at their home in Bledlow.

"His celebrity status has been going since we first tried to get Ernie the Guinness World Record.

"It takes 12 weeks to get a response from the world record society, so we're waiting to hear back from them now.

"We bought two day old call ducklings for Chloe when she was younger, and she hand reared them. They are a domestic breed and Chloe has always loved animals.

"They were named Bert and Ernie."

Gina told the Bucks Herald how the ducks at their home live a wonderful life, protected from predators in the area.

"We have build them an insulated enclosure, with its own pond and garden to keep them safe from predators. They are a domestic breed, so wouldn't survive in the wild.

"They are living a complete life of luxury if the truth be told!

"Chloe has always loved wildlife, nature, from a very young age. She's moved away now but I look after the brood now!

"We've also got sheep and a dog called Winston.

"I've applied for the record for Ernie, back in May but it can take 12 weeks for anything to go through. I haven't heard anything yet.

Speaking earlier in the year, Chloe said: "He really does live a life of luxury, he is safe from any predators and has an amazing pond that he swims around in.

"He also has his own duck hotel heaven which we built just for him, it keeps him very happy.'

Chloe received two ducks at the time, and named them Bert and Ernie respectively, named after the iconic Sesame Street duo.

After Bert sadly passed, with Ernie wandering the garden without his cherished companion, Chloe bought Ernie a new beaky friend, Elmo.

Ernie, suffering from leg arthritis and cataracts loves Elmo, who has become his best friend, leading Ernie around the grounds.

Elmo's plumage is bright white, so Ernie, whose cataracts limit his vision, follows him around religiously.

Elmo acts as a 'guide duck' for him.

The last duck to hold the record, a 20-year-old female mallard called Desi, died in 2002 and since then the title has been vacant.

"He's doing remarkably well for a duck at 21. He's clearly a bit stiff in the morning, sometimes a bit slow to get going but aren't we all!

"He can't see as much as he used to but Elmo, his bright white plumage - he follows him everywhere!

"He keeps himself looking good, I think he's happy and eats well. Here's to many more years!"