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Welcome to Animals At Work, the show with everything.
Well...mostly animals at work.
All over the planet, millions of animals have jobs.
This show brings you the funniest, coolest and most bizarre...
animals at work.
Don't go anywhere. It's going to be wi-i-i-ild.
Mei Mei, the brave orphan otter, needs to learn to be a binman
to be accepted by the otter clan.
We meet a very unusual ranch manager.
And the Fanimals work out which animals have a hidden talent.
But now it's...
I got pineapple cubes. I know you really like them. Look.
Hi. I'm John Barrowman and welcome to the show.
Get ready to meet another extraordinary animal at work.
Our first incredible animal at work is in Singapore, in South-East Asia.
Meet Mei Mei, a brave otter who's faced up to a lot in her short life.
At only a few weeks old,
Mei Mei suffered devastating tragedy when she lost her mum.
# Everybody hurts
# Sometimes... #
Being orphaned is potentially deadly for a baby otter
as normally they learn the ability to swim
and other survival skills from their mums.
Come. Good girl. Come here.
Luckily, fate was on baby Mei Mei's side.
One day she was discovered by otter expert Poh Shan,
and her entire life changed.
Poh Shan became Mei Mei's foster mum, and raised her by hand.
I've seen every step of her life.
I've seen her open up her eyes, teaching her how to swim,
basically being a mother to her.
Under the loving guidance of Poh Shan, Mei Mei's come a long way.
Mei has a very great personality, and she's really, really adorable.
People get a connection with her the first time they see her.
Adorable as she is, Mei Mei can be a little cheeky
when it comes to treats.
Mei Mei has grown up quickly and with her second birthday just gone,
she's old enough to start a job with the other otters at her zoo,
The Singapore Zoo binmen are a crack team of otters who teach
people how to save the planet, with their very own recycling show.
These clever otters perform nightly,
sorting through rubbish, separating the paper, plastic and metal,
then dropping them into the right recycling bin.
The otters' hands, or forepaws,
make them perfect for their jobs.
They are known to have dexterous fingers.
They're good with their hands.
Clearly, this is more than just a job - it's a very important message.
The audience gets the message of recycling when the otters do it
so that's why we have the otters
as ambassadors of recycling.
Like all otters, Mei Mei dreams of a career as a binman
but in her case, becoming part of the team means a lot more.
It's nothing less than her whole future.
Otters thrive in a pack, so it's vital that she joins
the resident otter family to live a happy life.
Currently, Mei Mei is housed alone
because she hasn't been trained as a recycling otter.
To mix a young otter with the rest of the old otters
is difficult because they fight if they don't like each other.
Poh Shan hopes that if Mei Mei can become successful at her job,
the other otters will accept her and welcome her into their family.
And today's Mei Mei's big chance.
She has the opportunity to take part in this evening's show.
If Mei Mei can do a good job and impress the other otters,
her life will be changed.
She'll get a full-time job and her own family -
the stakes are really high.
But Mei Mei has a lot of work to do.
Time is not on her side. The show is only a few hours away,
and she has a lot to learn, starting with how to pick up a bottle.
It's the biggest day of her life. Can she earn a job and a new family?
Use it, use it, use it.
Later, Mei Mei struggles with her training.
Can she learn the skills to win over the binmen otters?
-And now those kids who love animals, it's the...
Let's meet the Fanimals, our animal detectives.
Today the Fanimals have to find out...
ALL: What animal would make the best landscape gardener?
The candidates are three magnificent mammals -
George the Giraffe,
Suzy the Zebra,
and Henry the Bactrian camel.
To be a gardener you need to have strength for heavy lifting,
be surefooted so you don't trample your delicate plants
and be heat-resistant so you can endure the hot weather outdoors.
Who do the Fanimals think might get the job?
I think it could be giraffes because they have long necks.
I think it could be a camel because they won't need breaks for a drink.
Whoa, zip! Don't answer just yet - Let's get the facts.
Landscape gardener candidate number one - George the Giraffe.
George and his mates are the world's tallest land animals.
They can reach up to 5.5m tall - that's two floors!
And their neck alone is about two metres long.
If giraffes wrap their neck around a tree they could pull it out.
They're one of few mammals able to see colour -
handy for garden design.
A giraffe's tongue is so clever they can trim thorny plants,
like the Acacia tree, their favourite spiky snack.
But could those snacks distract a gardener?
Landscape gardener candidate number two - Suzy the Zebra.
Suzy and other zebras are crazy for grazing.
They graze all day, so they'd keep the grass nice and short.
They are cool because they have beautiful stripes on them.
Their stripes are also as unique as a fingerprint.
Could that help in the garden?
-I'm not sure.
-A zebra might make a good co-worker.
They're known for social and communication skills.
But one quality other gardeners may not appreciate -
they've got a deadly kick. It can even harm a lion!
I want to cuddle it.
Landscape gardener candidate number three - Henry the Bactrian camel.
Camels are cool because they have bendy backs.
Henry's food bill wouldn't be much - camels can go for several months
without food, thanks to their humps, which are actually mounds of fat.
They can go for a week without water, but when they do hydrate,
they can drink up to 145 litres of water in just ten minutes.
That's quick drinking.
It could be a camel
because they won't need breaks to get a drink.
They're not that tall so they can't get at big trees.
There's one soft, padded part of the camel
to make them a good gardener - it's their feet!
Camels have feet, not hooves,
and feet don't damage grass.
Our animal detectives have gathered the facts
and it's time to make a decision.
Who would make the best landscape gardener?
ALL: We think it's a giraffe!
Let's see if they're right.
Yes, they are!
The zebra's grazing would keep the grass neat
and the camel's feet would protect turf,
but George the Giraffe would make the best landscape gardener,
thanks to his tongue, which could grasp
and hold onto anything which needs pruning.
His tongue's long and blue.
Giraffes also have thick, sticky saliva
that coats thorns they swallow,
which would come in handy when pruning rose bushes!
So great work, Fanimals - but until you can hire a giraffe,
you're going to have to take care of the garden yourselves! Ha ha!
Now let's head back to Singapore in South-East Asia.
Earlier we met Mei Mei, the two-year-old otter
who's faced-up to being an orphan.
Now, she's reached an important time in her life.
She has an opportunity to work with the Singapore Zoo otter binmen -
the stars of a daily show which teaches the value of recycling.
For Mei Mei, this is more than just a job opportunity.
If she earns herself a place on the binmen team,
Mei Mei wins acceptance
and finally she'll have what she's always wanted - a family.
# Nobody said it was easy... #
But time isn't on her side.
Her debut show is in only a few hours,
AND she has a lot to learn.
It's time to get down to business.
To become a binman otter, she must learn to obey commands
but that's not a skill all otters have.
Mei Mei needs to prove she can learn to do as she's asked.
This is the first step - we teach her to stay in one spot.
If she picks this up, things are looking good. It will indicate
that she'll take to the rest of her training.
But keeping still is easier than it sounds
for an otter who loves to be on the move.
For an active animal like Mei Mei, it's quite difficult
to get her to stay in one spot.
Poh Shan uses a special clicker
and tasty treats to help train Mei Mei.
'Sounds like a good idea. Let's get to it.'
Mei Mei's keen. She's on the box.
-This is a great start.
-But now the hard bit. Will she be able to stay still?
Come on, Mei Mei.
Oh, no! She's off!
The pressure's got to her!
Mei Mei, come.
But there's no keeping this otter down,
not when she's got so much riding on it.
-She's back and ready to have another go.
-Mei Mei's determined.
She's up on the box.
Oh, I can hardly stand it.
I can't watch.
-Oh, wow! She's cracked it! She's not going anywhere!
Great work, Mei Mei!
In the shortest of time, Mei Mei's proven
she can follow commands.
-This is big, and Poh Shan knows it.
-I'm proud of her.
I can't stop smiling.
But now it's the final step in Mei Mei's training.
She needs to learn the main part of the otter binman's job -
how to recycle rubbish.
The otter binmen sort through bottles
and drop them into the bin.
This is going to be Mei Mei's biggest challenge yet.
Everything's riding on this. Come on, Mei Mei.
-Take the bottle.
She's over to the bottle.
Now she just needs to carry it to the bin.
She tries and tries but she simply can't do it.
Oh, Mei Mei...
Her tiny young paws could be too small.
At this rate, there's no way she'll be ready for the show.
She may not be able to make it in time.
Now there's about four hours to the show.
Time is running out.
This is simply terrible. It's awful.
If Mei Mei can't become an otter binman,
any dreams of a happy future with a new family are over.
Later, will Mei Mei complete her training in time for the show
and get a family?
I'm setting up my own animal employment agency.
Yeah, I'm going to make a fortune!
I've been running my own animal employment agency for a few months
and things are, um...super.
They're super. Really super.
I know you asked for a secretary...
I know the snake can't answer phone calls.
OK, so she can't type but she's really very, very funny.
Have you asked her a joke?
She's hiss-terical! Ha ha ha!
PHONE HANGS UP
(No sense of humour.)
I mean, if I'm honest, I guess things aren't going exactly to plan.
I know the bull wasn't the best assistant for the china shop,
but it was short notice.
I know the crocodile wasn't supposed to eat the toilet
but I need that money.
I really need the money. Please! Please!
I've decided I might close my animal employment agency
for a few weeks. I think I just need a holiday, a bit of a break.
Hello? I think you have the wrong number. Bye-ee!
As I was saying, I'm going to go on holiday.
Now, we're off to El Dorado Hills in California.
Welcome to the Grace Foundation Ranch,
a relaxing home for animals rescued from bad situations.
But with 13 horses, six dogs,
four goats, three sheep, plenty of chickens and some noisy roosters,
the ranch owners need some special help.
Which is where this lady comes in.
Meet Milkshake, a two and a half year old, 1,200-pound ranch manager
who certainly has her work cut out.
Milkshake has lots of jobs. She always has a pretty busy schedule.
This ranch manager's duties see her constantly on patrol -
making everything run smoothly, acting as tour guide...
Don't stand too close cos she might poop on you.
And that's not all.
She takes care of the other animals. Because she's so kind and so quiet,
they're drawn to her, and they feel she's going to be safe for them
and she seems to know what she's doing.
The other animals want to follow her.
Milkshake understands what rescued animals need
because for her first two years, she was in a bad situation herself.
When we found Milkshake, she was in a tiny pen and she had no shelter.
She looked so sad and she was so dirty, and she was scared.
Luckily, Milkshake was rescued and her life was changed.
But her relationship with her human friends would have a side effect.
We're her first contact with any other living being
and it took her a while but soon she thought she was a human
and wanted to be with us all the time.
That's right - once Milkshake got a taste of human life,
she was udderly determined not to be treated like a cow again.
So, as ranch manager, Milkshake reckons she's got the right
to go anywhere her friends can go, and I mean anywhere.
Her favourite place to follow me is to the bathroom
and when I'm in there, wanting some private time away from her,
she'll try and push the door open, and then she'll look under.
"Are you still in there?"
So everybody knows I'm in the bathroom!
But there's a serious side to Milkshake's job.
Every day, her schedule squeezes in a VIP visit,
and today is an especially busy one,
as a huge school group arrives.
-OK, guys, how are you today? ALL:
Milkshake introduces the other animals, including special horses.
Tanny is a two year old and she was born blind.
She also loves to smell.
Next, Milkshake and the vet
give a little lesson on how animals' bodies work.
Milkshake has a heart just like a human heart.
I'll show you where to listen so that you can hear it.
Milkshake is all heart!
Put that flat white part right up against her skin.
No-one wants to get too close.
Do you want to smell her breath?
-No, thank you!
Next, to the classroom. Have you ever had a cow in your classroom?
-Maybe that's why.
But despite a little bit of misbehaviour,
Milkshake's once again won more fans.
She's the friendliest cow.
-Everyone should be like Milkshake.
So, another job done and how better to end a hard day than with a feast?
Good on you, Milkshake. You've created one happy ranch. Yee-ha!
It's not just today that animals have had jobs.
In fact, in the past, they've had even more amazing jobs than today.
And here are those History's Heroes!
Hello, I'm Professor John Bumbleman, animal historian.
I've written many books and amassed a fortune.
Excuse me. Hello, John Bumbleman.
It's my banker. What?
I've got no money left?!
Oh, dear. I'm broke! How embarrassing!
Right. Let me tell you about some animals who,
it would appear, have more money than me. Oh, dear!
Our first high earner worked in Hollywood in 1939.
Terry, a black Cairn Terrier, shot to fame
playing Dorothy's beloved pet in the film The Wizard Of Oz.
Terry did pretty well from her work by earning roughly £75 a week.
Not so great for the human actors who played the Munchkins.
They only earned £25 a week. Ouch!
Our next wealthy worker didn't start life on the rich list.
In 1918, a German Shepherd was rescued from a kennel in France
by an American soldier.
The puppy was named Rin-Tin-Tin and whisked off
to the soldier's home in America.
Four years later, Rin-Tin-Tin auditioned for a role in a film.
The audition went very, very well.
He did the scene perfectly in only one take and got the job
as a doggy actor.
Rin-Tin-Tin went on to star in 25 more movie films,
earning thousands and thousands.
He was so popular, he received 10,000 letters from fans each week,
and even has his own star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.
Well done, Rin-Tin-Tin!
I don't need a can opener to make you bark.
Don't break my butterfly picture!
Oh! If only I had their bank balance. Oh, well.
Here's a dog literally rolling in it.
Our final filthy rich hero is a poodle.
In 1931, Toby, a pampered pooch, had the cushy job of just being a pet.
But when his owner died, Toby hit the jackpot.
He inherited a whopping £15 million
and today that legacy still keeps on giving.
Toby's relatives live in luxury,
with a fortune now worth £30 million. I'll be your puppy dog!
Well, that's it for today's History's Heroes.
Weren't they a lucky lot?
Finally, back to Singapore in South-East Asia.
Two-year-old Mei Mei is an Asian small-clawed otter on a mad dash
to complete her training for a job.
She wants to be one of Singapore Zoo's otter binmen,
putting on a performance teaching people the importance of recycling.
And time isn't on Mei Mei's side.
She's due to make her on-stage debut in front of a live audience tonight
and needs to impress everyone, especially the other otters,
to be offered the job.
The stakes couldn't be higher, as with the job comes acceptance
into the otter family, which means the world to orphan Mei Mei.
Mei Mei's thrown herself into training,
but despite her enthusiasm,
her paws are just too small
to pick up the plastic bottles which she's meant to recycle.
Luckily, her foster mother and best friend Poh Shan has an idea.
She's come up with a training prop
which might just save the day.
This string is to guide her to carry the bottle, and up to the bin.
This is Mei Mei's last chance. She has to get a bottle into the bin.
Mei Mei, take.
-OK, so this is it.
-Mei Mei, take.
Po Shan uses the string to dangle the bottle over the bin.
All Mei Mei needs to do is push it in. Come on, Mei Mei.
-You can do this!
Oh, my word! She's done it! I don't believe it!
Oh, great work, Mei Mei!
That was so good, I think we should see it again.
This could be her day after all!
So she's completed her training
and has a place in tonight's show.
If she can impress the other otters
then the job and a place in their family is hers.
The evening arrives. It's almost time.
An expectant crowd pours in, and everyone gets into position.
Good evening. Welcome to the presentation.
Poh Shan gives Mei Mei a peek at the crowd to prepare her
for the biggest test of her life.
Mei Mei watches some of the old-pro binmen otters do their thing.
Look at their skill at getting the cans into the bins.
They make it look so easy.
I can't imagine what's going through her little head,
but there's no turning back.
We've got Mei Mei. Hello, Mei Mei!
There she is! There's our Mei Mei!
She's showing no sign of nerves.
She looks great out there! A great start.
she's made it on the stage by herself.
Now Mei Mei needs to pick up a bottle
and put it in the bin.
But like earlier, it's impossible to get her hands around the bottle.
Luckily, Poh Shan is standing by to give some help.
This is the big moment.
Can Mei Mei push the bottle in the bin?
She's done it! Mei Mei's pulled it off! A-ha!
She's shown no fear and has put in the performance of her life!
And the crowd loves it!
Amazing work, Mei Mei!
Most importantly, the other otters saw Mei Mei's performance
and are very impressed.
There's no doubt that Mei Mei's now
an official otter binman and no longer an orphan!
She's just won a place in the best family an otter can have!
Even though she has a new life,
she'll always have her foster mum, who tonight couldn't be any prouder.
She did it! Yay!
Congratulations, Mei Mei!
Tonight was the night your dream came true.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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