Patrick meets Monster, an orphaned sloth who must get through sloth boot camp before she can be released and Lucy helps precious African cats learn how to hunt.
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The first years of a young animal's life, are the most crucial.
So, if they grow up without their mothers,
these animals are going to need help.
Good morning. Hello, darling.
We're going to meet baby animals whose only hope of survival
lies with some very dedicated people.
What a clever girl.
And find out what it takes to get them back into the wild.
This is about salvation for some little guys who've been
through hell, who've been through trauma, who deserve a second chance.
Hey, dude. Argh!
I'm biologist Patrick Aryee and I'm in Central America,
home to exotic and rare wildlife.
Here, I'll be visiting centres where the wildlife gets
incredible specialist care.
That is remarkable.
And I'm zoologist Lucy Cooke and I'm in Southern Africa,
home to some of the most iconic animals in the world.
I'll be helping out at rescue centres, devoted to
rehabilitation and release.
You're going to become a wild cheater one day, aren't you?
If you carry on being this good.
'In this programme, I'm travelling to Costa Rica...'
Wow, look at these guys!
'..where I'll help put the baby sloth through boot camp.'
Go for the inner cowboy. She's so ready.
And I'm in Zimbabwe, following the stories of precious wildcats...
You can smell that, can't you?
..as they are taught the skills to live an independent life.
Join us as we follow these miracle orphans.
Through their most crucial moments.
On their long journeys back to the wild.
Costa Rica is in Central America.
It's a world-famous wildlife hot spot.
From warm, tropical waters, to dense rainforest.
And home to millions of exotic animals.
But this small country is also home to nearly five million people
and, when animals and humans compete for space,
it's often the animals that lose out.
I'm travelling into Costa Rica's tropical jungle
to meet sloth expert Sam Trull.
She moved here from America to dedicate her life to saving sloths.
Whoa! Hi, baby.
Basically, when sloths arrive here from the wild,
it's because something is seriously wrong with them.
OK, so, you let go of the legs first... Mm-hm.
Oh, it's a young one.
..and then I'm going to put the head in.
They're essentially already dying, and it's my goal to reverse
that process and heal them, so that they have a second chance.
Sam works at Kids Saving The Rainforest -
a rescue and rehabilitation centre.
Now, Sam doesn't just live FOR sloths -
she actually lives WITH sloths,
and she's given up all of her creature comforts
to instead live in the jungle
in a specially-adapted sloth-friendly house.
Hey, Sam! Hey!
How are you doing? Good, how are you? Very well.
Feels like I've stepped into the ultimate treehouse.
This is totally for the sloths -
it's essentially a sloth nursery, and I just live here.
If you imagine what they would be in in the trees with their mom,
they would have things to climb on nonstop,
and that's really important for their development.
Sam currently cares for both types of sloth found in Costa Rica -
two-toed and three-toed.
You actually arrived at a really good time,
because I need to feed them.
(Oh, you're a good boy!)
This is amazing! OK... OK, now, how do I hold this guy?
So, he might pinch you... OK, that's fine.
I'll try and keep him on your shirt.
Oh, my God! Be gentle.
This is incredible.
The first time I've seen a sloth,
first time holding a sloth.
I mean, it's just magical.
This is Locket, a seven-month-old three-toed sloth.
He was found alone on the ground, just a few hours old.
Sam believes his mum lost her grip and fell from a tree.
You're really interested in my fingers, aren't you?
My hands. Here you go, look.
There you go.
But I'm actually here to meet Locket's best friend.
This is the famous Monster.
She actually came in when she was about two weeks old.
Wow. Now she's a year and a half old.
She was actually found trying to cross the street all by herself -
I mean, she was probably half the size Locket is now.
Tiny little ball of fur, and she was crying and crying and crying,
looking for her mom,
and somebody found her and realised, "OK, this is a baby sloth,
"they need help."
It's thought that her mum may have been hit by a car.
The very first night that she was here,
she was inconsolable. She was so traumatised that she lost her mom,
she was screaming and crying and climbing the curtains -
there was, like, literally nothing I could do to calm her down,
and I didn't sleep a wink...
and then, one of the other volunteers,
I saw them the next morning,
and they were like, "How's the new baby sloth?"
and I was like, "This sloth is a monster!"
That's how she got her name?! That's how she got her name!
It was, obviously... I mean, she's a perfect angel now.
In the wild, three-toed sloths like Monster
become independent between six and nine months old,
so it's time for her to break her bond with Sam and be released.
So, you've known her the whole of her life, at least. Mm-hm.
Mm-hm, yeah. We're very close.
She's my soul mate.
At the moment, she still relies on Sam for everything,
including the special goats' milk formula,
the closest match to the real thing.
So, she's a little behind where, you know,
someone her age in the wild would be.
She needs to be given a little tough love
and pushed towards independence.
But before Monster goes back to the wild,
Sam needs to make sure she can survive on her own.
So, now that Monster is graduating from the nursery,
she will be entering into the boot camp phase of her rehabilitation.
Boot camp is survival training for the wild,
tailored by Sam for sloths.
Sloth boot camp is basically just going to provide Monster
with the chance to practise being in and living in the wild.
She will practise climbing on trees,
she'll practise being alone for periods of time,
she'll practise being in different weather conditions,
listening to predators -
everything, basically, that she needs to know
to be successful living in the wild.
Until now, Sam has only been able to release sloths rescued as adults,
who already have the skills to survive.
Being able to release hand-raised babies would be a breakthrough.
The nursery is home to five little orphans,
and Sam has to work around the clock to be their surrogate mum.
It's late at night - this is when you're meant to be asleep.
I'm lucky if I get maybe five hours in a night.
That's a good night.
On a good night? Mm-hm. Don't you feel exhausted? Er, yes.
Most sloths are active after dark,
but two-toed, like Elvis and Bruno, are almost entirely nocturnal.
TRICKLING Oh, I think he's peeing.
Oh, he's peeing.
Oh, my God, he's peeing on the floor right now! Look at that!
Sloths do everything slowly - including digesting their food...
and two-toed sloths can lose a third of their body weight
when going to the toilet.
Thank you! I'll help.
I'll be a nice house guest.
Elvis looks so proud of himself, too. I'm sure he does!
Well... It smells, doesn't it?
Oh, no, come on!
I've just finished! Oh, shoot, it's...!
Are you serious?!
Look at his face. Oh, my God!
Look at his face, look how content that little face is.
Why are they so proud of themselves?!
Look, both of them are doing it!
One's peeing out that way, and one's peeing directly down.
Oh, my goodness.
Look how small they are - that's how much... That's like human-size pee!
You better be glad you're cute.
You bad boy.
Do you want to hold him while I clean the rest up? Yeah!
This is basically...pretty much just like looking after real babies.
This gig is 24/7, nonstop.
When you see them all grown up, and they're safe,
and they're ready to be released into the wild,
does it make it all worth it?
SIGHS: Eyes on the prize.
They will get there, they will grow up,
and they'll stop pooping and peeing in my house.
Sam's hope for all her babies, two-toed and three-toed,
rests on Monster.
Training starts in the morning...
..so everyone needs to get some sleep.
Sam, this is a madhouse.
This is my life.
Around 8,000 miles away, in southern Africa,
I'm off to meet an animal that most of us don't realise is in trouble.
Africa is a land of giants,
home to our planet's most iconic beasts,
but habitat loss and poaching
mean that many of these animals are under threat...
..even the lion, king of the African savanna,
is teetering on the edge.
In the last 21 years, Africa has lost over 40% of its wild lions.
Africa simply wouldn't be Africa without its lions,
so I've come here to Zimbabwe to meet two young cubs
that are part of a pioneering scheme
to safeguard their species' survival.
This is Antelope Park, a lion conservation programme in Zimbabwe.
Over 100 lions have been successfully bred here
by a team headed up by manager Leigh Anne Webb.
A lot of these lions I've actually raised, and I've watched grow up,
and they all - each individual lion here is very important to me.
With the lion population dwindling all across Africa,
Leigh believes that her lions could be an insurance policy.
If numbers continue to fall, they could help repopulate the wild.
This programme is possibly the future for Africa's lions.
Leigh's latest hope rests on two siblings.
Africa and Alika are two very important cubs in our programme.
They are nine months old at the moment.
Africa's the little boy...
..and Alika's the little girl.
You can try.
You're too heavy!
Leigh hand-raised them from a very young age.
Their future is to join a pride in a huge protected enclosure.
They'll end up in a semi-wild environment,
where they'll be able to hunt and reproduce
and have cubs of their own.
But first, these hand-raised cubs need to learn how to be predators.
Yeah, they can't wait!
Every day, Leigh takes them outside their enclosure onto the savanna.
Come, Alika, come!
Alika! It's OK, girlie. Come.
Leigh's their surrogate mum, and it's her job to teach them
a lot of the skills that they would be taught by their own mother
and their own pride, if they were wild-born lions.
So, right now, she's trying to encourage them
into doing a bit of stalking.
Oh, here we go!
Just like a big kitten.
Young and inexperienced, they still have a lot to learn about hunting.
At this age, they wouldn't be partaking in any hunts -
they would just ruin it, pretty much! Yeah, yeah.
It's just that childish enthusiasm! It is, yeah!
In a lion pride, females like Alika do up to 90% of the hunting -
but young males in bachelor groups
may also have to fend for themselves.
Yeah, I think Africa's caught it!
Come on, babies! Come on!
Today, the cubs will be practising a vital skill -
This is known as our pride rock.
Lions need to get up high to spot prey on the savanna.
Try and see if Africa and Alika will go up. You going to climb, baby?
So, if she comes up, I'll give the stick to you,
What's going on, Alika?
OK, do you want to come and take over from here? OK.
Just hold the stick right at the end... Yeah.
..and then try and lure it up... OK.
..so that you can come all the way up.
Ooh! Oops. Broken it.
LIONS ROAR IN DISTANCE
That's the sound of lions.
Her instinct has taken over,
and she's gone to the top of the rock,
where she's got a vantage point,
to try and see where that noise is coming from.
Lion roars can travel up to five miles.
Look how alert she is up there.
Alika can hear one of Antelope Park's prides.
There's a lot of advantages to being a good climber, if you're a lion.
If you can get up high, you can see what's going on.
It's nice and cool up there, and there's also less flies about,
so, altogether, it's a very good survival skill.
Come on, boy.
Now it's Africa's turn.
Come on, be a big, brave boy.
Don't get shown up by your sister.
It's embarrassing for you.
Male lions are the heaviest of all the African cats,
so they're not naturally the best climbers.
Come on, up you go. Up!
Up, up, up!
It takes a lot of encouragement from his surrogate pride.
Almost there, Africa, just a little bit more. There you go.
Oh, there he goes!
That's fantastic. That's Africa now at the top.
He definitely doesn't look as sure-footed as his sister, though -
and is that normal with males and females? It is.
Because the females will have to climb up trees
to get vantage points, like you said,
to see if there's game in the area - males don't usually climb that much.
With their weight and everything, trying to climb up a tree,
especially with their big manes, it's quite hard,
whereas with the females, it's easier,
because they're a lot more agile
and a lot more smaller than the males. Yeah.
Now the cubs have practised finding prey,
their next challenge will be to try and hunt it.
Just so they don't start stalking us too much,
it's time we got them home to bed.
Come, Alika. Bedtime.
Slowly, slowly, slowly.
Africa and Alika's training is off to an energetic start.
In Costa Rica in Central America,
it's a slightly more sedate pace in the nursery.
The sloth babies are doing what they do best.
Best play face.
..and tucking in to wild leaves that Sam has collected...
..but Monster's days of having food delivered are over.
She'll have to work for her breakfast in boot camp.
We're just going to throw her into the deep end,
and see how she reacts to it. Pretty much!
Today will be full of new experiences for Monster...
..starting with her journey into the forest in a car.
The first challenge is an assault course,
where Monster must find her own food.
We've got basically everything we need.
We just need to put it up.
I'm a bit of a novice at building boot camps for sloths.
Um...well, it'd be great to connect these two trees,
so if you want to get over here...
OK. ..and stick the rope up there, that would be a good start.
Go for the inner cowboy.
There you go!
It's a big moment for Monster - and Sam.
She needs to make sure this area is totally safe.
So, I'm just doing a quick search around for snakes.
I like to make sure I've removed as many dangers as possible.
We've actually lost a sloth from a snakebite.
Pelota, who was actually the first sloth that I ever took care of.
Six months ago, Pelota was also in training for a return to the wild...
when tragedy struck.
She was, you know, in the home stretch before being released,
and a terciopelo, one of the most dangerous snakes in Costa Rica -
it's very venomous - climbed up a tree and bit her.
Killed her pretty quickly, actually.
Did you have a long night?
Was it scary?
It made me want to give up.
I mean, it was just like, "Really?"
Like, you know, she'd been through so much already.
Despite the sad loss of Pelota, Sam's more determined than ever.
Boot camp is very important,
because Monster needs to practise all her normal behaviours,
so that way, when she is in situations that are dangerous,
she has a better chance, because she is, you know...
she's not just this ignorant little sloth struggling to make do,
she, you know, has well-honed skills
that hopefully see her through all the hard times.
Being able to find her own food is the best start.
These hibiscus flowers are like sloth chocolate...
..and, because of a special enzyme in Monster's saliva,
melt in her mouth.
I think Monster thinks we're taking too long! She's ready to get going.
Right, we'll hang the last couple of flowers...
She might eat them all before we're done!
Hopefully not - let's get these up.
But reaching them will test her climbing skills.
We've suspended them from a clothes hanger.
I mean, it may be made for socks, but it's perfect for Monster.
She's wasting no time, is she?! She's so ready.
Hey, well done!
Oh! She's moving.
This is pretty fast for Monster.
Flat out, sloths can cover between three and five metres per minute.
Yeah, she didn't waste any time.
They have poor vision, so they rely on smell and touch to find food.
This set-up is actually really good
for Monster, not only to look for food,
but, in order to eat this,
she's going to have to hang upside down and reach for flowers
and that makes her practice natural postures
that she would exhibit while she's in the wild,
and it would build her muscles -
and look, she's upside down!
Good job, Monster!
Her diet usually just consists of flowers and leaves,
which aren't that rich in nutrients,
so that's why they're usually very slow - it conserves energy.
Sloths have a slow metabolism and low body temperature,
helping them to be extremely energy-efficient.
Does it surprise you how strong sloths are?
It does, because they have the lowest muscle mass of any mammal,
so they're not starting off with the building blocks
to be these extremely strong creatures,
but they are - what they have, they use really well,
and the things they can do with their body is amazing -
I wish I could move like a sloth!
It's kind of crazy - she's only hanging from one leg, there,
but she's still able to eat all those flowers
without any problem at all.
Elongated claws hook over branches,
taking the strain of spending 90% of their life upside down.
Flexible joints allow a wide range of movement,
and some species can rotate their necks up to 270 degrees.
Sam, she's completely off the ropes, and well into the trees -
is this good news?
That's great news,
because - I mean, everything that she's touching right now is natural,
and she's super relaxed.
I mean, her body posture is totally open, she...
I mean, she looks really good up there.
Monster doing well in boot camp is a huge thing for the other babies,
because she is the first three-toed to go through boot camp,
so she really is leading the way.
She needs to do well, or -
you know, then what do we do with the other babies?
We don't really have a plan for them.
From here on in, Monster's lessons only get harder.
At Antelope Park, Africa and Alika are resting.
Look at the size of that paw! Look at that!
Yeah! It's big, isn't it, sir?
Lions actually sleep more than sloths - up to 20 hours a day.
It helps conserve energy for hunting,
and that is the cubs' next challenge.
Big paws for taking down big animals.
In the wild, the cubs wouldn't start hunting for another few months...
'..so, we're building some animals
'that may be a little easier to catch...'
Never done this before, clearly! Sorry.
'..but they need to be convincing.'
Believe it or not, this is going to be a giraffe.
This is a decoy giraffe,
and this is filled with meat -
and, hopefully, Africa and Alika are going to want to hunt that.
With the help of lion handler Ticha,
we're making a herd of... passable savanna animals.
I'm very impressed by your craft skills, Ticha.
Come on, babies, come!
Africa's already picked up
that there's something different on the route.
He's a little bit wary of it at the moment -
he was actually calling to it just now -
but he's starting to make his way in slowly, just to see what it is.
They're sniffing around.
They can tell there's meat here somewhere.
Lions' sense of smell is good,
but their sharp eyes and hearing help hone in on their prey.
It's interesting, because they're approaching it from behind,
cos they know the scary bit's in the front, where the ears are.
Cos when they do come across game, especially with zebras,
they'll sometimes bite the cubs, and they use their front hooves
to actually kick them, so it's good that they're going behind.
In the wild, lions regularly go days between meals.
If Africa and Alika want their lunch,
first they must take on these strange-looking beasts.
But Alika's now... Now she's picked up on the giraffe decoy. Yeah.
OK, come, babies! Oh, look!
Come on, boy.
'When a pride hunt together,
'they are one of the most successful of the big cats...'
They can smell that - can't you?
That smells good, doesn't it?
'..making a kill about one in every three to five attempts.'
That's it! Well done!
So, that was impressive from Alika - she properly brought it down,
so she deserves what's inside.
Even though Alika hunted it, just like in the wild,
it's Africa, the male, who steps in to claim the Lion's share.
Usually the dominant boy will have...
he'll usually grab the whole kill for himself
and stand there, or sit there, and growl,
and the rest of the boys will make their way in really slowly.
Because males are not willing to share -
females are a lot more willing to share when it comes to food.
When lions feast,
males can eat up to 15% of their body weight in a sitting.
Their behaviour changes a lot when they have meat -
they go from a cute, cuddly little lion to this savage beast.
So, it's good to see,
they're really possessive, aren't they, over their food?
And that's really important, isn't it?
It is, it's very important, because when we put them into a pride, now,
and when he's moving to the next stage,
he needs to be possessive and dominant over his food,
because, if he's not,
the other lions will just come in and steal food from him.
So, it's actually really, really good that he's possessive like this.
It's incredibly heartening to see how hand-reared cubs
can have their wild instincts ignited by a straw giraffe,
and it's these kinds of behaviours
that are going to be absolutely crucial for their survival,
and, ultimately, the survival of Africa's wild lions.
Africa and Alika will soon join a pride,
and Leigh hopes they'll start families of their own.
It brings a tear to my eye, sometimes,
because it's just amazing to watch them grow,
and to see them go from such a tiny little cub
to an amazing, superb hunter.
And if they continue to progress,
Leigh thinks they could help ensure the survival of their species.
Proud mum moment? Yeah, definitely!
In Costa Rica, Monster has been reunited with her best friend Locket
for a late-night feed from their surrogate mum Sam.
Feeding two sloths at one time cuts feeding time in half,
and I need that time to do other things.
But rescuing sloths is a 24-hour business.
'A woman called and said she'd seen a sloth on its back on the ground.'
A call's come in, and there's a baby in trouble.
We're going to go check it out and see if we can help it.
This could really be a life-or-death situation. Oh, yeah.
We need to get there really fast.
Oh, my gosh.
Oh, the arm is messed up.
It was found on the ground by a bunch of dogs,
and the dogs were barking,
and it looks like it has a broken arm.
The dogs could definitely have attacked it -
which means it could have other, internal injuries.
It'll probably need surgery.
And back to the centre.
Sloths only climb down from the safety of the trees
to go to the toilet or to cross roads that cut through the forest.
This is when they're at risk from being hit by cars
or attacked by dogs.
I guess that you think you're going to find, like, a baby sloth,
and it's just going to be on someone's doorstep -
the reality is that the situation's completely different.
It's a young juvenile,
so hopefully it's not going to have lost heat
as quickly as if it was a baby...
There's one on the wires.
What? Where? What?
There's one on the elec... or the wires -
it might be the telephone wires.
Oh, what, hanging there?
Is it OK?
The team have spotted a sloth in danger.
It's hanging on telephone wires
just inches from high voltage power lines.
This is one of the main killers of sloths - uninsulated wires.
Sloths climb onto these cables from overhanging trees,
mistaking them for jungle vines.
As soon as it touches the next wire on top,
which is literally about a foot away from the wires below...
I mean, it's a goner.
Yeah, it seems like there's always something.
Yeah, it's like - whether it's a dog attack, or electrocution,
or hit by a car - I mean, it's just...
It's raining injured sloths, it seems like.
They live amongst these dangers. It's impossible to avoid it 100%.
How are we going to get it down?
We're trying to call the national electric company to see
if they can come and get it down.
HE SPEAKS SPANISH
He said that, as soon as one of the trucks is available,
he's going to send it here. OK.
Well, at least they know - that's the main thing. Yeah.
They know about it.
With a specially-trained team from the electric company en route
to rescue this marooned sloth, Sam's priority
is to get the other injured sloth back to the centre
for emergency treatment.
Hey. Hey. I've been trying to keep it warm.
Pia Martin, the centre's vet, gets straight to work...
but initial signs aren't good.
I don't hear anything.
What do you think this sloth's chances are right now?
Not good at all. I mean, these dog attacks are usually really bad.
I am just getting some oxygen ready,
just to see if it helps.
The sloth's heartbeat is so weak it can't be detected.
Pia switches to a hi-tech heartbeat monitor,
hoping to find the faintest signs of life.
Do you think there's anything that we can do for this sloth?
No, I don't think so.
I couldn't hear a heartbeat.
I think that he's dying.
So, the only thing that we can do is try...
..to help him...die peacefully. Yeah.
I mean, Pia and Sam have done everything that they can,
and, unfortunately, they've called it - the sloth has died,
and there's nothing we can really do about that.
This is the reality of what it takes to look after these animals,
and to run a rehabilitation centre.
I imagine that Sam and the rest of the team go through highs and lows,
and it's those few animals they can save,
that they can rescue, rehabilitate and finally release into the wild,
and that's what keeps them going, and that's why they do this.
Last night was really tough...
..but it was a reminder
of what these orphans have already been through.
Sam and the team are even more determined
that Monster's training is successful,
so that every one of these sloths
has a chance to return to their wild home.
On the other side of the world, in Zimbabwe,
saving African cats is a priority
for many of the country's rescue centres...
and each centre has its own unique approach -
from big conservation projects like Leigh's
to rescuing individual animals in trouble.
Five hours' drive from Antelope Park is Twala Wildlife Sanctuary.
It's run by Sarah Carter and her vet husband Vinay.
Oh, Ben. I know.
I know. Hey.
They rescue cats that have been injured,
badly treated or abandoned...
to domestic moggies.
No, no, no, that's not your bottle.
Twala was created for animals who are unwanted, who are damaged,
who have had a terrible life.
Harriet, a wildcat called a serval,
is one of Sarah's long-term patients.
You want your breakfast?
Hmm? You hungry?
Well, come. Let's go. Come, we can't eat here.
Good girl. Keiko!
Fully grown, Harriet will be twice the length of a housecat -
but she is a perfect predator, agile and acrobatic.
Let's go, let's go. Come. Come.
Harriet is almost a year.
So, we got her when she was three weeks old.
I mean, she was about that big.
She was found on the side of a really busy road
coming out of Harare.
She had a broken pelvis and a broken left back leg,
and she couldn't walk -
she used to pull herself along on her front feet.
Sarah wasn't sure if Harriet would ever walk again,
but after surgery, physio and a year of intensive care,
she's made a miraculous recovery,
and has now joined other orphans being cared for at Twala.
One for you, Smudgy...
..and one for you.
You want some? Now that everyone else is having.
Sarah doesn't stop at rescuing cats -
she finds a home for any animal.
Many are too badly injured to go back to the wild.
When we first had the idea of Twala,
I don't think that we planned
on having this diverse menagerie of animals,
but it's just evolved like that,
and it was always something that we dreamt of,
and something that we worked towards for a very, very long time.
Sarah's even turned her own house into a nursery,
which is home to this very unconventional family.
There's always somebody doing something,
and it's normally something they shouldn't be doing.
I always say that Twala is not based on science -
it's based on love.
The animals that are in my care
are with me because they've been orphaned.
If we can use another animal to make up for that loss,
even if it's not with another animal that you might have thought of,
and it works, then that's something that I'm all for.
Skittles, the baby duiker, is over there,
giving his surrogate mum, Layla, a hard time.
It's so funny, cos when we rescued Skittles,
he was so traumatised, cos he'd been really badly handled by people,
and it's just - in about the last two weeks,
he suddenly got this personality, and he's just so great.
Pairing Skittles with a surrogate mum
has really brought him out of his shell...
Oh, there he goes!
..and it's even more important for social animals
like Horace the vervet monkey.
In the wild, he would be part of a troop,
so surrogate siblings like Ginger the cat...
and Keiko the dog are important for his development...
whether they like it or not.
But, at a year old,
Harriet is starting to outgrow her friends in the nursery.
Her natural instincts as a predator are developing.
She's started to play too rough with Keiko...
..and has even started stalking Horace...
Harriet's getting more and more confident every day,
which is lovely to see.
It's now my job to widen her world for her.
Harriet has spent her whole life
within the confines of the house and garden,
but Sarah has built her a new enclosure
in over one hectare of wild grassland.
Her life is going to change.
I am nervous, because, for a long time,
I was there for whatever she needed and to keep her safe.
Now that she is so much better, she's ready to move on.
Harriet has made an enormous amount of progress
towards being self-sufficient -
but she still has to prove she can hunt for herself.
We're back in the jungle, continuing Monster's training.
Today, I'm going to help Sam teach her a brand-new skill.
For the first time, we're taking her for swimming lessons.
It's definitely important that she knows how to swim,
because, once she's out there in the forest on her own,
I'm not there to help her,
and the last thing I want is for her to drown.
In the wild, sloths are surprisingly strong swimmers,
moving better in the water than they can crawl on land.
They can even hold their breath underwater for up to 40 minutes.
During the rainy season,
parts of the forest floor become flooded,
and the only way to move between the trees and find food
is through the water.
I've got you! THEY LAUGH
Are you ready?
I mean, she's definitely on, kind of, alert, you know?
She knows she's in a new area.
I hope this doesn't mean she'll try and get away from the water.
There's only one way to find out.
Hey, let's go for it. Fingers crossed!
Are you ready?
Baby sloths may take their first dip in the water
whilst clinging to the safety of their mums...
Are you scared?
Hmm? Want to swim?
She could swim off now, if she wanted to.
Sloths' hair is especially adapted
to keep rain and even river water away from the skin.
You can do it.
She seems like she's reluctant.
She looks like she's just...
HE GASPS Oh, she's going to...
There she goes - actually, she's going.
Her natural instinct to swim is kicking in -
but she's not quite ready to take the plunge.
She's using your head as a raft.
But with Sam supporting her body weight...
This might be the moment we see...
this sloth swim for the very first time!
Wow! Good girlie!
That is remarkable!
Good job! She seems so much more at home in the water
than she would, like, on the ground.
She's doing well.
She's keeping her head up...
MONSTER SQUEAKS Hey! Oh, she's scared.
So, that... She just cried. ..that whistle, that... Yeah.
Was that her crying? Mm-hm. OK. Yeah, she's scared.
But the good thing is that she seems to be swimming,
knows how to swim, she's just unfamiliar with... She definitely...
..the water. Yeah. She definitely knows how.
I just don't think she wants to any more!
But she did it. You did so well, Monster, well done!
It's still baby steps for Monster,
but she has surpassed all expectations.
All that she needs, really, is time and practice,
and that's going to come about, because Sam is really dedicated.
Sometimes, when they're learning survival skills
that they'll need in the wild,
I mean, it's not always things that they'll enjoy.
I guess it's all part of her path to getting rehabilitated
and back into the wild.
Just one of the parts of the learning experience.
The final challenge for Monster will be spending a night
without Sam in the forest...
..but, for now, she can enjoy the comfort of her surrogate mum's arms.
Harriet could be about to get her first taste of freedom
in a new wild enclosure -
but she has one final test.
In the wild, servals have an aerial hunting strategy
to pounce on small but speedy prey like mice...
..and can leap three metres into the air to catch birds in flight.
Before any predator can fend for itself,
it needs to hone its hunting skills,
and for any young animal - whoo! -
the best way to do that is through play.
Something Sarah's been encouraging Harriet to do on a daily basis.
What a clever girl!
She's very determined.
All this play is actually teaching her really useful skills.
It's also really good exercise for her,
and it's getting her to use the muscles
that she would be using if she was hunting.
Harriet's practice is paying off...
That was very elegant!
..and she will soon be ready to put her hunting skills to use
outside the nursery.
Horace! Hey, bud!
Harriet may not be the only orphan whose life is about to change.
Oh, good boy. Here, my darling.
Horace was rescued about five months ago.
Just like Harriet, it's thought his mum was hit by a car.
He was just found sitting by her body.
He was not even two weeks old.
He was very traumatised, very dehydrated -
and he's made a really good recovery,
and he has created this amazing life for himself at Twala...
but as much as it's lovely for Horace to have a serval
and a duiker and a dog and domestic kittens as friends,
it would be really good for him
to actually start learning about being a monkey.
And this could be his big chance -
another orphan has just arrived at the centre.
This is Jackie.
She is also an orphaned vervet.
A little bit younger than Horace -
she's probably three and a half months old now.
What a clever girl.
Jackie lost her mum, and is still very traumatised.
She's going to need lots of love and reassurance,
but if she can form a relationship with Horace,
that would also be great for her, because obviously...
the most comforting thing for her would be to be with another monkey.
Come, babe. Come.
It's an important meeting.
If they get on, Horace will help Jackie become more confident...
I am right here, Jackie, so you don't need to freak.
We can just do our own thing, OK?
..and Jackie will teach Horace what it's like
to play, climb and learn with his own kind.
Hello, Horace, special boy.
You mustn't be jealous.
Gently, Jackie - be nice.
Come on, let's be friends.
There we go.
Oh, good girl!
Oh, good girl. Well done, Horace.
Yes! And you're being such a gentleman.
I'm very proud of you.
They are getting on so well.
You know, monkeys are into everything,
and now we have twofold monkeys...
there's going to be no peace.
Horace and Jackie can now grow up together here at Twala,
and Sarah hopes, when they're older,
they'll join the centre's monkey troop.
I do my best to teach them what I can,
but there is no better way for them to learn than from each other.
Sarah strives to give all the animals in her care
new experiences that make them more independent...
and it's now Harriet's chance to take a big leap,
and leave the nursery.
Well, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed -
I'm not sure how she's feeling!
She looks completely confident.
This is the first time that she will have been out of the garden.
So, this is huge for her,
and, you know, this is her safe place, it's her haven,
so we're really taking her out of her comfort zone now.
There you go!
OK. It's OK, there's nothing to be scared of.
It's a lot wilder than the garden, it's totally natural,
so this is the perfect place for a serval to be.
I'm just not sure she's going to think that initially, but I think
that, once she settles in here, she will absolutely love it,
because, if she was in the wild, this is where she would be.
Out here, Harriet can use the hunting skills she's learnt
Servals have the longest legs.
relative to their body size, of any cat.
It helps Harriet see above tall savanna grass.
Her natural marking helps her blend in beautifully,
and her large ears pinpoint prey - even if she can't see it.
What have you seen?
What is it, Harriet?
She's a lot more confident than I thought she would be.
She's a bit wide-eyed, but, yeah, she's excited -
I thought she might just find a spot where she felt safe
and then just lie still,
but she's all over the place, so that's brilliant.
It's only a frog, darling.
Harriet's injured hip is clearly not holding her back.
Sarah can now bring her here every day
to experience this new, wilder life.
It's an amazing feeling.
It's just - I feel really proud of her.
She had a very slim chance of survival, when Harriet came to me.
Often I find with animals that it's as much their spirit
and their personality that will pull them through,
as, you know, all the care that we give them.
She was determined, she got a second chance
and she has made the most of it.
You've just got to say, "Well done, Harriet."
In Costa Rica,
Monster the sloth is also one final step away
from proving she can survive in the wild.
She's going to be facing the rainforest alone - and after dark.
Sam will only observe from a distance, in a hide.
And it just started raining.
Being out in the rain is actually good practice for Monster,
but it can be a problem for sloths.
Sloths have a hard time regulating their own body temperature.
Sloths don't have enough muscle to shiver -
the process by which most mammals' muscles contract and relax,
producing heat to warm them up.
They're a little bit more like reptiles,
in that they use the environment to stay warm,
and she's just kind of cuddled up, basically trying to stay dry.
As night falls, Monster faces a new challenge.
Using a night vision camera,
Sam's watching to see how she reacts.
It's a whole new ball game.
Many jungle predators hunt after dark,
and Monster is an easy target
if she's not in the safety of the tree tops.
Monster is actually...
very close to the ground.
I mean, it's pretty important that she finds a higher place to go,
and more cover.
It looks like she's coming down.
Wild sloths only come down from the trees about once a week
to go to the toilet...
..and Monster has picked a risky time.
It's such a tense moment for Sam.
She is very vulnerable on the ground.
It's kind of scary to see her like this.
Just the thought of a dog being here
She's kind of on a steep slope, though.
So, my only concern is if she doesn't...
if she's not able to climb back up.
But sure enough, Monster's wild instincts kick in.
Wow! OK, yeah, she's going up.
Good job, Monster!
She's doing good.
Monster has tackled the single most dangerous moment
in a wild sloth's life -
and she's done it in the dark, and all by herself.
She's done really well. I'm very proud of her.
But it's probably time to call it a night,
so that Monster and I can both get a little bit of sleep.
You did so good!
You were so good!
So, I'm back at Sam's house to find out how Monster's doing
after her final boot camp challenge.
Sam, this is our latest sloth graduate.
She's looking pretty distinguished today.
Monster has basically passed every single test I have thrown at her.
She's almost ready to be released.
It feels like validation
for what I've been doing for the past couple of years, you know?
All this hard work is actually going towards the goal
of getting them back in the wild.
She's basically, like, an ambassador for the other sloths.
I did that!
Well, she did it too.
How is that going to make you feel, Sam?
Leaving Monster to her own devices?
I can't think about it.
Look what you're doing!
If I can just imagine her happy and healthy,
and with her own little Monsters, then that's all I need,
and I'm OK with saying goodbye.
She's a survivor, really, isn't she?
She IS a survivor, and she's never given up,
and I'll never give up on her.
Since I last saw Monster,
Sam has moved her to a remote patch of forest,
from where she'll be released.
Africa and Alika have graduated onto stalking real prey,
and Harriet continues to practise her hunting
in her new wild enclosure.
Next time, I meet Santino, a baby howler monkey...
..who's about to take his first step back into the wild...
..but only if he can find his place in a troop.
And I'm being introduced to Shelly - a young hand-raised cheetah...
..who must learn to hunt before she can be released.
This is an amazing place.
In Costa Rica, Patrick Aryee meets Monster, an orphaned sloth, who was found by the roadside alone and scared. Carer Sam is putting her through a boot camp that she's designed, especially for sloths, to see if she has the skills to return to the wild.
In Zimbabwe, Lucy Cooke is meeting precious lion cubs Africa and Alika who have to learn how to hunt like wild lions. And Harriet the serval has to prove to carer Sarah that she's ready for a wilder existence.