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Today on Roar...
A rare Oryx has to be sedated
but with metre-long horns and a drug that's fatal to humans,
the team must make sure that nothing goes wrong.
MUSIC: "Electric Feel" by MGMT
-Hello and welcome to Roar, I'm Rani.
And this little cutie is the park's new baby rhino, Ebun.
I have to say, I am absolutely in love with her.
-Isn't she amazing?
Talking of amazing, here's what's on today's show.
I thought you were talking about me!
Coming up, even the ants are mad about Roar,
but how strong are these six-legged workers?
I'm doing a spot of housework for the otters,
but Romeo and Rosie prefer their bedroom to be messy and stinky.
And we've got some sticky questions and slippery answers
when this lot grill the keeper.
But first, we're off to the Big Game Reserve,
where the team are preparing for a difficult and dangerous operation.
Wildlife vet Chris Mangham has been called in to sedate
one of the scimitar-horned Oryx.
There's always a risk with sedation. We do all we can to minimise it.
We're getting everything ready here, now,
so we can knock him out, calmly, quietly, efficiently,
get on with what we have to do and we can wake him up, ASAP.
These antelope are very rare and very special.
They're called scimitar-horned Oryx
because their horns are in the shape of a scimitar sword.
A century ago, they used to roam the desert areas of North Africa,
but sadly, now they've been hunted to extinction in the wild.
Today, one of the males - he's called Jeff -
is off to another park in France to start a family of his own.
It's vital for the species that they're bred in captivity,
so that later they can be reintroduced into the wild.
Before he can go, though,
vet Chris must run some tests to make sure he's fit and healthy.
Oryx have huge horns. They can grow to a metre long.
And if they're frightened, they will attack.
He must be sedated but even this is very risky.
We use a really dangerous drug, actually.
The big animals need a drug that'll knock them out quickly,
but it's really dangerous to people.
We have to be careful drawing it up, you don't want to scratch yourself.
And we have a special revival kit here, ready to inject anybody
in case they accidentally get pricked with a needle.
So we are fairly serious about doing this carefully
and not messing about with it.
Deputy Head of the safari park Ian Turner
is specially trained to use the dart gun.
Because the anaesthetic they use is so dangerous to humans,
Ian must wear gloves to protect his skin and goggles to cover his eyes.
One drop of this drug could kill a human.
The Roar camera crew has to stand well back for safety reasons.
Ian has to be careful and his aim must be true.
The dart's gone in...
..but there's a problem.
It hit the Oryx, got the dart in, but not all of the drug's got in.
So he's not had the full dose.
So we're trying to decide now whether we...
give him some more or not.
The plan is we'll give him a few minutes,
see if he's had enough, see if he goes to sleep.
As we said earlier, it's a dangerous drug.
We don't want to charge in with the dart on the floor,
potentially with some drug left in it.
So we're just going to let him relax for a second.
Hopefully, he's had enough to sleep.
If he has, great, we'll carry on as normal,
but at the moment, we'll just give him a bit of time.
Now all the keepers and Chris the vet can do is to wait.
It's too dangerous to go into the shed unless Jeff is fully asleep.
We'll be back later to see what happens.
Keeping the animals' enclosures ship-shape and mess-free
isn't an easy job.
There is one animal that makes it particularly difficult.
-I'm here with keeper Bev. Hiya, Bev.
And I want to know which is the animal?
How can they make it so difficult for us?
Yeah, they look cute and cuddly, but they're very messy.
One of the messiest animals we have.
We're in the otters' enclosure and it looks pretty tidy,
so I'm guessing you've had a bit of a clean-up.
A little bit, yeah, to save a bit of time.
OK, so what we will be doing today?
We'll put a bit of their bedding down, straw,
which they like to bed in.
We've got some bamboo here, which they love to destroy.
-They also drag that into their nest area to make a bed out of it.
So what we're going to do, we'll put the bamboo over here.
OK, here's a question for you.
-If they shred this and make a mess with this...
..why are we putting it in here?
It's good enrichment for them.
-Give them things to do and it won't last long, honestly.
Give it a few seconds and they're ripping it apart.
-As you said, you have Romeo here and who is his lady friend?
Now, is Rosie messy or, like all good girls,
is she nice and tidy, and tidying up after Romeo?
Sadly not. She's still as messy as Romeo.
Yeah, Romeo tends to make more of a nest than that.
You'll lose me behind the bamboo!
You'll have to move or I'm won't see you!
So I'll put a bit in there. That's the bamboo done. Lovely.
All right. Let's get on with their bedding.
We've got some straw here, we'll put down over here for them.
Where would you like this straw?
We'll put it in their nest area here.
So we'll put a bit just there, that's brilliant.
You know, I'll be honest, Beth, it looks messy already with the straw.
How are they going to make even more of a mess?
Basically, when we let them run out, they'll come running out.
They're going to know we've been in here.
What they'll start doing, especially Romeo, he'll start wagging his tail.
Cos he has scent glands underneath his tail area.
That's cos he's scenting everything
to make them feel comfortable in here,
cos they know we've been in here.
It's also a way of communicating with members in the family group,
if they lived in social groups, so they know who belonged to who.
All right, I'll get this straw down.
I'm still not completely convinced
that the place is going to look a mess but, Bev, you are the boss.
So why don't you join us later in the show to find out
if of those 'orrible otters trash our hard work.
It's ask the keeper time.
We've popped down to meet keeper Graeme at Animal Adventure
to talk about creepy crawlies and slithering snakes.
Nice(!) Graeme, you might be brave enough to have those things on you,
but are you brave enough for these guys' questions?
Yeah, I think I can handle their questions.
-Think you could handle the snake?
-I'll give it a go.
Shall I put it over here? How am I doing? Am I doing all right?
-You're doing perfectly fine.
Guys, have you got some good questions, then?
How many babies can a snake have a year?
Generally, snakes lay between four and six eggs every year,
so that could be a possibility of four to six babies every year.
How do you restrain a snake when it gets angry?
Luckily for us, none of our snakes generally get in very bad moods.
Sometimes you can grab hold of their heads if you need to,
but if they're in a bad mood, we leave them alone
and let them just calm down.
He's in a good mood, can we just clarify?
He's in a very good mood at the moment.
Good, cos he's around my neck, now. I'm a bit worried!
I'm not too bad with snakes, I have to say, but what are those things?
These are New Guinea spiny stick insects.
They're one of the larger stick insects that you can get.
Any of you guys fancy holding those?
Now, what you have to do is you have to put your hand out nice and flat
and they'll just crawl on. They do have little hooks on their feet,
so they do grip on nice and tight, but they won't do you any harm.
When they have babies, do they look after them,
or leave them to go by theirself?
Generally, they don't look after the babies.
They're not the best parents,
but they do dig their eggs into the ground.
Once they hatch, the babies eat solid food straight away,
and they're really just miniature versions of their parents.
What kind of food do they eat, then?
These guys eat a wide range of different leaf material.
We feed them here in captivity on oak and bramble and hawthorn,
but they'll eat most things.
-Janjan, you are incredibly brave, how does that feel?
-It feels weird.
And is it sticking to you?
-They're called stick insects, do they feel quite sticky?
-Can I hold the snake?
-Yeah, you can have a shot. I'll take the snake.
Be my guest. Lovely as it was and everything...!
OK. Are you OK with it around your neck or in your hands?
Maybe everyone else can help support him.
Put your hands up and around. There we go as well.
You seem to know everything about creepy crawlies and snakes, Graeme,
but you'll not slither out of this one, cos it's killer question time.
Come on in, guys.
Right, we need to ask a question.
-OK, ready for the killer question?
-Come on, then.
-Grrr! Are you ready for our killer question, Graeme?
-Yeah, I think so.
The average python can grow to 1.5 metres.
With that in mind, how many fully-grown pythons,
would it take to fill the entire length of the London Marathon?
Oh, it's a difficult one.
I'm afraid I don't really know the answer to your killer question.
Are you going to give it a guess, a guesstimate?
I will guess...
I'll say 1,000.
Well, the correct answer is actually 28,130.
I was a long way off!
-What do you think, do we give him a thumbs up or a thumbs down?
-Harsh lot, this lot, Graeme.
-I thought you did really well.
-Oh, well, that's the game, isn't it?
After all, this is Ask The Keeper and these guys are the boss.
I can't believe I said 1,000 now, why did I said 1,000?!
Back at the Oryx house.
It's been a while since the young male, Jeff,
was darted with anaesthetic.
He's now asleep and Chris the vet thinks it's safe to go in.
I think we'll have to be careful monitoring him
and making sure, you know, if he wakes up then, you know...
we may need to top him up, but...
the plan is to be quick about what we're doing, anyway.
Head of section Andy Hayton isn't taking any chances.
-Let's do it.
Now the team can get to work.
I'll just make sure he's not going to get up, Ian.
You can get rid of the dart and then we'll go in and do our stuff.
All right, pal.
With the dart and its dangerous drug safely out of the way,
Chris can start work.
He's taking vital blood samples to check that Jeff is fit
and healthy for his move to France.
He's a very important animal for the breeding programme.
So they've covered his eyes with a fleece to reduce any stress.
-I need to get to his jugular and neck.
-Shall we drag him round?
You measure him, I'll hold his horns in case he flicks his head.
This is a rare opportunity for the keepers to get close to an Oryx
without being attacked.
So, as Chris take blood samples,
the team take important measures for their records.
Some animals don't respond well to sedation
and can simply stop breathing.
So, the team are keeping a close eye on Jeff.
He's beginning to wake up, so they must work fast.
-Right, anything else we need to do?
-I've taken a load of blood.
Done the TB, so TB, brucellosis, blue tongue, done.
Finally, they've got all the samples
and measurements they need.
Chris the vet gives Jeff a reversal drug to make him wake up fully.
This is pretty speedy stuff as well, isn't it?
Only have to stick the needle in once.
It's always an anxious time waiting for an animal to come round.
Sometimes, they don't.
But finally, Jeff stirs.
He's going to be OK.
Things went really well, actually.
Despite not getting the full amount of the drug,
he went to sleep reasonably fast
and also safe enough for us to go in there.
Fingers crossed, he'll be waking up now, we'll keep an eye on him
until he gets to his feet and job done.
The vet will send the blood samples off to a laboratory,
to check that Jeff is healthy enough to go to France.
He's such an important animal. Everyone is hoping he's OK.
We'll be back at the Oryx house when the results come in.
What's a moth's favourite subject?
What kind of dog likes to fight?
Arf! Arf! Arf! Arf!
-What do you call a sheep on a trampoline?
-I don't know.
A woolly jumper!
THEY ALL LAUGH
Earlier on in the show, Bev and I were inside the otters' enclosure.
We were giving it a good spruce up.
We put some bamboo there, we put some nice straw,
but apparently, it's all going to be messed up
in a matter of moments, isn't that right, Bev?
Hopefully, yeah, they're going to come out and mess it all up.
Not hopefully, that's a lot of hard work!
When we say they're going to mess it up,
it's not because they're untidy animals, is it?
-No. No. There is a reason for it.
-What's that reason?
They come out and want to make this feel like their home.
In the wild, wild otters would do this.
They'll come out and wag their tails with their scent glands
to mess their bedding up or to make it smell of them.
This is a way of communicating to other otters in their social group.
-Here they come.
I see what you mean, just wagging on the straw.
Everywhere, isn't it?
Releasing that scent.
-That is some quick action there, isn't it?
-Yes, they are really good.
We are talking about dirty bedding - do they poo in there as well?
Sometimes they do,
sometimes they have certain areas where they will go to the toilet.
Here he goes. They love it.
He will pull that down, eventually.
Oh, my goodness, he's not going to fall, is he?
They are pretty good.
He looks like he's enjoying that.
I think they do enjoy it. It's good for them to be able to do this.
-Very natural for them.
-They're loving it!
There he goes.
-There we go, he's using his teeth to drag it in.
Now they've only got tiny teeth - are they strong?
Yeah, those teeth, they look very small and everything,
but those teeth are sharp, so they are good at ripping things apart.
Oh, just look at him!
Now, in the wild, you're not there to clean their bedding every day.
So does that mean, when it really starts to pong,
after they have wagged their scent glands on it, they find a new home.
They will have several holts, which is what it's called, the nest areas.
They are pretty clean animals,
they tend to put their spraint, their poo to one side
and they will get fresh bedding and put it in, so they are pretty good.
Romeo's had a good go at that bamboo but I'm slightly stronger,
and I have pushed that in, nice and firm.
So I think that'll last another day.
I'll admit, when you said to me they'd mess up my work, I thought,
"That's the last straw!" I'm pleased it looks good for another day.
OK, all you gamers, it's cheat code time.
Today's secret code is wind995.
Type that in and see what you get.
If you aren't playing the Roar game on the CBBC website,
then give it a go.
It's easy to get started and it's great fun. Happy gaming!
After my introduction to an insect that looks like a stick,
I'm now off to meet another bug,
that for its size, is one of the strongest in the world.
Now, if you think that's strong, that ain't nothing.
I'm meeting one of the park's strongest animals,
-isn't that right, Kim?
-It is, yes.
-It's the ants!
-One of the smallest.
-One of the smallest, too!
We set them a challenge to carry this Roar leaf, which looks small,
but it's five times bigger than they are
and they've done it, they carried it, that shows how strong they are.
Give us an idea of how powerful these guys are.
Well, these guys can carry about 12 times their own body weight.
-Which is like you carrying a Mini to your house.
It's like carrying a car. That is incredible.
-We've got a colony here, I guess.
-Yeah, this is our other colony.
So talk me through, I'm looking in here.
And there's all these tiny ants,
but I hear they all work for the big one, the queen ant.
They do. The queen ant sits in the middle of the nest
and just lays eggs.
Now, Kim, I've heard these queen ants are massive.
They are, they're pretty big and if you promise not to tell anyone,
I'll show you what a queen ant looks like.
-I won't tell a soul. This is exciting!
-If I use my little stick,
cos they give a nasty nip with those pincers.
If you look.. Can you see her there, look?
That massive ant in the middle.
-Doesn't even look like an ant!
-No. She's not even full size.
That looked big and chunky to me, just how big can a queen ant grow?
About the size of a small mouse. So pretty huge.
That's bizarre, an ant the size of a mouse. Weird.
And why is she so important? I know she's a lot bigger.
-Does she bully the ants into working for her?
-No. They depend on her.
She's the one that lays the eggs, so without her, there are no ants.
They've got to look after her, have they?
Now, does she ever move at all?
Or does she spend all the time, like, covered?
If she moves, she relies on these guys to move her.
-So she's too big to move herself.
-She's like a proper queen?
-She is, yeah.
-Is it true there are other types of ants?
You have the queen, you have these...runner ants?
I've got some tiny ones crawling around on my hands.
These are like the worker ants, what they'll do,
they are either coming out to pick up food or they might be tidying up.
So you have cleaners as well.
They might be digging new chambers,
-they need more bedrooms for more ants, that sort of thing.
You've got the ones that do the gardening inside the nest.
When they take the leaves in, they don't eat them.
-Are you having me on? Gardening ants?
-No, no, no.
It's a very important job. They'll take these leaves...
The workers take the leaves to the ants in the nest.
They'll then hand them over to the gardeners.
The gardeners do their thing and they turn it into the fungus.
-And if you look down here...
..at the bottom of this nest, you can see it.
This is what they eat.
-Wow, OK. So they don't eat the leaves...
..they wait for the leaves to decompose
and they eat the fungus that comes from that?
That is why the gardeners' job is as important as everyone else's,
cos they make the food.
I've noticed in here, I don't know where he has gone, now,
but I noticed a pretty chunky ant. Not queen size, but quite big.
You'll have scouts. There's one just here, look.
-Yeah, I can see him.
There's scouts and there's the soldier ants.
The soldier ants are bigger, they protect the nest,
as the queen can't come out and protect herself.
So the bigger scout ants
and the soldier ants do that for her.
So they work as a team and they're so strong.
All this talk of working out
has got me in the mood for pumping iron. Let's bring it on.
Back up at the Oryx house, the keepers have been waiting
for the vital test results to come back for Jeff the Oryx.
He's so important for the breeding programme
of this endangered species,
that everyone has had their fingers crossed.
The good news is that he's been given the all-clear
and today, his new French keepers have come to collect him.
He'll be transported in a box that's big enough for him to lie down in,
but not too large for him to bang around and hurt himself.
But the next challenge is to persuade Jeff into his travel crate.
It won't be easy, so Andy will give him a sedative to calm him down.
You have fight and flight, the two main responses of animals.
The number one defence is to run away. That's flight.
They take off and run away. When you've got trailers and doors, etc,
you don't want animals spooking and running blindly,
because they'll hit something.
The other response is fight.
Which isn't good for us.
This it to just need to chill that fight and flight response.
MUSIC: "Lose Yourself" by Eminem
This time, Andy will use a blow pipe to deliver the drug,
since it will be less stressful for Jeff.
I'll have to keep you guys out of the way a bit.
And everybody, absolute silence.
The only people talking are me and Cos...
just trying to guide him into the box.
It's all safe. He'll run down a corridor,
so we're not going to be anywhere near him.
But we don't want any outside influences or sudden noises
or anything to bring him out of his sedative.
He could come out of it quite easily and it will be a danger to him.
So if we can do it as quietly and nicely as possible for him.
OK, so I'll shout.
Can you see him?
You go on in, mate.
Easy, easy, easy.
Although he's been sedated, Jeff is still nervous.
But gentle coaxing does the trick.
OK, Marika. OK.
That went brilliantly.
Obviously, it's a big, scary, dark box and he didn't want to go in
but the sedative that we gave him worked really nicely.
If we hadn't had that...
I think he'd have been bouncing off the walls.
So, yeah, brilliant.
Let's just take it into this area here and we can then spin it around.
Oh, great, he's stood at the back!
Now, all they have to do is lift the box on to the lorry
and Jeff's ready to say, "Au revoir!"
One, two, three, hup!
That was nice, well done.
So now he's off to France.
A lot of young ladies over there, waiting for him.
He's going to go off and have a little baby Oryx over there.
It makes it all worthwhile.
We breed animals here, they're endangered
and they go off to pastures new and carry on what we've been doing.
You're an ambassador for your species, Jeff, so, bon voyage.
Now, last time on Roar, there was a new arrival at the park.
A young female sea lion,
that I helped to move down to a holding pen
here on Half Mile Lake.
Before we leave you today,
we thought we'd pop down and catch up with keeper Sarah,
and find out how Sally the sea lion is settling in.
A little while ago,
Sally was introduced to the rest of the splash
and we're joined by Sarah,
-who'll give us an update.
How's it all going?
Yeah, she's getting along really well, as you can see.
-She's met a few of them through the fence.
They seem to be getting along all right.
She's settling down in here.
So hopefully before long, we will be able to let her out
and she can really meet the rest of the splash in person.
So we'll have the slip slap of flippers then.
Now, what kind of timescale are we looking at for that,
before it's safe?
It's going to be a few weeks yet. We need to get her comfortable.
Obviously it's a big change from where she was to now,
into from what she can see is this big, huge lake with hippos in it,
loads of other sea lions she's never met before.
She's very quiet, so she might not fit in, you know?
-She's so shy, I mean...
-Yeah, normally, not a peep from her.
She's the quietest sea lion I've heard in my life. Aren't you?
It looks like Sally wants attention, so we'll give it to her.
While we do, why don't you lot check out what's coming up next time?
Keep it down!
Next time on Roar...
Kaiser the baby giraffe has been thriving,
but unless he gets a vital inoculation,
his health could be at risk.
I'm going off to flying school with Harriet the barn owl.
'But while Rani and Harriet are bonding,
'me and Matilda just can't seem to hit it off.'
Whoa, whoa, whoa!
'Don't miss it!'
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