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On Roar today, we have a special report from South Africa.
Six cheetah are due to come to the park to start a vital new
breeding programme, as numbers are declining in the wild.
But how do you catch the fastest land animal in the world?
-Hello, and welcome to Roar. I'm Rani.
-And I'm Johny.
-This guy here is a Madagascan hissing cockroach.
What was that you said? Hiss. Oh, you want us to get on with the show.
-I didn't know you spoke Madagascan.
-Yeah, no, he is a fool, isn't he?
On Roar today, we try and test how clever the monkeys are.
Will they use sticks to get at their gooey treats, or just grab handfuls?
A group of rhinos is called a crash. So, will there be an accident
when the gang grill the keeper with questions about the white rhino?
And it's bath time for the degus and chinchillas,
but hang on, who let the water out?
The safari park is home to plenty of big cats.
There are 18 lions, in two different prides, plus, of course,
the four young cubs, who are growing fast.
And there are also four Amur tigers.
But soon, another big cat is coming to the park.
In fact, not one, but six of them.
They are cheetah and they are the fastest land animal in the world.
Earlier in the series, we followed the Head Of Park, John Cracknell,
to South Africa, as he picked out the six cheetah
to start a new breeding programme.
Cheetah need zoos working together to look after them for the future.
Bringing them to Longleat means that we have populations not just
located in the country of origin, but dotted around the world.
The cheetah needs help.
After years of persecution by farmers,
they are now a threatened species.
So having breeding groups in other countries
is one way of helping to save them from extinction in the future.
And today is the big day.
John has come to the Hoedspruit Endagered Species Centre
to collect the cats destined for the safari park.
The centre specialises in cheetah.
It takes in orphaned or injured animals, and breeds them
for release back into the wild,
and for animal collections around the world.
The man in charge of the move today
is wildlife vet Dr Charles van Niekerk.
He is briefing the veterinary team about how the day will go.
We are going to immobilise them and draw some blood for some tests
and sign that each have been done, and then they will leave.
Christo Schreiber is the centre's curator of animals.
He's getting the big cats ready in smaller pens so the team can begin.
It is a very important day.
I mean, this is what we are striving to achieve all the time,
to breed cheetahs, to send them all over the world. I just hope
some day, they will have some offspring in Longleat and they will
be spread over the world, and so, we can just carry on and carry on.
Sending captive-bred cheetah around the world may seem strange,
but it is the only way to protect the species should it become
extinct in Africa.
It is going to be a big day.
Charles and the team will be getting six cheetah ready to travel
back to the UK.
All of them have been bred here in captivity.
None are taken from the wild.
We are going to anaesthetise each individual cheetah,
have a look at them, make sure they are healthy,
and fit, and make sure we are happy for them to be crated
and flown all the way back to England.
This has to be a military operation.
The drugs they will be using are safe for big cats,
-but would kill a human.
-There is a technique called crushing.
We have two ways of injecting anaesthetic agents.
We can shoot them with a dart gun, which has got stress, and the risk
of breaking bones in an animal like a cheetah, or we can
restrain them using what is called a crush cage, and effectively
using sticks to restrain them, so we can hand inject quickly.
It's time to get started.
It's 7am in the morning and the temperature is already rising.
By midday, it could easily reach 31 degrees Centigrade.
The first cheetah is called Trader.
The team use sticks to help secure him
so that Charles can inject the anaesthetic.
Now the team must wait to allow the drugs to take effect.
It's a tense time.
As a vet himself, John is well aware of the dangers.
We have got a very experienced clinician in the form of Charles,
but there is always some risk
with any anaesthetic programme that we introduce.
Finally, after a few minutes, Trader goes down.
Charles can go in to check him over.
He places a towel over his eyes
to protect them from the bright African sun.
This is Trader, the first cheetah. We're doing the health checks.
We check the eyes, the teeth.
We make sure there are no problems on the outside of the body.
It is a tense time.
Any problems and Trader won't be able to come to the safari park.
So, Charles is listening to the heart now.
He does this as part of the health check.
He wants to make sure it is functioning properly.
And he also listens to the lungs as well.
OK, she's fine. Looking good. As good as you'll get.
It's a big relief.
But there are still five more to catch
and, as we'll see, things don't always go according to plan.
Join us later to see what happens when a cheetah gets out of control.
Most of the big cats, lions, tigers, and leopards,
have claws that they can retract.
This means that they can protect them
and keep them sharp when they don't need them.
Our pet cats are the same.
But cheetahs can't retract their claws fully.
They are permanently out like a dog's.
It is thought that this helps the cheetah with grip
when it's chasing its prey at up to 70mph.
Now you know!
It's picnic time up here in Monkey Jungle,
because keeper Corrine has invited me for some jam and peanut butter.
And I have brought along some nice sandwiches here and everything,
Corrine, but I thought you might have made a bit more of an effort.
What's all that? I mean, they're funny looking chopsticks.
Well, as much as we appreciate that, Johny, for monkeys,
it's not really their thing.
-So this is for them.
-Oh, it is a picnic for the monkeys, essentially.
-It's for the monkeys.
-Oh, OK, well, what are we going to do, then?
Right, what we've got is some honey, peanut butter and some jam.
And what we are going to do is smear it into the holes
that you can see here in this tree,
that have been nicely preformed for the purpose.
Some sticks, I'm interested to see if they actually use tools,
so what we're going to do is jam some of these into the holes
and see if they can use them to get right into the holes.
OK, let's get started. What's the deal? If I put these gloves on.
Yeah, if you want to go for the peanut butter,
get your hands stuck right into that, Johny.
I'll go for the jam.
And yeah, literally, really just try and get it in, in all the holes.
-Oh, look at that!
-It doesn't matter if it runs down. That would be good,
because they'll know that food is in there.
What do you think they'll go for first, the nuts or the jam?
Because they wouldn't find this in the wild.
No, jam, obviously, it is, sort of, fruit. Honey is a natural substance.
But peanut butter is obviously something that is quite unusual.
I reckon it's going to be quite interesting to see who goes for what.
But it could be individual preference.
It looks like these monkeys are ready to try these treats.
Join us later on the show to see
if they are clever enough to use the sticks as tools.
It is time for one of Longleat's finest to face the firing line
in Ask The Keeper.
Now, I am talking about deputy head of section Ryan Hockley.
Ryan, are you nervous about these guys?
-Extremely nervous, yes.
-Well, that's good,
because they are going to be picking your brains today,
all about little baby Ebun, the rhino. Isn't she cute?
So, who's going to fire us off?
How old is she now?
Just over two years now, so it'll probably be another
two to three years before she is fully grown.
What kind of dietary requirements are needed as the baby grows?
Well, we're very lucky with Ebun, as she is off milk now,
so all she eats, for most of the day, is grass.
We take her onto the field at ten o'clock
and she stays out there all day munching away on grass.
And when she comes in in the evening,
we also give her a little bit of hay and some high-fibre pony nuts.
And that's it.
How long does it take for their horn to grow properly?
When she is about four or five years old,
hopefully, her horn will be a really good size.
Obviously, at the moment, it's only 20cm long, but it could grow
to about a metre long, maybe, maybe a metre and a half, if we're lucky.
How long does the mother carry her young for?
The gestation period for a white rhino is about 16 months,
so a very long time.
How long does it take for them to stand up when they're born?
Not very long at all, Rebecca.
Any animal that is born in the wild, especially in Africa,
where there are so many predators around,
they really need to get stood up and get with mum, and get a drink
really within a couple of hours, so not very long at all.
What kind of hearing senses and smell senses do they have?
A rhino's hearing is very, very good.
You see these big ears here, on Ebun, they actually move independently,
so she can, basically, hear for 360 degrees around her.
And their smell is very keen as well.
OK, I think that Ryan is getting slightly nervous now,
because he is making it rain on us really heavy,
so I think we should ask the killer question. Are you ready?
Let's do the killer question.
We have got to come up with something hard.
He knows everything, doesn't he? What can we catch him out with?
OK, then. So, we think we've got a question for you.
-Maybe to catch you out, because you are good.
-All right, then.
Ebun, lovely, cute,
you know everything there is to know about rhinos.
But what does Ebun mean?
Come on, Ryan, Mr Know-It-All!
Oh, I don't know, but I'm going to have a guess at...pretty.
He was looking at me when he said that, but you're wrong.
-It actually means a gift.
-Oh, of course it does.
-It means Ebun was a gift, wasn't she?
-There you go! High-five.
Yes! Yes! Yes! And, Ryan, you don't get one, because you got it wrong.
-OK. Thumbs up, or thumbs down?
-That's our gift to you, Ryan.
Back in South Africa, the vet team have been working
since early in the morning to capture and check the six
cheetah that are due to come to the park
to start a new breeding programme.
So far, things have been going well
and they have successfully captured and sedated two females and a male.
But it is not over yet, as wildlife vet Charles knows.
There is always a risk, with any immobilisation.
When the first couple go according to plan, you are quietly
confident that they will all go according to plan.
It went well this morning.
Next we'll do the boys, and Max and Casey live together,
so we have to anaesthetise Casey while Max is standing next to us.
Male cheetah that live together can fight for dominance,
so there is a chance that Max could attack Casey when he falls asleep.
So, to keep him safe, Charles will let him fall asleep
within the crate.
With Max looking on, the drugs seem to be taking effect.
As soon as he is asleep, they carry him outside to do the health checks.
It is safer for him and the team.
They are taking blood from the animal.
And we're going to do this for every cheetah.
The blood is needed to check for a deadly disease known as rabies.
The disease has been kept out of the UK for the last 100 years,
so it is vital that all the cats are tested.
The blood that will be sent off,
we'll be testing for body function, but also we'll be looking
at viruses and bacteria, and parasites, for instance, rabies.
The tests are complete, but Casey must be awake for the journey.
So Charles gives him a drug to bring him round.
With Casey done, that's five down and one to go.
Working under the African sun, it's roasting out there,
so the team needs to finish loading the boxes before it gets too hot.
But there's a problem.
The last cat, a female called Tessa,
has climbed up onto the roof of her shelter.
Charles has already given her drugs to make her fall asleep.
If they take effect while she's up there,
there is a chance she could fall and seriously injure herself.
It is possible that as it becomes sedate and wobbly,
it might come down of its own accord, while it is still conscious.
But it is not ideal.
But she isn't coming down, and time is running out.
Christo rushes in to help.
He is going to try and use the sticks to gently encourage her down.
It's a big relief for everyone when she jumps down safely.
You can already see the drugs having first effect,
because she is wobbly on her back legs.
Christo got her down just in time.
Finally, Tessa falls asleep,
and the team can move in to give her a full health check.
It's been a long day, but all six cheetah are now safely boxed
and ready to go.
Charles, the vet, is tired but happy.
Absolutely chuffed, it has gone very, very well.
The last three are in the box,
and the first three have recovered fully.
They are awake but quiet, which is exactly how we want them.
If there was a high-risk part to this whole procedure, it has
been the immobilisation and crating, and we're now through that
and I'm looking forward to them getting to the other side.
It is now a drive to Johannesburg airport, where
they are offloaded and checked by John and the officials.
So, the cheetah have arrived safely, down at the airport.
We're loading them onto the plane. Next stop, Longleat.
But for the cheetah, this is just the first leg of their journey.
There is still a 9,000km flight to the UK.
And once they arrive, they will have to spend time in quarantine.
But Rani and I will be there to meet them later in the show
when they have settled in.
-What do you call a frog crossed between a dog?
-A croaker spaniel.
Squawk! Who's a pretty boy, then? Squawk! Squawk!
-The interrupting sheep.
Where do hamsters come from?
Now, earlier on in the show, myself
and Corinne smothered that tree bark there with jam and lovely peanut
butter and already it is covered with rhesus macaques monkeys.
So, who have we got here?
It looks like a mix. We've got some of the adults down on the ground.
You can see, there, actually, there is a mum with a little baby.
She has come in. The adolescent ones, obviously, again,
-you'll get some that are more precocious than others.
But they will learn, they will watch from the adults
and learn from them and get involved, as well.
So, it is a really family set-up,
what we are looking at now is a family having dinner together.
Think around Christmas time, it is all a bit mad, frenetic,
exactly like that.
There is one fellow, here, that is a lot bigger.
Is there an alpha male of the group?
We have got two males that definitely keep the others in check.
And I think this is certainly one of the main guys.
Now we have put some sticks on the ground, and I think
they have just knocked our sticks that we have put up.
And I was going to say, interesting, yeah, up there,
we have got one who is licking the peanut butter,
mainly off his hands, but also off the stick.
I don't think they have quite got the knack of sticking it
back into the hole for more, for seconds.
The way they use their hands is so similar to us, aren't they, Corrine?
Absolutely, if you look at the hand formation,
it is incredibly similar to ours.
They have got an opposable thumb so they can grip, even, actually,
on their feet as well.
They are very agile animals.
But, yeah, you can see them getting handfuls of peanut butter.
We have got some trying to pinch my sandwiches, here.
Eh, you've got enough for your own.
Now, I have noticed that there is a bit of squabbling going on.
Is there a social hierarchy here?
Somebody that will eat first?
Definitely, again, the same with, you would almost think, a pack of dogs,
or even humans, to a certain extent,
there are those more dominant individuals,
and there is, obviously, a lot of squabbling.
There will be those that come in first, telling younger ones,
"No, this is not your place.
"Back off, it's my turn." So, that's generally the noises you hear.
It looks like Mum's just taking all the food for herself.
Will she pass any on to her little baby that's just underneath, there?
-Yes, Johny, she will.
Now, you can see, the little baby is having a go there.
Sticking his head right in the hole, having a lot of peanut butter.
So, the little baby is just copying Mum and learning that way.
-That is incredible.
So, I mean, they haven't used tools like we were hoping for,
-but are these intelligent animals?
-They are incredibly intelligent.
You know, I think we made it way too easy for them.
"We don't need these sticks, we have got our hands."
And, speaking of which, I've got some of my hands.
Would you like a jam and peanut butter sandwich, Corinne?
Oh, thank you very much, Johny.
Are you playing the Roar game on the CBBC website?
If you're not, you should try it.
It gives you the chance to run your own zoo,
and look after the animals in it.
But you will need plenty of these. Cheat codes. Today's is...
Type that in and see what it gives you. Happy gaming.
Now, there is always plenty of things to be getting on with
in the park, so I have come down to assist keeper Katie Hayek.
-Katie, what are we doing today? Are we petting a porcupine?
Feeding a ferret? Or cuddling a coati?
None of those. We're cleaning up the chinchillas and the degus today.
Oh, no! All right then, cleaning has got to be done
-so we can get to the good stuff.
-All right, then.
What do need to do first?
Right, yet some gloves to put on, first of all. Just in case.
All right, let's have a little look at these animals, then.
-So, the little ones...
-They're called degus.
-And the big fluffy things are called chinchillas.
-They are uber-cute.
They are sweet, aren't they? So, how do we clean this enclosure?
Because it's quite a good size enclosure.
We need a dustpan and brush. We need to brush up all their little poos.
So they are just tiny poos. Is that a degu or a chinchilla?
Lots of little poos everywhere.
They are actually really tiny.
So, how often do you have to do this?
-We do it every morning.
-Yes, first thing every morning.
They are watching me quite happily, there.
-Do these guys get on well?
-Yeah, they get on really well in here.
Once we have introduced them. In the wild, they wouldn't live together,
but they would see each other in the wild.
All right, let's keep cleaning this. Now, what else?
Because you can't just stand around, Katie.
-We need to give them a nice sand bath.
-A sand bath?
Yeah, so we need to pour the sand into the little pit in the corner.
Why do you give them a sand bath and not a water bath?
The water is not very good for the chinchilla's fur.
-But does sand clean you?
-Yeah, it gets all the dirt out of the fur.
-So the degu likes the sand bath as well.
-Yeah, they do.
Oh, look! He's rolling around. Ha-ha, chinchilla!
Oh, that is really sweet to see them doing that.
And it is not going to go in their ears or their eyes?
No, they manage to keep it out, whatever they do.
I just love that! And that is actually keeping him clean.
What a great way to do it.
Now, I did want to do some cuddling, so can I have a little feel?
-You can have a little cuddle.
-Do they bite?
-No, she won't bite you.
-Oh, she is so warm. And soft.
-And really chilled.
I think you are absolutely gorgeous.
I tell you what, I love cuddling a chinchilla,
but, Katie, next on my list is cuddling a coati.
-What do you think?
-Give it a go.
All through this programme, we have been following the story
of the six cheetah that are coming to the park from South Africa.
It was a tense time sedating them and giving them their health checks.
But finally, they have arrived and settled in.
When animals come from another country, they have to spend
a period of time in a protected area away from other animals.
It is called quarantine.
And it is to stop the spread of any possible diseases.
-Right, then, Johny, shoes dipped.
-Smart jackets on.
I think we're ready for quarantine.
I think we are. We are here in quarantine because we are about to
meet the park's new group of cheetahs for the very first time,
and here to tell us all about them is the head of the park,
-Good to see you.
-Good to see you, John.
-Now these are the cheetahs
and they've come all the way from South Africa, right?
Yes, they've come from South Africa. They have been here for two weeks.
But they are in quarantine, and that is why we have to dress like this.
I've got to say, it is an amazing sight to look down there.
I wasn't expecting to see so many.
Yes, we have six, three females and three boys.
I mean, it is amazing to see them right here.
-They seem pretty chilled.
-They are pretty calm, most of them,
but there are differences between them.
Like this youngster here, this girl, is quite a, sort of,
aggressive individual, and she just doesn't like people.
But that is just her, so we won't spend too much time with her,
we will work down the line.
And you get down to Max at the end, who's so calm.
-What was that?
-That is just them spitting if they don't like you.
Why would they spit at me?
They aren't going to attack you, they're saying,
"Back off and keep out, this is my area,
"You're new. We don't recognise you."
Can we just clarify it? There is no way I am going into their area.
-I am staying back here.
-In rabies quarantine, we can't.
We are just here to look.
To actually go in there, you need to wear a full suit, masks,
the whole shebang.
So that's the main fear, rabies?
Rabies is the main one because we don't have that in England.
So, John, how long are these cheetahs going to spend
in quarantine, then?
They will spend six months in here, that is the law,
so after the six months, they can go out.
They are allowed to go out. They have got a paddock outside.
So they are not stuck indoors all the time.
OK, now these six, they came from South Africa,
do they all know each other?
Some have never met, even though they came from the same place.
And so, Brian and his boys have to mix them.
We have had the three boys together and the three girls together,
and they are all getting on really well.
And so, hopefully...
We might have some little cheetahs on the horizon.
Is that what they are hoping for, John?
Yes, you never know. Time will tell.
Can we come back later in the series and meet the cheetahs again?
I think you can, as long as you like the green jackets.
I will come back, as long as they don't spit at me.
Well, John, despite them spitting at us, it has been amazing to
meet these incredible cheetahs, so thank you so much for that.
Unfortunately, we are out of time.
We will be catching up with the cheetahs later on in the series,
but here's what's coming up on the next episode of Roar.
Next time on Roar, our ranger may be a karate expert,
but will he hold his nerve when he meets the tigers?
Are you sure we are safe? Because the tiger looks very, very hungry.
We followed them from when they were just born. We watched them grow up,
and now the cubs are out playing with the rest of the pride.
And we will be trying a big experiment.
The camels are losing their winter coats,
so which animal might like some second-hand fur?
That is all next time on Roar.
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