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Today on Roar...
The prairie dogs are getting a new enclosure,
but with these young athletes
will the keepers ever be able to stop them from escaping?
Hello and welcome to Roar. I'm Rani.
And I'm Johny and I'm testing Rani's fear of stick insects.
I'm not scared, Johny, STICK another one on me, get it?
-Just one more, come on.
-Get it, STICK? Get it, Johny? Laugh.
I get it, a stick. Well done, Rani.
You've done them all, now. You're doing well, Rani, I'm proud of you.
Luckily for you, we've got to get on with the show.
But there's just time to put one more on you.
I'm very calm. I'm very calm. I'm very calm.
But not for much longer, because, coming up,
I've got an even bigger test and it's my worst nightmare...
And I'm going to meet one of the oldest gorillas in the world.
Nico, the silverback. But will he be a grumpy old man?
And the meerkats go digging for their breakfast.
Will they manage to tunnel in or are they just going to scrap?
If these were like little kids,
I'd be going, "Stop this now, there's plenty for everyone!"
But first, we're heading down to Animal Adventure.
All the animals have specially designed enclosures
that have to be low enough so the visitors can see them,
but secure enough so the animals can't escape.
The prairie dogs are currently in a temporary enclosure
whilst a new one is being built for them.
In the wild, these rodents, which are related to squirrels
and chipmunks, live in the flat grasslands of North America.
They are fast and athletic. They need to be, as so many predators,
like eagles, foxes and badgers, try to eat them.
But it's their jumping ability that's worrying their keeper, Sarah.
What we're concerned about is how high a barrier we are going to need
because we like to have our enclosures quite open.
We like people to be able to see the animals quite clearly,
so we decided to do a little test for our prairie dogs
and we've come up with a design where we can leave it in here
and monitor and see how high they can climb and jump.
Just to make sure they're not getting out of their enclosure
when they're finally down there.
Sarah's come up with a cunning plan.
The workshop have made a wooden box with sides
that are 40 centimetres high.
It's got a window in the bottom
so the prairie dogs will be able to see food inside.
If they can easily jump in,
then it's not high enough for the enclosure walls.
We're going to put some nice foods for them in there,
to try and tempt them to want to go in
and then we will be able to gauge how well they are jumping over
and getting to the food, which they should try and do.
So, hopefully, it will give an idea of how high they can scrabble over.
But this lot are athletic, so if the 40 centimetre high wall is too easy,
she can add sections, one at a time, till it looks like Mount Everest.
Surely they'd never get into this.
What we're going to do is set up a little camera over the box
so we can watch and wait and then know
when they have gone in the box, if they can get in the box.
Everything's set. The box, the corn on the cob and the camera.
Sarah's watching from a secret room.
Will the prairie dogs rise to the challenge? Don't go away.
Down at Meerkat Mountain,
the keepers are always looking for new ways to challenge this busy mob.
In the wild, meerkats spend much of the day looking for food.
So, this morning, keeper John Ovens has created a feeding challenge.
What are we going to do today?
-We've got a couple of the meerkats' favourite treats.
We've got a box of nice jumpy crickets
and also, in this tub, we've got some nice wiggly mealworms.
-Yummy, yummy, yummy.
-Do you fancy...?
-No, I don't!
I do know the meerkats love them
and they are all hovering around ready for their treat.
What's the plan? Are we digging a hole so they'll go into it?
-Sort of. What we've got here is a Perspex box.
And we're going to fill it with the crickets and the mealworms
and then, using my best sandcastle skills, flip it over
and hopefully get the meerkats to dig it out.
All right, let's do this then.
-Over here, we have another camera, haven't we?
-This is the right position for it.
-Do you want to pour the mealworms in?
Yeah. I don't want anything to do with the crickets.
So we pour that in here. And some nice...
-There, some nice crickets.
-This is going to be very clever now.
-You're going to flip this.
-We'll do this on three.
-No pressure. Meerkats, mind it...
-Ready, ready, one...
-They are desperate for their treats.
-Well done. Right.
-If we pad it up a little bit.
OK. Not too high, so we can see.
Now, the idea here,
I think this looks impossible, what are they going to do?
I think you can probably just watch what they're going to do.
It will be fairly quick. They are already digging around the edges.
Take a look at this.
Straight in there. They live in underground burrows,
very deep underground to make sure no predators can get in with them.
Living underground, they have to be good diggers.
This shouldn't be much of a challenge.
They're going mad for this. The sounds they're making!
-Are they communicating with each other?
-A bit of scrapping going on.
Like most animals, they don't like sharing food,
so they are all trying to get in there first.
This is crazy. Stop kicking the camera, you lot!
Now, fighting like this, is this healthy for meerkats?
We know they live in a mob, so they are communal, aren't they?
They've got a good social structure, they've got a good hierarchy.
The ones that are getting the food will tend to be the stronger,
more dominant ones
If these were little kids,
I'd be going, "Stop this now, there's plenty for everyone!"
When it comes to food, it is the survival of the fittest,
they want to be first to feed and first in there.
So, lots of scrapping going on.
What is this one doing on the corner?
Is he trying to climb in the box, or flip the box?
I thought they would have flipped it. It's not heavy.
Is that what you were expecting,
for them to flip the box or dig underneath it?
Erm, you said, "Are some of them cleverer than others?"
They all look like they are going for the same tactic at the moment.
But I think all it takes is for one of them to get its claw underneath
and they should be able to flip... Oh, I see some movement.
-They are all getting in it.
-Our poor camera!
-That is it, they are in there.
-Right on cue, look at that.
I tell you what, this has been meerkat madness.
Thanks so much. We should leave them to it, though.
What's the most powerful fish in the ocean?
Ribbit, ribbit, ribbit.
What horse likes to be ridden at night?
-The night mare!
What do you get when you cross a parrot with a centipede?
Back at the prairie dog enclosure, the climbing test is about to begin.
Keeper Sarah is designing a new enclosure for them
and wants to know how high they can jump.
She's put their favourite food - corn on the cob - inside the box.
Here we have one now just sniffing the box,
having a look in the window.
We don't get to see what the animals do when we're not here
which is really interesting.
Obviously, we do affect how they behave a lot of the time.
So, to see them when there's no people around at all,
this is like their most natural behaviour. Here he goes.
A little jump up onto the edge. Oh, a little perch.
Not quite sure.
There we go.
40 centimetres? No problem!
Sarah adds another section on to the box to make it 60 centimetres high.
I have a feeling that they will be able to get over still.
But I might be proven wrong, I don't know.
60 centimetres? Is that all you've got? Bring it on!
OK, we're now up to 80 centimetres.
Surely they're not going to be able to get over that?
Amazing, let's see that again.
Is there a trampoline down there?
There's another one. Up the log.
Oh. Using their brains.
They're being clever, jumping off a nearby log.
They may look daft, these prairie dogs,
but they're not stupid!
When they get to the top,
it looks like they are still not really sure what to do.
Oh. Very graceful.
But, here's the big test. There's no log inside so, if they can get out,
then clearly 80 centimetres is not high enough.
That took a couple attempts to get out there, a bit of a run-up.
It is still impressive how high they can jump from the ground
with their little stumpy legs.
The wall for the new enclosure is getting higher and higher.
There's still a section to go which will make the box a metre high.
Surely they won't be able to jump that high. Don't go away!
In the middle of Longleat Half Mile Lake is Gorilla Island.
It is home to Nico, the silverback gorilla.
He's very special since he's one of the oldest gorillas in the world
and these great apes are one of our closest animal relatives.
At 50, Nico's an old man now and likes his routines.
Johny's off to meet keeper Mark Tye who has looked after him
for over 20 years.
Hi, Mark. You all right? Talk us through his morning routine, then.
-Vitamins. Start of the day, first thing.
Is this because he's getting on a bit? He's quite old, isn't he?
He's an old boy. But this is something they always have.
How do you do it?
You need a nice relationship or you'll lose your fingers.
-I'm presuming that you're not going to let me give them?
That's incredible. That is amazing.
Obviously, gorillas wouldn't get vitamins in the wild in that manner.
How important is it that he does have this routine every morning?
I think it's important for all animals,
all animals understand a routine, they know what's going on.
Him, especially so. He's just like a person and he knows the time.
He knows it's time for breakfast and he's ready and waiting.
What else does his morning routine consist of, Mark?
Well, he has this lovely mixture here...of yoghurt
and it's a treatment for diarrhoea.
Years ago he suffered from a B-coli bacteria.
-Which gave him very bad diarrhoea unfortunately
and this mixture of medicines keeps it away.
-I've noticed he's got a TV in here as well.
-Does he watch the TV?
-He does, a lot.
-What is his favourite show?
-Brilliant, I love it!
He's so lazy. He won't even stand up, look. Come on.
-There you go.
-I thought that was a bit harsh.
He's an old man and you made him get up to have his medicine.
-Why did you do that?
-Well, he needs to be active.
He is generally quite a lazy bloke and, you know,
he will just sit there on his backside watching the telly
so we do keep him on his toes and make him get up, now and again.
Keep him mobile to keep him healthy.
Even at this old age, is he still strong and could he cause damage?
Definitely. He might look old and slow but, believe me, he's not.
He's incredibly quick, still, and even though I have been working
-with him for 20, 25 years, he still tries!
He still tries to grab the spoon out your hand, or something like that.
-So you do have to be on your toes a bit.
Well, Nico's adoring public awaits,
so we better crack on with his morning routine.
Our Roar Rangers today are brother and sister Rickneet and Tanya.
Being a Roar Ranger is amazing
because you get to go closer to animals.
I am really excited doing this
because I have been talking about it for a while.
Time for the talking to stop and the action to begin.
What's their challenge today?
"Rickneet and Tanya, today you're going to be deer keepers.
"Get ready for a woodland adventure!"
I don't know what we're going to do with the deer,
but I think we might be shovelling poo.
Would we ask our Rangers to shovel poo?
Well, of course we would!
But, hang on, today's task involves a giant tractor, wild animals
and a man in a cloth cap.
My name is Tim and I look after the deer here in the park.
And, today, what we're going to attempt to do is we're going
to attempt to move some deer from one section to the other.
It's the red deer they'll be moving today.
They are the largest land mammal in the UK.
And a stag can weigh up to 240 kilograms.
That's the same as a motorbike.
First, we've got to do a rather mucky job, I'm afraid...
it has to be done but we've got to go and clean the trough out.
So, come with me, let's go and get mucky.
Oh, dear. Get mucky? That doesn't sound promising.
What we want to do is when I give you a brush,
if you can scrub the sides as hard as you can all round here,
get all this green algae off.
I must give you some gloves first.
They might be a bit big but if you can put those on.
Put some muscle into it. Really go at it. Hard as you can.
It is no worse than cleaning out the bath at home, is it?
-I'm not enjoying that. My hands are cold.
-I'm not enjoying it.
I'm sorry, guys, but if you want to be keepers one day, getting cold
and dirty is part of the job.
I think that's it.
We can tip this out now and put the clean water in, I think.
That's it. Well done.
So, if you want to take that, OK?
Don't tip it all over me, please.
And point it into there, bring it down, bring it down, that's it.
Well done. Excellent. I think you can be well proud there.
Look how clean that is. Look.
When you think it's full enough,
lift the pipe right above your head, right up, OK?
That's it. Up. Well done. Excellent. Well done.
I think you've done an excellent job, both of you.
That was a wonderful job. It's lovely and clean.
I think it's time we went and moved the deer. If you follow me, please.
Moving the red deer may not be easy.
The stags have big antlers and in the wild, like these two,
they can be very aggressive.
Will our Roar Rangers be able to complete their task?
It's Chico time for the Roar Game. Today's secret code is Rain125.
Type that in and see what you get.
If you haven't played before, go to the CBBC website and sign up.
It is easy and great fun. Happy gaming!
Now, it's the point of the show I'm dreading.
I'm on my way down to meet a creature that gives me nightmares...
Keeper Kim is a bug expert and has offered to help me
get over my fears.
Kim, can I come closer? Should I come closer?
Yeah, of course you can. They're all fine. Don't worry.
I hate cockroaches. I'm sure they are really wonderful.
To me they all look scary.
Do you want to talk us through them?
I know you're trying to show me that they're lovely things.
This one here is a Madagascan hissing cockroach.
I've met these before. They are very big and they are very scary.
These are still quite small.
They can get up to four inches, they can be quite hefty.
But they don't cause any problems.
Sometimes they can use their bodies and push against the sides
and push the air out these little holes down the side there.
-The little holes down his side.
-That's where the hiss comes from?
It's not from their mouth, it's the air being pushed out their bodies.
-Why do they hiss?
-It's a defence. It makes them sound like another animal.
-Maybe a snake?
"Just go away, leave me alone." It's a warning thing.
Who else have we got today?
These ones here are our Death's Head cockroaches.
They sound really awful, but they're not at all.
-Hang on, that one looks like it can fly?
-He can glide.
We call it falling with style! They can't actually get up and fly away.
But if he did jump, he can open his wings
and not hurt himself when he hits the floor.
-I've just seen his wings.
-They are big, aren't they?
They are REALLY big. So, which cockroach are they?
Death's Head cockroaches - some people think
this looks like a skull on the back of the head.
I have to admit, I'm quite scared of the hissing cockroaches.
Have you ever been scared of them,
-or are you like, "Yeah, I'll put my hands in."
When I first started, it took me about six months to actually
put my hand in the box.
-Yeah. So, it was really bad.
-It used to make my skin crawl.
-But now you are absolutely fine?
I know they are not going to hurt me.
On that note, then, I would like to hold a cockroach.
The Death's Head is the nicest, the crinkly skin.
They are and probably the slowest, as well.
RANI LAUGHS NERVOUSLY
-Is it going to fly at me? Is it going to go into my hair?
It is going to stay on your hand and then I'll take it off again, promise.
OK. Face it that way so it can fly off that way.
-There you go!
-Really, really light.
OK, you need to take that off and I should say, "Thank you, Kim!"
I held a cockroach!
The prairie dogs have amazed their keeper, Sarah.
She's designing a new enclosure for them
and wants to know how high the wall needs to be to stop them escaping.
So far, getting over 40 centimetres was a breeze.
60 centimetres was a walk in the park.
Even scaling an 80-centimetre wall wasn't much of a problem.
But now the height of the box is a whopping 100 centimetres,
a whole metre high, that is ten times the height of a prairie dog.
Surely they will find this mission impossible.
Prairie dogs, your mission should you choose to accept it,
is to scale a one metre high wall to retrieve vegetables.
You may select any team member to complete this mission,
but it must be a prairie dog.
Once the vegetables have been retrieved,
the team member must get back over the wall to complete the mission.
Good luck, prairie dogs. This tape will self-destruct in five seconds.
MUSIC: "Take A Look Around" Limp Bizkit
Unbelievable! He's done it. He used the branch as a springboard.
Let's see that again. Is that a prairie dog world record?
He might have got in,
but he looks like he can't get out without a branch to help him.
Well done, prairie dogs. Mission almost completed.
You got in, but you couldn't get out.
Now I know how high to make the fence for your new enclosure.
Hello? Anyone there? I'm stuck. Can you let me out, please?
Back up at the deer park,
and our Roar Rangers, Rickneet and Tanya, are on a moving mission.
The reason that we are going to bring the red deer
down into this part of the park is because,
as you can see, the general public
are around there, they are feeding the deer,
it's a lovely experience and we need to bring in more deer for them
so that's what we're attempting to do, so, if we open the gate up,
we've got a couple showing some interest there.
They have heard the gate, they have heard you open the gate,
let's try and see if we can attract these two down a bit.
Would you like to have a go and just take some food? Yeah?
Take some food.
I would throw some, throw some up there and let them see you throw it.
That's it. Well done. That's it. She's coming.
So, OK, let her come down, let her come down.
She knows there's food on offer.
The Rangers are safe because they are with Tim,
who is a very experienced keeper.
These two are female red deer, known as hinds, and they love
the special deer pellets the Rangers are throwing them.
She's a little bit nervous, but she's not too bad, really,
considering she's not used to seeing many people standing here.
To have her this close, I think, is... We are quite fortunate.
So far, with the deers,
it's been nice that they, that two of them have come up right close.
What I'm going to try and do now is, very quietly, I'll move up
and I will try and get the attention of the other deer, OK?
While Tim heads off to coax the other deer down,
our Rangers help by laying the food trail for the deer to follow.
-And...it seems to be working.
-She's coming back.
She probably thinks that there's still some food here.
And the good news is, she's not the only one.
Tim's brought the whole of the deers down.
They must have been following the Rangers' food trail.
You both managed to get them down, well done. I'm very impressed.
You have passed the exam for being keepers, I think.
Well, Tanya and Ricky, thank you very much for your help.
I think we have given them enough food now and it's best
-if we head back to the vehicle. Shall we do that now?
It was a fantastic experience.
Not many people could get really close to deers and meet them
and they were really close, it was like their antlers were touching us.
I think they were absolutely excellent, they really were.
TOGETHER: We love deers!
Do-do do-do! Oh, yeah.
Rani, what you doing?
You said we had time for a spot of grooming before the end of the show.
Yeah, goat grooming! Not presenter grooming, honestly!
-Although, while I'm here...
-Oh, behave yourself, you! Come on.
What we're really here for is to hook up with keeper Harriet
for a spot of goat grooming.
-How're you doing, Harriet?
-Surrounded by goats!
The goat lady! Can we help? You look like you have your work cut out.
I think it would be a good idea, I think it would be a great idea.
-Have you got a brush for me?
-I certainly do.
-There we go. Have a go. This is Rolo.
How often do you do this, Harriet?
Ideally, you should do it every day so you can keep on top of it,
make sure the tangles don't build up, and just to check that they're OK.
Rolo doesn't seem to be struggling.
When I try and groom my dogs at home, they really hate it.
Is it good for them? Do they enjoy it?
They LOVE it.
They absolutely love the attention, they love the spotlight.
So, here they are, standing to attention.
They love it, but, Harriet, there are a lot of goats here.
-Do YOU enjoy it?
-I love it!
-Really. You get to be one to one with the animal.
You get to know the animal and you get to obviously be hands on.
-I do admit, it is quite relaxing, isn't it?
-It really is.
Sitting here in the sunshine, stroking a goat. Mmm.
-All right, Rani!
-There's no goat here now, we'd better get another.
These goats look very beautiful.
Is it true that people enter them into competitions like dog shows
and, obviously, goat shows?
Yeah, they certainly do. Most animals you can enter into shows these days,
but goats are fantastic because they play to attention.
Harriet, I'm going to challenge you. Goats are easy to look after,
but do you think we could do anything with Johny's hair?
With those brushes, I think it might take a while!
Before these two get any ideas, why not check out
what's coming up on the next episode of Roar. ..Get off!
Next time, a baby giraffe is abandoned by his mother.
Without help, he won't survive.
Can the keepers and another giraffe help save him?
How nosey are this lot?
Can they blow keeper Kat away with their tongue-in-cheek questions?
And first, it was robo-deer. He survived the wolf pack...
Now it's robo-zebra. Will he last as long when the lions come hunting?
Don't miss it.