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This show features professionals
working with potentially dangerous and unpredictable animals.
So please do not attempt anything you are about to see yourselves.
Did you know that now, right now
there are people all around the UK
working their socks off to help wounded wildlife and poorly pets?
And we've managed to get VIP passes for willing helpers to get stuck in
at the busiest vets, wildlife sanctuaries and rescue centres.
It's tough and dirty work, but somebody's got to do it.
On today's show, Robbie and Reece face up to full-on donkey work.
And it's not pretty.
Immy and David handle the prickly challenge of wildlife welfare.
And Leah the falcon gets Dom in a bit of a spin.
Wow! Just missed my head!
Brilliant. I'm working with donkeys today.
I asked to do donkeys.
No! We're still paying for last time. The smashed-up ice-cream van
on the beach?
How was I supposed to know donkeys can't drive ice-cream vans?
Well, listen, you're not going so you can go onto your next location.
No problem. I've got a lift sorted.
VEHICLE SPEEDS OFF
Today I'm in Sidmouth, Devon and this is the biggest donkey
and mule care home in the whole wide world.
The donkey sanctuary has been open for 40 years providing help
and support for donkeys all over the world.
Talking of help, I've got two eager beavers who can't wait to get going.
And wheeling in today are Robbie and Reece.
Wrestling nut Robbie is petless and would really love a dog.
He doesn't get a kick out of horses though.
I once seen a horse, but if you approach it from behind,
they can tell something is coming behind it and then they go, bang.
Reece loves his pet pooch.
But definitely does not dote on goats after
-one butted him just like this.
It went right into my leg.
But I didn't cry.
So, both are not keen on hanging around hoofy animals...
..but are big pet lovers.
He loves his animals.
He'll feed them, but he won't pick up their mess.
BOTH: EW! Poo!
OK. To a massive, mucky donkey sanctuary, boys.
Reece. Robbie. How you doing?
Good. You guys don't like animals with hooves, is that right?
-There might be a bit of a problem?
-What about the messy side of animals?
-You don't like it?
-But you've got dogs, haven't you? Do you not clean up after them?
Disgusting behaviour! You're at the right place. Here's your overalls.
Take them, put them on and we'll go and get to work. Let's go.
As you would expect at a donkey sanctuary there are donkeys,
donkeys and, yep, donkeys.
They have sorted out nearly 15,000 unwanted and poorly donkeys
since opening over four decades ago.
There's always a load of work here,
so get out of your Sunday best fast, boys.
Game on. Let's roll with it.
Good morning, Dom. Morning, boys.
Here's your help. Have you got lots of jobs for them?
Absolutely. I've got the perfect job just this way.
Go on then, off you go. Canter.
OK, boys, mind the poo.
We're just going to go and find Ben and his mum, Linda.
Check out this teeny tiny newborn donkey.
This is our little foal, Ben, and he is two weeks old.
This is his mum, Linda, who is a very good mummy.
Linda's owner couldn't look after her
and she ended up living here.
So, today then we need to give Ben a little check over.
We can have a look at his teeth and just generally have a good feel over
him and make sure there's no lumps and bumps and see if he's OK.
-How do you feel about that?
-That be all right, to help me with that?
It's a steady start from the hoof haters.
What do you think to him then?
He's cute. He gets very protected by his mum, Linda.
Yeah, she's a good mum, isn't she?
Lovely! And later, Robbie and Reece get going on Ben's health check.
Are you not scared of putting your hands right by his mouth?
That's really good.
Dick's dropped into one of the busiest animal sanctuaries
in the south of England.
Today on Dick & Dom Go Wild,
I'll be hanging out in a house in Surrey.
Fear not, my animal-loving friends, because this is no ordinary house.
This house and its garage are full to the brim of injured animals
and wounded wildlife wanting to be nursed back to health.
I hope there's room for these two.
Squaring up for action here are pals Immy and David.
When it comes to creatures, Immy, well, she's into the lot.
I love all animals and I think they're really cute.
Whereas David is, well, shall we say, a lot less keen?
I'm definitely wary of wild animals.
You never know if you can trust them or not.
While Immy is in tune with wildlife,
she's not allowed anything animaly inside her house.
With my disability, I can't have any pets.
Immy has grown up in a household with a pet-free zone.
Come on, you two, no point sticking around.
To a packed, busy Harper Asprey rescue centre.
-You've got different opinions when it comes to animals.
Immy, you are the big fan. What is it you like about them so much?
They're just so cute!
-Snakes and frogs?
-You like the lot.
But, David, you don't agree, do you?
No. They're all slimy. Why would you like slimy, horrible objects?
OK. Yeah. I'm with you on that one.
Are you willing to help out with the wildlife today?
Right, OK, well, you need to put these on and let's get to work.
It might look like a normal detached house from the outside,
but it's actually packed with
hundreds of injured animals needing a helping hand.
First up for our pair is the UK's only spiny mammal.
This poor hedgehog was found alone and ill in a nearby garden
and could really do with some TLC.
If you touch him very gently, he jumps. That's what he does.
If something's following him like a cat or a dog or a fox,
when he does that, those spines go in the nose of the animal following him.
They will usually yelp and disappear.
Every year around 450 injured or orphaned hedgehogs are brought here.
And they create a load of mess.
First, we've got to get all those hedgehogs out. I've got a box here.
If you can pick them up very gently and put them in the box.
You're doing a really good job. That's fantastic.
With the hogs out it's time for Immy and David to move in.
This is going to be the worst part.
We're going to get that dirty newspaper out and put it in here.
Now hogs don't half poop a lot. So yes, this place stinks.
-What do you think of the smell, David?
-Definitely not pleasant.
You're doing a fantastic job there, guys.
We've got some other cages you might like to tackle.
-No, thank you!
I can't blame you, David. Great effort, though.
-Do you do this a lot?
-They get done in the morning
and then they get done after lunch and then last thing at night.
They're ripping through this job.
Look how clean that is in there for them now.
They look quite happy, don't they?
-Aren't you adorable?
-Well done, guys.
Spotless homes for these now happy hogs.
And there's even more stink later
when Immy and David get close to this slithery serpent.
-It's quite an offensive smell, isn't it?
At the sanctuary, Robbie and Reece
are helping give new arrival Ben the foal a health check.
-I'm being attacked by donkeys!
They need to check his mouth now.
Ben's a little nervous at first.
But eventually settles.
The team need to make sure Ben has healthy teeth and gums.
Any problems can mean he will find it difficult to feed.
Did you want to have a gentle look in his mouth for yourself?
-You're not scared of putting your hand right by his mouth?
That's really good. That's donkeys for you.
They've got a lovely character and a lovely temperament.
We are with an expert -
don't go putting your hands near animals' mouths.
Ben's passed the dental examination.
Now it's time to check mum Linda is able to give him milk properly.
This is where we've got to be very quiet and gentle.
We're looking to make sure that the teats
and the area around it aren't hard and hot to touch.
What's it feel like?
-That's a really good sign.
That means that Ben's getting some really good milk from his mum.
He's just come to check us out now and see how the progress is going.
With mum and son having passed our health check,
it's time to give them a little peace.
Hey, boys, what do you think about donkeys now?
Now that I've met donkeys, I think they're really cute
and I'm not that worried about them kicking me now.
I was a bit scared of hooved animals.
But now I've met donkeys, I'm not that scared of them any more.
Later, Robbie and Reece get kitted out to do donkey doo-doos.
OK, so this is Davy's fresh poo from this morning.
Back in Surrey, Immy and David
are grafting like good 'uns at a busy rescue centre.
And they're about to meet this slippery customer.
It's a grass snake
and it was found with an injured back by a member of the public.
Now our team needs to check its progress.
This grass snake was found in a pond and it was caught up in the netting.
It had gone through it to find some food.
and then it got stuck.
If you look on her back here, there's some marks here, see?
-There's a mark here.
Remember, don't go touching snakes yourselves -
it's hard to tell the difference
between a harmless one and a dangerous one.
What you have to be careful of is they're very clever
and when they get scared, they play dead.
They give off a really strong smell, it smells a bit like garlic.
It smells as if they're dead. So animals think they're dead.
They lie on their side with their mouth open.
Pick them up when they're like that, they'll bite you.
They're at their most frightened, so they'll bite anything.
A grass snake's bite isn't dangerous to humans,
but they really do have a killer pong.
-It's quite an offensive smell, isn't it?
It's not putting David off, though. He's all over this examination.
It feels like leather.
That's exactly what they feel like, a nice pair of shoes. Nice and soft.
He's not afraid of asking a scientific question, either.
How do they poo?
They poo from back here,
there's a little opening back here and that's where they go to the loo.
And the best bit? This snake is close to a return to the wild
and with a bit of luck, our pals might bag this fab job.
There's more later. Immy and David deal with a duck
that swallowed a hook.
How are we going to get this hook out of the duck?
We may be able to remove it using forceps,
but if it's further down,
we will probably have to perform an operation.
But first, Dom gets in a flap
when he has to exercise the wildest of animals.
I've journeyed to a remote corner
of deepest, darkest Hertfordshire in search of a creature
that spends most of the day sleeping in thick undergrowth.
This animal has a pot-bellied physique,
which means it generally prefers all things meaty and piey.
What you doing? Give us that back.
Why are you waking me up from my bushy snooze?
-I bet you are.
I'm luring. It's a very useful technique used to help some animals.
Look, I'll show you...or he will.
This is Mark Amey and he's an expert in luring.
In the wild, Lanner falcons need to be in tip-top shape
in order to hunt their preferred prey - small birds.
But tame ones like Leah here need to be kept fit too.
Mark is not just swinging a bit of dead bird on a rope,
years of practice have gone into it.
The aim of luring is to keep the falcon interested,
but not let her snatch the tasty treat
until she's had enough exercise.
-How did Leah come to be here?
-This is a rescue bird.
She has obviously been born and bred in captivity
and very unfit when I first got her.
She's fighting fit now, though. Come and get it, Leah.
-Here she comes.
-She's coming, Dom. At speed.
Good lad. Good lad.
How do you think he's doing, Mark?
Um... Yeah, not bad.
-The bird's very forgiving.
-I think so.
Wow. Literally just missed my head.
-Let her have it this time.
She missed it. Rubbish.
Mark makes the swinging bit look easy.
Getting Leah to catch the food is a real skill.
So he shows us how it's done.
I failed miserably luring Leah.
Perhaps I can succeed with luring something a bit less challenging.
Come on now. Come on.
We did it!
A pie-eyed luring success.
Robbie and Reece are working hard
at the largest donkey sanctuary in the world.
Right then, guys. This little donkey here is called Davy.
One of the jobs we've got to do today is take a stool sample.
If he's losing weight, it might mean worms in his tummy.
The way we know if there's worms is if there's worms in his poo.
Parasitic worms get in a donkey's tummy
after they nosh hay and grass that has worm eggs on it.
-So what do these worms look like?
Eurgh! Ah! Imagine having those living in your belly,
eating all your food. Gross.
You can see why these might cause discomfort to our donkeys.
That's why it's important to monitor them for worms.
Poor Davy has been feeling down in the dumps.
It's now time for our lads to get down in HIS dumps
and check for worms.
-Do I have to do it with my hands?
-Can we wear gloves?
We wear some nice big gloves which I've got in this pocket.
OK? They're really, really long.
Gloves on and get to work, boys.
OK, so this is Davy's fresh poo from this morning.
What you need to do now is pick up a good handful of poo
and maybe have a little rummage through and see if you can...
Can you find a worm in there?
Robbie and Reece need to look for tiny versions
of what they saw in that jar earlier.
If they find them, Davy will need special medication.
This is a job our staff have to do regularly.
Tough task, I know, but our boys aren't giving up.
The lads haven't found any obvious signs of worms.
The samples will now go to the lab for further tests,
just to make sure.
Meanwhile, we still have important work to do with Davy.
-Hello there, boys.
-Hi, how you doing?
So, Davy, what's the next job for Davy?
Davy's got to go in here. If you could kindly open the gate.
We need to check Davy's weight. This way, sir,
to the very special weighing equipment.
Whereabouts are the scales?
They're here and it's just coming up on the little...
Oh, the whole floor basically are the scales. OK.
Once on the scales, the boys can record his weight.
-Is that healthy?
-It's not ideal.
The average weight is about 180 kilos. So a little way to go,
but he's definitely heading for the right end of the scales.
Davy's on the mend and he's made a real impression on our boys.
It was nice meeting Davy, because he was a really nice donkey
and he's really cute.
I wouldn't like to take a donkey home.
You've got to clean up the poo and there's worms.
You've got to check the poo, get special kinds of gloves.
It would be just too much to do, we just couldn't handle it.
And later, I play donkey
in the strangest of animal training sessions.
You can pipe down as well.
In Surrey, Immy and David are working at an animal rescue centre.
Their next job means travelling to a vet's for some specialised help.
Hello, and what have we got here?
We've got a duck that was caught by a fisherman this morning.
The hook is still inside it somewhere.
She's a young mallard, native to the UK.
She looks very, very healthy. She looks very well.
Unless we get the hook out, she won't feed properly.
Will the hook in the throat be hurting the duck?
Yeah, I imagine it will.
It's likely to be stuck through the gullet or the intestines
and that will be quite sore.
How are we actually going to get this hook out of the duck?
If the hook's just in the throat, we may be able to see it
and just remove it using forceps.
If it's further down,
we will probably have to perform an operation to remove it.
What we need to do is take an X-ray so that we can see
where the hook is and if we can remove it safely.
We need to act fast.
Vet Gill puts the mallard to sleep under anaesthetic,
while our dynamic duo transform themselves into able vet assistants.
OK, we've got the duck asleep now.
We've given her an anaesthetic, so we're going to take an X-ray.
This is the X-ray film in here.
We're going to position her on the X-ray, take a picture
and see where the hook is. OK?
The X-ray lets us see through the duck's feathers and flesh
and helps locate that painful fishing hook.
With one quick press of a button, we have an X-ray image to examine.
And it doesn't take long for our team to spot
what they're looking for - the swallowed hook.
-Yeah, it's right down here.
It's come all the way down the neck and down the intestines
and it's now in the main body of the stomach,
along with these little bits of grit.
So this stomach is going to grind away and scrunch the hook up
and hopefully the duck will just pass it.
Luckily for this particular duck, no operation is needed today.
What will happen to the duck now?
We're going to wake the duck up
and send her back with Anne to Harper Asprey.
Anne's going to look at her poo every day
and make sure the hook is passed.
What a result. The team had a full-on emergency case here,
but it looks like our mallard might pull through.
When I heard that the duck had a hook on its tummy,
I was very worried, because you might have to rip open the chest.
In the end, it wasn't too serious, it will come out anyway.
I'm really happy that the duck didn't have to have an operation.
It's good to know the duck will be OK within a week or two.
Top job, team.
And later, Immy and David's hard work pays off.
It's wildlife release time.
-Are you ready to release the grass snake?
-I want to take the grass snake home.
You've got to put it back into the wild, where it belongs.
But first, Dick gets all wincy on spiders.
Oh, who's the man? Who's the daddy?
Who's the daddy now? It's only a plastic spider.
What? Oh, that? Don't worry about that.
That's Charlie, the Chilean Rose Tarantula. He's fine.
He's fine? He's all big, fat and hairy.
As tarantulas go, he's medium-sized.
It's his hair you have to watch out for.
-Why? Does he wear a wig?
-No. If he feels threatened,
he rubs his legs on his back end and then the little hairs fly out
and stick in the throat, eyes and nose, that kind of thing.
-So he's not venomous then?
-All spiders are a little bit venomous,
but you know, not that bad. Feels a bit like a bee sting.
But tarantulas, if looked after properly, make a really good pet.
-So a sting like a bee.
-It shoots hairs out its bum that sticks in your eyes.
-I think I'll stick to kittens.
-Stick to kittens?
I think that's a really good idea.
Robbie and Reece are working behind the scenes at a sanctuary
full of donkeys in Devon.
Sadly, a lot of donkeys that come here have had a miserable past.
Jack is one of them.
He was nervous when he arrived here and would try to kick out at people.
Experts use a technique called clicker training
to help calm jumpy donkeys. The boys are going to clicker train Jack.
First, a practice run with me as Jack's stand-in.
Right, boys, are we ready to train Dom?
So you've got the target and you're going to stand up there.
You've got the clicker and the carrots and we know what to do.
Clicker training is all about
getting an animal to follow instruction.
Here I must approach and touch a green sign.
Successful completion of the task is rewarded with a treat
and backed up by a loud click.
Can I have the other end that isn't covered in brown schtuck?
DONKEY SNORTS You can pipe down as well.
These sessions help create a bond between donkey and trainer.
-Shall we try it with Jack?
-Yeah, let's do it.
So you're going to stay here with me.
You come here and stand this way and hold that target out.
The moment of truth, wait for it.
-Well done, Jack.
-Go and give him his reward.
Very good. Nice work, boys.
Bit further away this time, let's really test him.
Very good, these lads.
They are pretty good, yeah. Jack's not doing too bad either.
Was he quite rebellious when you first had him?
-Not responding very well to you?
-He just had had a difficult start
and our job, using the clicker training,
was to get him thinking,
get him being able to solve a few puzzles
and work a little bit more.
Top donkey trainers, eh?
Reece and Robbie aren't finished yet.
It's time to play a little game with the donkeys.
We're hiding their food,
making it as difficult as possible for them to find.
No, we're not being mean to the animals.
This helps them use their brains,
kind of like hide and seek for donkeys.
-Guys, well done. Have you enjoyed today?
Reece, what's been your favourite moment?
Hiding all the bits for the donkeys.
-Hiding all the bits.
Watching the donkeys trying to find it.
You've done a great job. They're still looking!
We'll leave them to it. Well done, guys. Brilliant job.
Back in Surrey, Immy and David
aren't half getting stuck in at the wildlife sanctuary.
And they're in for a real treat now.
Some of their patched-up critters are ready to taste freedom.
First up is our now fully recovered grass snake.
Anne, you release a lot of animals back into the wild.
-How do you choose where you do it?
-Sustainability is the main thing.
We choose areas where the population can look after itself
and there's enough food for it.
The area we've come to here is particularly suited to grass snakes.
These snakes love damp ditches and riverbanks,
with lots of frogs and fish to feed on.
This place is perfect.
-What's going to happen?
-He'll probably head for the stream.
OK, Immy, it's time. Are you ready to release the grass snake?
-I want to take the grass snake home.
-You can't take it home.
-You have to put it back into the wild, where it belongs.
Good try, Immy, but this snake has a date with destiny.
Oh, yeah. Straight into the river. Woo.
-And back out again.
-Back out again.
-Is that usual, Anne?
-I think so.
This time of the day, they look for somewhere to sleep,
somewhere safe to hide and that looks like a good spot.
You've released your first animal back into the wild. How do you feel?
-You want to do some more?
-Let's go and release some other animals, then.
There's no stopping these two.
While our snake slithers free,
we need to hot-foot it to our next release site...
..where our now-mended spiky friends are ready to go wild.
And now the turn of the hedgehogs. Why here, Anne?
This is a great area for hedgehogs.
We've got about 700 acres here that are totally organic.
This is just about as perfect as it gets for them.
Are the hedgehogs likely to stay here or will they migrate somewhere?
Hedgehogs can travel up to two or three miles during one evening.
Once they settle down and make a nest, they stay in one area.
What a day.
David wasn't that bothered about wildlife,
but he's right in there with Immy now
releasing recovered hogs back to the wild - cracking.
Look, one of them's off. There he goes.
Straight into the bush. Goodbye, my friend.
Immy, when you got here, you liked wildlife -
-do you like it even more now?
-What's been your best bit?
-Freeing the grass snake.
-David, you weren't so sure about wildlife.
How do you feel now?
I feel like I'll be more in touch with nature.
Good stuff. That means you two have gone wild,
the grass snake's gone back to the wild
and the four hedgehogs have gone wild. We've all gone wild.
Caring for animals is very rewarding,
don't get me wrong,
but it is exhausting -
unless you sit around eating pies all day, that is.
Which reminds me, someone I know could do with some exercise.
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