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Today on Roar, something special's happened in the Lion House.
I don't want to give it away, but get ready to go "Aww!"
Hello, and welcome to Roar, I'm Johny.
As you can see, myself and Rani are conducting an experiment,
to see if Rani can eat just like one of those spoonbills.
Oh, it's not working, Johny.
Come on, Rani, put your back in to it.
It doesn't seem to be a problem for the spoonbills.
-It's really hard!
-Come on, you're not trying hard enough.
Maybe you're right.
It's probably easier to use one of these, isn't it?
-Oh, that's cheating. Give me some!
-It's time to start the show.
Coming up today, have the Roar Rangers got what it takes
to tackle the killer snakes?
-Has one ever got out?
We'll be meeting a strange new animal.
-Oh, sharp claws!
-But what on earth is it?
And why do the mara freak Johny out?
It looks like a genetic experiment gone wrong!
We're starting off with the lions, because they've got some great news.
For the past few years,
there's been something missing in the lion enclosures... Cubs.
The park hasn't had any because they didn't have a suitable male.
That is, until Nibulo came along.
In our last programme,
we followed the action when he first arrived here
from an animal park in Germany.
No-one knew if he could take on the role of pride male,
or if the seven lionesses would accept him.
OK, let's fast-forward five months.
Now, it's today, and keeper Bob has something to show us
in the Lion House.
Yes, you guessed it, lion cubs.
What we have here is Yende,
as you can see, there're four little things with her.
The cubs haven't got names yet,
we don't name them until they've got characters.
They're just over a month old.
Yende is one of the most experienced mums here,
before these, she's had seven cubs.
The sex of the cubs is a closely-guarded secret,
but I'll let you know.
We have one male and three females.
The cubs have speckled coats, which in the wild act as camouflage
on the dry grassland of the Savannah.
But the mums usually stay close to protect their babies, too.
Yende is doing everything right.
If one of the cubs strays,
she picks it up in her mouth, which doesn't hurt the babies at all.
Because we're in here filming,
there's new people that she's never seen before.
One of those cubs has been a little adventurous
and come out in front of her, and she's thought that's too close to us.
So, she's picked it up and moved it to the back of the pen.
That's purely a protection thing,
saying, "Come on, that's far enough."
The little cubs love to play, but it's not just for fun.
Their rough and tumble has a very important purpose.
This is the time that they are learning all the skills
that they would need to survive in the wild.
You can see that they're playing with each other,
trying to trip each other up, they bite each other.
They're not going to hurt each other.
They're just using their claws.
You can see when they climb up on the back of mum they dig their claws in,
they catch hold of her tail with their claws,
and that's like holding their food.
They're biting it and pulling it and tugging it.
They're all skills that they would need in the wild.
Another thing every lion needs is big teeth.
The cubs' teeth are very small, but they're already quite sharp.
If you were silly enough to stick your finger in there,
you would feel them. In a few weeks' time they'll take your finger off.
At the moment, the cubs are on nothing but mother's milk,
and Bob would like to check that they're all feeding properly.
But Yende only suckles her babies when no-one's around.
She's a very good mum and she does lay down for them to suckle,
but obviously because we're here, we're encroaching on her territory.
I don't think she feels that it's safe enough to relax
and let her milk down for them to suckle.
There's only one way to catch that,
I'm going to have to rig up a camera on the mesh and leave it filming.
As soon as we've gone they'll settle down and have a drink.
We've lent Bob one of the Roar cameras and he's getting it rigged.
If this works, we could get a great view of a very rare sight.
A mother lion really relaxing with her cubs.
So, stay tuned to find out what happens in the lion's den
when no-one's there.
Lions can run at about 35mph. That's over 55kph.
If they did that in town, they'd be breaking the speed limit.
I've popped down to meet one of the park's newer residents.
It's an animal that intrigues me and freaks me out in equal measure.
I'm hoping that Darren can tell me a little bit more
about the strange mara.
-How are you, mate?
It's weird, to say these guys freak me out because they look placid.
-But they're so strange! Like a genetic experiment gone wrong
between a...some kind of hoof stock and a rabbit.
Yeah, it's really strange. Everybody thinks of them as big rabbits.
I suppose they look a bit like rabbits,
but they're closer to the guinea pig than they are to the rabbit.
They come from South America, and they live in the long grass.
They're designed for running.
They're also pretty good at digging and jumping.
I'm filling holes... They keep digging in this enclosure.
They share it with the anteaters.
Cos they're so good at digging holes, I thought,
-"I've got a shovel, you look like a man that can use it."
If you pop over here,
can you see the pile we've made in the corner?
I'm creating a digging mound for them,
we're going to encourage them to dig in the right place.
OK. Are you going to put any treats for them, underneath the mound?
Absolutely, that's the stage I'm at now.
I'm going to scatter some food for them,
in the wild they'd dig for roots of plants and vegetables
If you start shovelling this on top.
You're trying to encourage natural behaviour, essentially?
Yes. They don't just dig for food, they dig for shelter,
-they'll have their babies in scrapes underground.
Very powerful animals.
Their legs look spindly, but they're wonderful diggers with sharp claws.
-And jumping... Can you see this wicker fence?
If they were in full flight, they could jump that.
-Easy, and the rest. They can get up to two metres.
Darren, apart from those weird legs that they've got,
they've got massive eyes. Have they got really good eyesight?
Yeah, ever so much.
They've got good eyesight, looking for predators.
It's not just clear vision.
Our eyes face forwards, these guys, they're on the side of their head.
It gives them almost 360 degrees,
they can almost see all the way around behind them on both sides.
Fantastic looking for predators.
They can twist and angle their ears toward sound.
So, their early warning systems are pretty good.
They seem like a happy family, but they'll not use their mound
while we're here, so I say we finish off.
When we're out of here they're going to really DIG this mound.
-Ha, do you see, DIG?
I'll get on with it, shall I?
What animal is always laughing?
Why were the elephants thrown out of the swimming pool?
Why were the elephants thrown out of the swimming pool?
They couldn't keep their trunks up!
What do penguins have for lunch?
Our Roar Rangers today are a couple of friends who love two things -
animals and sport.
Always ready to pitch in is 11 year-old Louis.
And, hoping to make a hit as a keeper is ten-year-old Fraser.
What will be thrown at them today?
They need to put on their thinking caps,
to see if they can figure it out from just two clues.
Clue number one, a set of scales.
Clue number two, a pair of giant tweezers.
-And what animals have scales?
-They have scales.
-Fish have scales.
Well, yeah, and what else?
-Something that has scales...and I think we're feeding them.
-I think it's a snake. What do you reckon?
-I agree, I think so.
Yes, please be snakes!
But, are they right?
-Hi, guys. I'll be your keeper for the day, I'm Sarah.
What did you think you might be doing?
We think that we might be feeding snakes.
Yeah, you're right. That's correct.
Yes, today our Roar Rangers will be helping out
behind the scenes in the Reptile Room.
If reptiles are your worst nightmare,
you may want to look away.
The first job that Sarah's got for Louis and Fraser should be simple.
We've got lots of tanks full of reptiles,
we've got some bearded dragons and some snakes at the bottom.
It's very important as a keeper to make sure
all the animals are here and happy in the morning.
We come in first thing, we count the animals,
make sure they've got fresh water.
We make sure there's been no illnesses overnight
while we haven't been here.
-Has one ever got out?
We have had a couple of times where we've come in in the morning
and one has snuck out of a tiny gap.
Snakes are really good at escaping,
cos they're so long and thin, they can get through the tiniest gap.
But we always find them.
This room is sealed completely, so they don't go far.
-Are any of them poisonous?
In fact, the correct term is venomous,
the word poison means something that's swallowed or inhaled.
Whereas venom is injected straight into the victim.
That's what snakes do with their fangs.
Even though the snakes here aren't venomous,
that doesn't mean they aren't deadly.
Take the royal python, for instance.
What they do is, they grab hold of their prey,
and they wrap their body around it and squeeze it.
Yeah, so they're called constrictors.
Louis and Fraser will be getting up close with the constrictors later,
but now, Sarah needs a hand to check on a new arrival.
His name is Dante and he's a panther chameleon.
In the wild, these lizards come from the African island of Madagascar,
but Dante was born in captivity.
He hasn't yet gone on display to the public,
so, the Roar Rangers are the first to see him here.
Have you got him?
You can feel he's got quite a good grip.
People seem to like chameleons.
They're so colourful and interesting,
but they don't make good pets.
They need very special care and they can easily become stressed.
-Can they change colours?
-They don't change colours completely.
You see all the colours he's got at the moment?
They go really bright or really dull, depending on his mood.
They don't change colour to blend in with their background.
Dante seems to be in a good mood right now,
and he's looking healthy.
The Roar Rangers are going to need nerves of steel for their next job,
because they're about to find out just how fast the python's can kill.
So, don't go away.
Back in the Lion House,
the four new cubs look like they're doing really well.
But since mum won't feed her babies while people are there,
keeper Bob rigged up "cub cam", to make sure there's no problems.
He left the camera running for a couple of hours
and now we're all going to see what goes on when no-one's around.
What we've got is some brilliant footage of mum having a rest
and the cubs taking the chance to have a bit of a drink.
This is pretty special footage.
It's rare to get such a clear view of young cubs feeding.
At this age, the cubs will drink about six times a day,
and take about 100ml each time.
That's about the same amount of milk that a human baby gets.
She's having a bit of a stretch, and that's worked to the cubs advantage
as they've managed to get in there and get a better hold of her teat.
Cubs have their own nipple to go to
and it's very important for them to get to that nipple.
So, if one's in the way,
they will barge and push and struggle to get to that one.
Great to see, it really is.
By watching closely, Bob's been able to check
that all four cubs are getting their fair share.
Yende has been doing a great job in other ways too.
She licks them all thoroughly to keep them clean.
Ideally, she doesn't want any smell on them, that, in the wild,
would give the game away of where they're hiding.
There would be other predator's around,
like hyenas for instance, that would feast on these.
That would be a nice little snack for them.
When they're born, lion cubs weigh just over one kilo,
but then they grow really fast,
so that by the time they're one year old they weigh about 63 kilos.
Right now, Yende's cubs are still a manageable size.
This is brilliant to see, everyone's healthy,
there's no problem with any of them.
It's nice to be able to show, what really is privileged footage,
for everyone to see.
We're going to have lots more privileged footage for you
all through the series,
as we follow the progress of Yende's new cubs.
Here at Animal Adventure, the keepers are having a little
bit of a problem with a couple of the park's best escape artists.
I'm talking about the weasels, so I've come down to see Alexa...
..to find out what's going on, but more to the point, Alexa,
what are you doing?
This is a wonderful contraption, we're calling it the feather ball.
What it is, is just feathers from the different animals in the park.
-We've attached them to the ball,
and hopefully it'll keep the weasels more entertained.
OK, well let me help you with this,
and you can tell me about keeping them entertained.
I'm kind of saying "escape artist",
there's the little, tiny weasel there,
and this is a very high enclosure.
How are they getting out? Are you leaving the doors open?
Ah, I wish it were that simple.
Bonnie, our female,
-decided to hatch the escape plan a few weeks ago.
At the back of the pen it's all wood and she managed to scale it.
-So they are good climbers?
-Very good climbers.
They love moving around, they love things to keep them entertained.
So, hopefully, this will do the trick for a little while.
There's Bonnie, who else is in here?
-Bonnie and Clyde.
-I should have guessed that!
-OK, I'm lowering it down, Alexa.
-Bonnie and Clyde look interested.
Oh, no! No, no! I'm going to squash you.
-He's trapped inside.
-He's all right, he can get out.
-So, who is this one?
-This is Clyde.
-How can you tell the difference?
Clyde is a lot bigger than Bonnie.
-So, he's gone straight past the feather ball.
Is there any chance he's thinking, "This is a way to help me escape?"
Hopefully not, so we won't keep it in too long.
He's actually having a bit of a play with it.
He is, that's brilliant.
He's probably got used to it being in the enclosure.
He's ready to investigate it a little further.
He was apprehensive in case it was an animal that would hunt them,
they've got to know it's safe?
They have to make sure it's not going to hurt them.
Because if they get hurt they can't hunt.
Will you leave it, so they can get used to it and have a play?
We'll leave it there for a few hours. Too long they'll get bored with it.
We can leave it in, take it out, leave it in, take it out.
Oh, it's a hard life, entertaining the weasels!
Shall we get out of here?
-Yeah, let's go.
-Thanks very much.
The Siberian tiger can jump up to three metres high?
Which means they'd have no problem hopping on a bus.
Now you know!
Back in the Reptile Room, Roar Rangers Louis and Fraser,
are helping keeper Sarah.
Now it's time to get hands-on with the snakes.
This is Wizbit, she's one of our female royal pythons.
Royal pythons come from the dry savannah
and woodlands of Central Africa.
I've noticed is that she's starting to go a little dull,
that's the first sign that they're going to come in to a shed
and shed their skin.
You'll notice their eyes go a blue-y colour
and their skin goes very dull.
It's not as shiny as it normally is.
Snakes shed their whole, outer skin.
Wizbit needs to do it every two or three months,
because she's still growing quite fast.
While she's shedding, it helps if her skin doesn't get too dry.
So, just to make sure that she goes into the process OK
and can shed her skin properly,
we're going to give her a bath, to keep her moist. All right?
So, if you gently lower her in.
She will try to wriggle out a bit, so hold her in.
Let her head go free,
so she can move her head out of the water if she wants to.
OK, do you want to take over?
Why is all of her body sinking, except that bit there?
Because there's different organs in the body,
they'll be heavier or lighter, depending on what it is.
So, where the lungs are, because they're filling up with air,
that part will raise to help them float.
I think that's probably enough for Wizbit's bath,
so, we'll pop her back in her tank.
The Roar Rangers' next challenge is the biggest one yet,
because the babies are getting hungry.
OK, these are where our baby snakes live.
These young royal pythons were born right here, in the park.
Once they've hatched,
the mother python doesn't look after her babies at all.
In the wild they would have to fend for themselves,
but here, they're fed dead mice by the keepers.
Today, by the Roar Rangers.
Right, do you remember the tongs that you were given before as a clue?
-This is what we'll be using them for.
Who wants to have a go?
This is quite important, hold it tight down here,
but keep your fingers right back down here, OK?
Now, Fraser really needs to keep his cool,
because it's vital that he holds the tongs steady.
Snakes strike with awesome speed,
the fastest species can strike their prey at over 100mph.
Wow, let's see that again.
I still jump every time and I know exactly when they're going to do it.
You never get used to it, it's fast, isn't it?
-Did you think it would be that fast?
Very quick, because in the wild if they miss,
or they don't get it fast enough, that mouse will be gone.
They won't eat until the next one comes along.
That could be weeks, if not months.
That's why it's so important that they're so fast.
She was so fast.
It was just looking at it, it didn't blink,
then it was like "woosh", just like that.
Snakes swallow their food whole,
though it takes them quite a while to get it all in.
So, do they have loads of teeth in their mouth?
They do have quite a few teeth, they're quite small teeth
but they're very sharp. Once they get hold of food, they don't let go.
How long does it take them to digest a mouse?
That will probably take her about two to three days to digest.
Louis and Fraser's day in the Reptile Room is coming to an end,
but they still can't get over that snake strike.
-It was like a lightening bolt.
They've done really well,
I don't think a lot of people would have done that.
They're incredibly fast when feeding.
If you've started to play the Roar online game,
you'll know what to do with this.
Coral1, that's today's cheat code
to make your animal park bigger and better.
If you haven't tried the game yet, you should.
It's on the CBBC website, and it's great fun. See you there!
Across the park, there are a number of new animals this season.
Here's one of the oddest. Ever seen one of these before?
It's a coati.
They're a member of the raccoon family,
and they come from America.
Well, it's almost the end of another show, but before we leave you,
we've popped over to meet Michaela for a catch up with the coatis.
Those coatis are looking peckish, who have we got up there?
That's Ringo, my favourite.
You can't say that. Why is he your favourite?
-He's just handsome.
-Is this Ringo coming over now, then?
He's looking for banana, his favourite.
-Are these guys safe?
-They're not going to bite?
They're very gentle, you can hand-feed them if you want to.
Oh, he's ran away, cos he doesn't know us. Here you go, Ringo.
Oh! Sharp claws!
Which is just one reason why we're only allowed to feed the coatis
because we're with a trained keeper.
How many females and how many males are in here?
We've got three females, Big Mamma, Zoe and Kilela,
and we've got Ringo.
So, this isn't how you'd normally feed them, just bring out a bucket?
What do you normally do?
We normally dig it under all the mud here, or hide it in the trees,
we stick it in the bushes.
Make it hard work for them,
make them look for their food, like they would in the wild.
So, this is a treat,
"Here's a platter of fruit, come and help yourself."
I won't get you to only feed them from the bowl,
I'll get you to scatter it on the floor.
-Right, she's got some work for you to do, Johny.
On that note, I should probably go.
While Rani skives off, why don't you lot check out what's coming up
on the next episode of Roar? I always get left with all the work.
We'll be getting up close with the scariest claws in the business.
With that huge claw they'd make short work of you and me.
They're cute but smelly, we'll be meeting the parping pigs.
And, will the chipmunks go nuts for our berry treats?
Or are they too busy just looking cute?
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
The lions have had four cubs and Roar has exclusive close-up footage. Rani and Johny meet some very strange creatures - the mara and the coati. Meanwhile the Roar Rangers find out if they've got what it takes to tackle the killer snakes.