ONE of Perth Zoo’s oldest residents blew out the candles as he celebrated a significant milestone.
Cerro the Galapagos Tortoise celebrated his 50th birthday yesterday with a specially made cake.
Zookeeper Emily Trainer said the more than 200kg tortoise loved his food and the cake was filled with some of his favourite treats including watermelon, kiwi fruit, pumpkin and strawberries.
“These tortoises don’t have a good sense of smell, so they use their eyes to find food. Anything red really gets Cerro’s attention, he loves any brightly coloured foods,” she said.
“He is the less dominant tortoise out of the two we care for, except when there is food around, then he gets a bit of speed up to make sure he eats first.”
Cerro was originally born at the San Diego Zoo and arrived at Perth Zoo with his younger brother Sierra in 2005.
Despite turning 50, he is still considered a youngster with the oldest Galapagos Tortoise on record thought to be around 175 years old.
Galapagos Tortoise are the largest tortoise in the world and with less than 20,000 individuals remaining in the wild, they are vulnerable to extinction.
The main threats to Cerro’s wild cousins include introduced species such as rats, dogs, and cats, which eat tortoise eggs and young tortoises.