Wildlife show. Dominic and Simran put an otter in a bath, and Daniel and Aaron gather goats, spy spiders and ogle owls.
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This show features professionals working with dangerous animals.
So, do not try this at home.
'Did you know that now, right now, there's people across the country
'who are working to help wounded wildlife and poorly pets?
'We've managed to get VIP passes for some willing helpers
'to get stuck in at vets, wildlife sanctuaries and rescue centres.'
'On today's show, Dom and Simran put an otter in a bath.
'And Winnie the weasel winds herself back to the wild.
'Daniel and Aaron gather goats, spy spiders and ogle owls
'at a seriously busy sanctuary.'
'And I become a warm-up act to a comedy donkey. No joking!'
'It's tough and dirty work, but someone's got to do it.'
Today, I'm in Somerset, at the Secret World Wildlife Centre.
Each year, they look after 4,000 sick, injured or orphaned animals.
From hurt hedgehogs to bashed up badgers, they've seen it all.
I'm not sure about the name - it's the world's worst kept secret.
They even have a big sign!
'This place is a hospital and orphanage for wildlife
'set up in a converted farmhouse.
'Animals in need of assistance are brought here for emergency help
'and given time and space to recover after injury or illness.
'Helping hands are always welcome.
'Meet Dominic and Simran, two pals from London.
'Dominic is fighting for the right to have a pet.
'And he's not winning!'
I have no pets, mainly because my mum doesn't have the time.
'Mum, is this true?'
I don't mind animals, they're just messy and the expense of it.
'Luckily, Simran has a dog, but one dog between them
'is about as good as it gets.'
Around here, we don't get to see much wildlife.
And now there's a chance to go and check out some.
'You said it, so let's get up and running at a Somerset sanctuary.'
-Sim, Dom, Dom, Sim, Dick, how are you?
I know a Dom, he's nearly as tall as you!
-So, Dom, you're not allowed animals.
-No. My mum's quite against them.
And, Sim? Got any experience with wildlife? Anything you don't like?
Tarantulas, cobras and...scorpions.
Creepy crawlies. You don't like spiders. Well, it just so happens
that what we've got here in this box is a very rare species.
If you'd like to just have a look inside...there!
Ah, it's my breakfast. Lovely!
-It's a croissant! What's the problem? Want some?
'With breakfast in the bag, it's time to help some animals.'
Look at this. Not many people get to come in here. This is Pauline.
-This is Sim and Dom.
-What are we doing first?
-It's going to be hedgehogs.
-I'll let you start with that.
'Hedgehogs - Britain's only spiney mammal
'who help out gardeners by snacking on slugs and insects.
'They're often accidentally injured by lawnmowers and hedge trimmers.
'Each year, over 500 end up here.
'And all need constant daily care.'
These were found out during the day yesterday. They came in last night.
We've got to find out about them.
-Can you catch one and pop it in there?
-That's it. Just run your fingers underneath. Well done.
-Dom, you can get the next one out.
-OK. Come on.
'Stage one done, the hedgehogs have left the cage. Now the dirty bit.'
Can you just use your finger to get the food and put it on the paper?
-How often do you have to clean this and feed them?
-Three times a day.
We clean them at the same time. There's food and poo everywhere,
which you've seen.
-Did you think you'd be doing this this morning?
'OK, Operation Clean-up is complete.'
-What we want to do now is weigh them.
-Why do they have to get weighed?
We need to know how much they're putting weight on.
We need to know how much they weigh.
'Look at that, Dom's straight in there. Good man!'
-How much does that one weigh?
30 grams, that's hardly anything, isn't it?
And we're seeing it walk. We can check it's using its feet properly,
which it is, isn't it?
'He needs to increase his weight by ten times before he can run free.'
If I can show you, these are old enough to curl into a ball.
If we try that...
Feel how sharp he is now, compared to when you picked him up.
He's got all his spines up to protect himself, really.
-So how many spines do you think there is over a hedgehog?
-No, more than that.
-Even more than that.
-5,000, they reckon. 5,000 spines on a hedgehog's body.
-That's a lot.
They're a little under weight, so the sooner we feed them, the better.
'Dom and Sim must move on to Operation Feed-up later,
'but will the hogs be up for eating and getting up to target weight?
'Dom is learning what sanctuary life is like the other end of England.'
Today, I'm at the Sanctuary Wildlife Centre in Northumberland.
'It may not be big but to the wildlife here, it's beautiful.
'From docile donkeys to delinquent ducks and terrifying tarantulas,
'the staff do their best to turn these animals' lives around.
'And this place needs its fair share of volunteers.
'Which is what we have here - Aaron and Daniel.
'These guys are gamers and think animals are a switch-off.'
-Boring. I'm bored!
-Cows are good. They give milk. I like milk.
'It's not just farmyard animals the boys aren't bothered about.'
I am scared of snakes.
'Ah, so on paper, things ain't looking too good.
'Let's see what the headlines at the sanctuary are.'
Boy, boys. Aaron, Daniel, how are you doing?
Aaron, I know that you're scared of snakes,
but controversially, you wouldn't mind a pet lion.
-Lions protect you.
-Lions protect you, yeah,
they could also go for your jugular, but I see where you're coming from.
-So you don't like snakes. What are you scared of?
We'll try and stay clear of them today.
-Also, you find British wildlife dull.
Today, I can promise you it will be the complete opposite of dull.
It's going to be...un-dull. Un-dull!
Or it's going to be dulless... The opposite of dull - "llud".
Forget it, come on.
'First, goats. These would be homeless without this place.'
-Eileen, how are you doing?
-I'm fine, thank you.
This is Aaron and Daniel. What can they do to help?
Today, what we need to do is trim the goats' hooves.
They grow constantly, so they have to be trimmed.
Today, we have Alan, and he's going to show you
how to trim goats' hooves, but first you've got to catch them.
And that's your job. You have to go in there with a lead,
as if you were catching a dog, but you're catching a goat.
Safety first, put this on. And this one.
Good. And there's yours.
Perfect. All right, boys? Ready?
'No kidding! Go for those goats!'
Put that round the neck and then grab the goats.
'Chasing goats is not something you lot should be doing.
'We're with experts, OK?'
It looks like the goats remember having their hooves clipped
and they're off!
How do you think they're doing?
Do you think they're doing a decent job?
To prevent infection, their hooves need clipping eight times a year.
Keep up the good work, boys!
Will the boys be left chasing their tales,
or will the goat finally give up the game?
Dom and Sim are up to their elbows in hedgehogs at a rescue centre.
The lightweight hogs need to fatten themselves up for freedom.
Bring some food over for us. Move that out the way.
Breakfast is served, my babies! Not you two, them!
'So what delicious delights have we got in store for these fellas?
'Porridge and a dollop of cat food?! A meal fit for a...hedgehog.'
-Are you getting hungry?
-Want some porridge and cat food? Mmm!
-Do you want some?
'If these two don't eat soon, they could get quite...prickly.'
Pop him in as well. Let's see if they come round to where the food is.
Tuck in, chaps!'
-When can they return to the wild?
-We keep them
until they're a good size, about 3-400 grams,
before we'd take them to a new release site
'Lovely work, and I'm sure they'll be back in the wild,
'hogging some hedges, in no time.'
Later, there's an otter needing to get fitter,
but will our boys make it as swimming instructors?
Oh, look at that. There's a clever boy!
At the sanctuary in Northumberland,
Aaron and Daniel are being given the run-around by some goats.
They're trying to catch them so their hooves can be clipped.
Careful! He's got big horns, that one!
And hey presto! They find one that doesn't give them the slip.
Time to ram home your advantage and give the goat its pedicure.
What are the goat's hooves made of?
They're made of the same kind of material as our fingernails.
It's keratin, which is in your hair. It's just the same as our nails.
'You stay at the sharp end, boys, while Alan trims its hooves.'
Good. Good girl!
-Does it hurt the goat when you trim its hooves?
-No, not at all.
-Would you say you're enjoying your goat experience?
-I like goats!
'Time to leave the goats and their beauty treatment.
'There's loads more animal antics.'
Aaron and Daniel open owl boxes and smell a stinker of a job later,
but can they stomach the stench?
-How does it look up there, Daniel?
Before that, Dick attempts to be the first ever person
to make a donkey laugh out loud with a bad joke.
Dick, this is Callum, Callum, this is Dick.
Between you and I, he's been a bit down, a bit depressed,
and your challenge is to try and cheer him up, make him laugh.
-Told you it was difficult.
-We'll see about that.
'Yeah, all about the warm-up, comedy, you know?'
'And the delivery.'
Wait for it.
'He did it. I don't know how, but he did it!'
I told you!
You cheated. I don't know how, but I think you cheated.
I know, I'll looking in the Donkey Facts.
Yes, here we are.
When donkeys meet other donkeys, even people,
they often curl back their top lips and breathe in and out.
-That sounds interesting. Why's that?
-I'll tell you why.
They use an organ in their mouths, not a mouth organ,
that allows them to get to know donkeys or people
by smelling and tasting them at the same time.
He was just getting to know you. He didn't find your joke funny.
DONKEY BRAYS That's him having the last laugh!
Aaron and Daniel are hoofing it from one important animal job
to the next at the sanctuary.
Now they're moving to the owl enclosure,
where another assignment is winging its way in.
Today is cleaning out owl box day,
so lots of nasty unmentionable things going on in those boxes.
-Poo and dead chickens. Does that sound good?
Eileen, how often do you usually clean out these boxes?
-About every two or three months.
-That's a lot of...build-up!
Good luck. It's an important job and you'll love the owls afterwards!
Believe it or not, many of the barn owls here are abandoned pets.
They look great in films, but they're not easy to keep.
-Is it mucky?
-Here's the shovel.
And try to dig out as much as you can.
-How does it look up there, Daniel?
I tell you what, you can smell it, now you've disturbed it.
-That's it, there you go.
-Look at that!
-A big bucket, full of it. Well done!
Great, that's the mucky bit over,
owls about something a bit more exciting?
Now, we have to catch the barn owls
and work out which is male and which is female?
-How do we tell?
-Well, a male barn owl has a pure white chest.
Right? And the female has brown spots, like little pretty freckles.
The male and female barn owls need to be separated
to prevent unwanted youngsters appearing.
But owls are the beadiest eyed creatures in the business
and trying to get the better of these guys is tough.
No. There's another one in there. Too late!
-There's one in the box!
Oh, these are causing a pain for me.
Be careful with these wings, you see?
-Looks like a female
because it's got, like, spots there.
-It's got spots. That has to be a girl.
-She's a female.
See the talons? You have to be careful.
-Look at the sharp edges.
-They'll fly at you with their talons first.
Not the beak, they'll come in with their talons first.
There we go.
We've got three!
'Well done, boys. You've hit the jackpot!
'A bulging bag full of barn owls!'
-Yeah, it's a male.
-He's nice and white there, isn't he?
Right, boys. That's it. Now Alan and I know who has to go next door
and who has to stay here.
Barn owls, done!
But it's creepy critters for Aaron and Daniel later.
Can they handle the hiss and hair of these beauts?
Stay still. Very calm. Do not panic and do not shake your hand.
Dom and Sim are on the lookout for more British wildlife in Somerset.
Time to check on the otters. They won't find them in the enclosure.
Try Pauline's kitchen.
This is Geraint. He's about eight weeks old.
He's sucking his blanket cos he wants his lunch!
-I think we ought to give him something to eat.
Geraint was found on a riverbank a month ago,
after his holt was flooded.
Pauline has been playing mother to him ever since.
Why do you hold it from the neck?
I always use the scruff. It's how his mother would carry him.
It's a natural way to pick him up. Let's take him to the feeding chair.
I can show him to you. He's really excited because he's hungry.
First thing to notice is that really long, thick tail.
He can use it like a rudder. Feel how strong he is.
It makes him quite a big animal.
The other thing to notice is those lovely front claws
that, if we spread them, see how webbed they are?
-So he can swim really well.
OK, guys, down to you two to get the fish lunch.
-This is disgusting.
-I know, it's slimy and everything!
Hang it over his head. See if he's interested.
Yeah. Let him have it, once he's got it in his mouth.
That's it. He's got it.
Nice work, Sim.
-How often does he eat fish?
-This is the very first time he's had fish.
He's certainly keen, isn't he?
But Geraint has a lot of growing up to do
before he can fend for himself.
A lot of people don't realise how big otters are.
He's only eight weeks old. An adult would be, sort of, that length.
-Is Geraint a good swimmer?
-We're about to find out.
His first swimming lesson is in my bath.
Geraint's first ever swimming lesson!
Right. Well, that's just right. Just the right depth.
But we don't exactly know whether he's going to like it.
In the wild, the mother drags him down and teaches him,
so we'll have to see what he thinks.
Right then, in we go! Do the honours, Pauline.
-There, let's see what you think of that.
-Slowly does it.
-He's got his nose under.
-Oh, look at that!
There's a clever boy! He's putting his head underwater.
What he's got to learn to do is close his nostrils
and close his ears, as well. He's busy, chasing his tail.
How long until he can go back into the wild?
It's 18 months before we released them,
which is the same time they'd stay with their mother.
'But for now, Geraint's happy to be splashing about in Pauline's bath.
'It's not every day you feed an otter his first fish
'and give him his first swim.'
It's not the end of Dom and Sim's day, oh no.
There's a weasel that needs to go wild later.
There she goes! Blink and you'll miss it.
First, Dom gets his rabbit food awfully wrong.
-What's going on here?
-Me and Rolly are just catching up.
-We've found these chocolatey treats.
-You can't feed a rabbit chocolate!
-It's not good for him! He only eats grass.
-They can't eat chocolate?
-Not at all.
-Let's feed him grass.
-You can't feed him grass either
as he's having his teeth removed. His owner didn't look after him.
But he can eat soft grass with his gums, but he'll need help.
Isn't grass quite difficult to swallow?
It's easy to swallow, just not very easy to digest.
Some animals, like cows, have different parts of their stomach
-that can help the process move along.
-I get it.
-So how does Rolly do it?
-In stages. Ingenious, really.
They actually eat their own poo.
Second time round, it's easier to digest.
Where did you find them?
Daniel and Aaron have been wowed by the wonderful wildlife
at a sanctuary in the north east.
Next, onto the more unusual residents. Not you!
Working here can be hard graft. You've done a cracking job so far.
What are you smiling about? It's time for a proper challenge.
The boys have been given special permission
to get some close-up critter experience. Snakes and spiders.
There are plenty of people who think they make perfect pets.
Sadly, a few change their minds and every few months,
an unwanted exotic pet is brought here.
Tarantulas like Rose here have a terrifying reputation,
but if handled gently, they're not a threat to humans.
-Does it bite and is it poisonous?
-It is poisonous
and they do bite, but they're unlikely to bite.
If harassed, they'll nip and it hurts like a hornet sting,
so don't think about touching them without expert supervision.
There she is.
-What type of tarantula is it?
-It's a Chilean Rose.
It's quite pretty, isn't it? Grey and hairy.
And these are one of the most calm spiders.
A lot of people who keep spiders start with these
because they're one of the easier ones to keep.
Rose is a chilled Chilean tarantula,
who's not out to harm anyone.
Still, Daniel's very brave to let her go walkabout on his arm.
Just stay still. Very calm. Do not panic and do not shake your hand
because we don't want her to fall.
Good! Excellent! Is it that bad?
Wow! Daniel, taran-tastic! If that's a word.
Well, if it's not, well done! The tarantula is returned to the tank
and it's time to take a closer look at one of the snakes.
This is Zeus. OK? Zeus is an American corn snake.
He's actually tasting you because, see, he's got nostrils,
but he can't smell, he only uses his nostrils to breathe.
Everything is done by taste.
Another creepy but non-dangerous crawly, this.
Corn snakes snack on lizards and rodents in the wild.
These snakes are constrictors, they squash their prey to death.
His bite isn't harmful to humans and there's no chance
he'll put the squeeze on anyone here.
-You're fine with him. How do you feel?
-A bit nervous.
-A bit nervous.
You want the non-business end, do you? OK, there you go.
I'll keep the head away from you.
What he's doing is,
what it's looking for is somewhere dark to hide.
Now, the good news is, as well as conquering your fears,
I've done something as well.
I'm no longer scared of ducks.
Dominic and Simran are having a top time at the animal rescue centre.
And it's the best till last bit now.
The pals are about to release an animal back into the wild,
but what will it be?
Say hello to Winnie the weasel.
She was brought here with an injured leg,
probably as a result of being hit by a car.
After a short stay with Pauline, she's ready to be released,
but as the guys are about to discover, she's a handful.
-Are weasels quite vicious?
-They can bite, yes.
That's why we've got Simon in. If anyone gets bitten, who better!
'One, two, three, four and a thumb.
'Let's hope Simon still has the same number of fingers later on.'
When does a weasel come out? Day or night?
They're what we call diurnal, they come out in the day and at night.
-How old can they grow up to get?
-Things in the wild don't live long.
A weasel would only live on average 18 months.
-Is it a grown-up or a baby?
-It's fully grown.
-That's a fully grown weasel.
All we've got to do now is catch it. So over to you, Simon.
Right. Should be easy.
Ooh, she sounds angry. You might say goodbye to a finger, Simon!
Put that in there. OK?
Pass the box up for us.
OK, we'll do the top up so it can't get out and there we go.
And off we go to release it.
All fingers intact, and at a location a few miles away,
so it's time to welease a weasel(!)
-Are you excited about this?
-Not many people get to do this
in the wild. We're going to let the weasel go back home.
Why have we chosen this cricket ground?
It's perfect really. There's lots of food, good shelter, good cover.
-She'll make a nice home here.
-Let's release Winnie back into the wild.
-Which way do you think it's going to go?
-That way, OK.
Let's see if we're right.
-There we go.
-There we are. There she goes.
-Blink and you'd miss it!
'And in case you did blink, here it is again in slow motion.
-So what's been your favourite part of the day?
Because we taught it how to swim, gave it food, erm...
-Cool. Dom, your mum won't let you have a pet at home.
-Are you thinking you should try and change her mind?
-I'm going to try and convince her.
-To get an otter?
-There you go. Tell your mum, go on!
-Mum, I'm going to get an otter!
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail us at [email protected]
Dominic and Simran put an otter in a bath and Winney the weasel prepares for a return to the wild. Daniel and Aaron gather goats, spy spiders and ogle owls at a seriously busy sanctuary, and Dom becomes a warm-up act to a comedy donkey.