ANDES, BOLIVIA WO - Officials in Bolivia believe a 123-year-old herder who lives in a dirt floor hut is the oldest person who ever lived.

Carmelo Flores Laura is still in good health, though all his teeth have gone, and he doesn’t need a walking stick or glasses, reports The Mirror.

The Aymara Indian says his secret to a lasting life is eating skunk and fox meat, avoiding sugar or pasta and taking long walks.

The father of three - who has 16 grandchildren and 39 great-grandchildren - was born on July 16, 1890, the civil registry reveals. His daily diet has always included cananhua, a wild grain species rich in protein and amino acid, and occasionally pork and mutton.

Carmelo, widowed 10 years ago, said: “We only ate what we found in the wild. I shared the cooking with my wife. I’ve never been lazy - and I still go on long walks every day.”

His straw-roofed hut is in the isolated hamlet of Frasquia, 13,100ft up in the Andes near Lake Titicaca.

Relatives say he fought in a 1933 war with Paraguay but that apart has stayed near home.

Birth certificates did not exist in Bolivia in 1890 but the day he was born is on his baptism document.

This must be verified by the Guinness Book of Records before he can officially overtake Jeanne Calment of France, who died at 122 in 1997, as the oldest person on record.