View from the Zoo: Birthday cake treat for warthog, Troy
Has anyone ever made a warthog birthday cake before?
Well on 29 May we celebrated our male warthog, Troy’s ninth birthday in style!
Troy is a common warthog from sub-Saharan Africa and he lives in our hog section within children’s planet. He has a beautiful long mane on the top of neck and back as well as two curved tusks.
For his birthday he received a cake made out of mashed potato and ice with his name Troy written in the form of carrots. He has a specialised diet of pig pellets and a variety of vegetables with a preference towards the nutritious broccoli. However his favourite things in the world are baked potatoes which he will eat off a stick. Feeding troy with a stick is a great way of training him and making him more confident around his keepers.
Warthogs get their name from the ‘warts’ that they have on their flat head which are actually protective bumps. Their vision is fairly poor and they mainly rely on their very sensitive hearing as well as an exceptional sense of smell.
In the wild they are a very tough animal and will even fend off lions and hyenas with their powerful tusks and neck muscles. If threatened they are likely to run away and can reach speeds of up to 30 miles an hour.
Troy can be regularly seen foraging in his enclosure and shifting his logs around with ease. However he does spend most of his time sleeping In the children’s planet, Troy lives next door to four Visayan warty pigs and two Red River hogs.
They are all within the even-toed ungulate family Suidae which includes domestic pigs too.
At nine years old, Troy is in the prime of his life and can live up to 15 years. In the wild females would stay together in a group called sounders. Young males would form bachelor groups but as they become adults they remain solitary and will only join the females when they are in season.