Mention Ant and Dec and you think of two famous presenters who found fame on well-known game shows like I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here and Britain’s Got Talent.
But at South Staffordshire College those names belong to another pair of cheeky chappies.
Ant and Dek, two Kunekune pigs, have just arrived at the Animal Centre at the College’s Rodbaston Campus and are settling in well. They were born in June 2011 and were donated to the centre by a very caring family in Tamworth.
The porky pair helped the Animal Centre to celebrate Shrove Tuesday with some specially made “piggy pancakes” prepared by the staff. This was a rare treat for Ant and Dek and although they liked the pancakes they will be sticking to their usual diet from now on.
Kunekune pigs were originally kept by Maoris in New Zealand and are very friendly, hairy pigs born in a variety of colours. The smallest domesticated breed of pig in the world, the Kunekune is a firm favourite among pet pig owners, due to its placid friendly nature and love of human company. Small scale pig breeders enjoy its ease of management and ability to thrive on grass.
Ant and Dek will play a vital role in the activities of the College’s Animal Management students, who will be involved in their day to day care. The students will be helping with the cleaning, feeding and general husbandry of Ant and Dek and also in their training. Kunekune pigs are very intelligent and respond well to positive training. Their previous owners have trained them to sit and follow people like a dog. It is hoped that this training will continue and that it will help to enrich their lives with us and be an important part of keeping them fit and healthy.
Animal Centre Manager David Riley is delighted with his new arrivals, saying “The Kunekune pigs are a welcome addition to the College’s collection at the Animal Centre. Ant and Dek are in quarantine at the moment, Ant and Dek will be cleared in March and ready to meet our visitors. They are very friendly and will be a big hit with the children as well as Mums and Dads”.
However David did stress that anyone considering any animal as a pet should take specialist advice and do lots of research before making the commitment as they take lots of time and care.
“The College receives a number of calls each week asking them to take on unwanted animals and although we can sometimes offer certain animals new homes, we only have limited space”, he continued.