17/02/2014 Inside Out South


17/02/2014

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Hello from Hambledon in Hampshire. Just one of many places in the South

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thoroughly exhausted by the floods. Here's what's coming up tonight.

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As the RSPCA steps in to rescue animals stranded in the floods, we

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will be meeting some of the people fighting to save their homes.

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There's nobody much left down here now.

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We are on the Isle of Wight to find out more about a zoo once called the

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worst in Britain. Oh, my goodness me. And opening the door on a few

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surprises hidden in the South's village halls. I'm John Cuthill and

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this is Inside Out for the South of England.

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First tonight, the rain keeps coming and the floodwaters keep rising. For

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Hambledon, this has become a way of life. They've had it for more than

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40 days. Other parts of the South are just coming to terms with it.

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Tonight, we are visiting the region badly affected by flooding. And

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finding out how people are coping. And this is what we're having to

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cope with. Homes across the South of England flooded on a scale rarely

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seen before. In Berkshire and Surrey, some people have said the

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RSPCA's special water rescue unit was the first emergency service on

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the scene. Before Fire and Rescue, and certainly before the military.

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Here to save animals, but like all emergency services here, helping

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anyone who needs it. This is my garden. Trina has her four cats and

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two rabbits to look after so she's staying put. It is not very tidy.

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This is actually gone down from yesterday. The whole of the floor is

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flooded but it is coming up through the floor. It is only going to come

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back. I've felt isolated. I can't get to work. So I can't get paid. I

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feel sorry for the cat out there but he won't come in. He's not mine,

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he's been left. RSPCA inspector Rosie Russon is finding calls to

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help stranded animals are leading her to people who have chosen not to

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evacuate and now need a hand. People just are nowhere to turn for help.

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It's OK, it is weighed a ball but it isn't safe. It is lifting manhole

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covers. `` you can wade through it but it isn't safe. It is not safe

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and it is not recommended to walk through it. I've got no problems to

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help the lady. There is nobody much left down there now. I wanted to see

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people. What number are you at it? Just around the corner families have

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had no choice but to leave their homes. The water came in through the

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front door. There was no sandbags, no electricity, nothing. The plugs

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weren't working, the lights were going on and off. We couldn't eat.

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We made a good choice by leaving. There is a storm coming, apparently.

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The tree branches falling off. It's apparently waist level now but we

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have to get back to the house and see the condition of it. With so

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many houses empty, thieves are already targeting the area. A couple

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of houses got down apparently. And it is going on elsewhere. What do

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you do? To bowl someone's house in a situation like this isn't fair. It

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is so unfair. That's why we have to leave our house, if things get

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stolen, it is going to worry everybody more. And it's not just

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valuables being stolen, it's the stuff desperately needed to protect

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people's homes. They had a sandbag delivery. At about 7am. And the

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vehicle was hijacked en route. 20 minutes from the village. All the

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sandbags got stolen. And there still aren't enough sandbags to go round,

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leaving houses without protection. They said to me two weeks ago when

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the water fits your door, we will send you some sandbags. Probably

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three. That was two weeks ago. I rang them three times on the day,

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they said they would send sandbags. They sent them to the top of the

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road and everybody loaded them up and disappeared with them. In

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Winchester, it's the overloaded River Itchen that's causing

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problems. And in an attempt to stop the flooding spreading, the

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Environment Agency has taken drastic action, making a dam upstream near

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the village of Easton. Meaning the fields of Duncan Gray's farm are to

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be sacrificed. We expect when we wake up tomorrow morning to see this

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whole area as far as you can see, maybe two or three feet deep in

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water. It depends on the flow and with the rain coming down now,

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things are going to get worse before they get better. And you've had to

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move livestock, get everything out of this area before the water

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comes? Yes, we were told this was going to happen yesterday. And we

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moved all our sheep and pigs to higher ground, and horses off the

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side. There are no animals hit at all, they are all safely on higher

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ground. Do you get any say in the matter or did you just get told it's

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happening? We got told, but it makes sense. If you're going to flood

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fields, it is better than having flooded houses. This is the

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Environment Agency doing the right thing. These are fields that were a

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flood plain at one time, so it is as well they go back to their older

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usage, underwater. But it'll go away. Across the South, water levels

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have been rising. 21 inches still to go. I am a bit wet. I don't care how

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far it is, as long as it is the right way. I'm not going anywhere! I

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wrap my take round my knee. I put the shoe in.

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Our intrepid RSPCA team has now waded a mile along the A320 and is

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organising rescue swapsies with Surrey Fire service in order to

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reach seven stranded cats. They are going to drive our team in the

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vehicle to the house we want to go to, get our cats, bring us back to

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our boat that will be waiting for us to use. We are trading re`sources

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but it makes perfect sense. The specialist RSPCA rescue team has

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been sent to Berkshire and Surrey because for now that's where they

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think the need is greatest. Lots of flooded homes means lots of pets in

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need of help and often there's nowhere for them to go. Animal

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sanctuaries are full to the brim. It's stressful. The Rangers tread.

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We thought we were OK. `` view rain is dreadful. It is the rain at the

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back. We will put them in the fire engine at the minute. Then we will

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work out where to take them. As well as these cats, in the past week,

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around the village of Wraysbury, the RSPCA team has rescued nearly 500

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animals, including 30 koi carp and a 45`year`old tortoise called Sidney.

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He's fine, he's lovely. We don't want him to wake up. The south coast

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has taken another battering over the weekend, creating these dramatic

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scenes at Milford on C`130 people were rescued after huge pebbles from

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the beach smashed through restaurant windows and sea water came in. On

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the Isle of Wight, homes were evacuated from the undercooked

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because of landslips, also a problem on the Dorset coast. As the clear up

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continues, the rain may have eased but the problems have not gone away.

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Next, it was once described as the worst zoo in England. I've been to

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the Isle of Wight to see how that has changed.

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Good boy. I'm told that when I was really little, I was put into a

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playpen with tiger cubs. I don't actually recall that but I believe

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it to be true. I grew up with bears and tigers, lions and leopards

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living in the house. Trying to get downstairs in the morning, with my

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slippers on... With a leopard guarding the stairway, and they'd

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always go for your ankles first thing in the morning. My friends

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told me it wasn't that normal but to me it was totally the way we lived.

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Six years ago, Charlotte Corney took on running the family zoo. And her

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life has been a roller`coaster ever since. I think the word struggle

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hits the nail on the head. It is a struggle, a constant challenge, and

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it is one that we have to meet head on because we can't fail.

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Charlie! Health check time. How are you?

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Charlie is coming up to 15 years old, he will be 15 this month. He is

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a friendly lion. He likes to meet people as well. But not all of the

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cats are feeling as sociable. One of Charlotte's tigers has a problem

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with a tooth and the dentist has been called in. We are going to be

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knocking out one of our female tigress is, she's 14, sushi is not a

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spring chicken. But she's had a fractured tooth for someone I'll and

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she's been on the waiting list to see the dentist. So we hope to have

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her not exactly on the dentist's chair but on the table within the

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next hour also. She needs lots of attention this morning. Lots of

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attention. She is my baby. We don't look the same, but she's been with

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me since she was three months old. I am her mother for all intents and

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purposes and I have a very deep bond with her. They lived with me for six

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months. In a caravan at the time. So all of their lives, I've been in

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their lives, so very precious animal to me personally.

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Beer good Tiger. I know, come on. Sedating a tiger can prove tricky.

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The vet needs to carefully give Ayshea just the right amount of

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anaesthetic. Good girl. Even though it may look like the drugs are

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working, the team need to be careful they're not caught out by a bit of

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acting. It can be deceptive, sometimes. They look like they are

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under, but we had the tail test. We always used to think it was the ears

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that were the most sensitive so used to test their ears and if they were

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OK, we would think, all right, get going. But we did it once and found

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out that, actually, that ears weren't the final thing, it was the

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tail. So now we use the tail test, we pinch the tail.

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Once the team's happy Ayshea's asleep, she needs to get to the

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operating room as quickly as possible. It definitely worries me.

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It is a stressful night's sleep. Just the process of sedating and

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anaesthetising a tiger just with us, they're always going to be some

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risks. `` there are always going to be some risks so we always take the

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cautions. `` we will always take precautions. We would rather they

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were up and about. I'd be much happier if she had her tooth fixed.

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And up and about. Big cats have proved a big draw for the Isle of

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Wight for decades, ever since the zoo first opened nearly 60 years

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ago. At the time, Sandown was a bustling resort where you would have

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been hard pushed to find a room in a B anywhere on the island. So, at

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the time, it was the perfect place for a businessman called Ronald

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Bateman to set up shop. You haven't been back for a while. Not since the

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70s. Has it changed? Incredibly. I was on the beach down there.

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Margaret Honeybourne was here on the day the zoo opened. What can you

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remember of the actual day? Lots of people. Really excited to see the

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stars who came and opened it, George can stay out who used to do lots of

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television programmes. It was very good. You are clutching your

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autograph book. I got his autograph! There we are. That is him. Barbara

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Kelly and Bernard Braden. He has his own programme. She used to appear on

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a programme as well. That was at the time. At the time, this area was

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very much bustling. Very busy. There were lots of visitors and not many

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places to visit. So, you know, this would have been a great attraction.

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Raj was a household pet. Now on the Isle of Wight, he keeps one

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civilised habit he picked up by taking a daily bath. For a while,

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the zoo thrived. Ronald Bateman, the owner, even appeared on television

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in a publicity stunt. But, by 1970, a combination of low visiting

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figures and a surge in the price of animal feed meant the zoo was in

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trouble. And in September of that year, Ronald found himself at the

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centre of unwanted media attention. The Sunday Times was running a story

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on the worst zoos in Britain and Sandown was on top of the list. The

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first I knew about it was a phone call from London that told me that

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two chaps had been down, they had a list of allegations, and would I be

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prepared to give an answer. I wasn't over the phone. And they wanted to

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write to me. A few days later, I received a list of these

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allegations. Then a third phone call, asking me to reply. I said I

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would not because I thought this was just a media story which I didn't

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like the look of. The headlines were damming. The paper dubbed it one of

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the worst zoos in Great Britain. Ronald decided to sell up. But the

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failing zoo was to be given one final chance. From an unlikely

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source. Charlotte's dad. He had no zoological background, no formal

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training. But he had an insane passion for wildlife that he

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couldn't suppress. We saw the suit up for sale in the newspaper. And

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the headline was slums it with Britain. It was sink or swim for the

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zoo. `` the headline was slums sue of Britain. He put a bid in. He

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bought it. I was tiny at the time, my mother was pulling her hair out

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but supportive. I think his vision was that he would run his

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construction firm and commute and this would be a hobby. Of course,

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that was never going to work. It soon took over his life. Charlotte's

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dad soon became well known across the Island. Partly down to the fact

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that he exercised the tigers on the beach. What was it like? I can't

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imagine someone wandering along the beach with tigers! It was really

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exciting and it was really exciting for us although we did keep well

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away. Terrifying! Cos you always think a tiger's going to kill you.

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Meanwhile, the operation is over for Ayshea and she needs to be back in

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her enclosure. We do it quickly because she will have very little

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sedative left in her system and she will be off the anaesthetic. So we

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need to get back her down quickly in the vehicle, get in, get in behind

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her legs, get the tube out and then give her the reversal.

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Hello! Ayshea`pops! She's woken up quite slowly. So she's just trying

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to come to terms with her experience, I think.

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It's OK. Good girl. I know! She still wants to come and be friendly,

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even when she's recuperating. I know! Oh, sweetie. They are not

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living museum pieces. These are our friends and family and we love them

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in a way that maybe is a little bit hard for people to understand. I

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don't know. People have dogs, cats and pets. It's a similar

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relationship but in a way, it goes deeper than that because obviously

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there are constraints on you know, for people in terms of how they are

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working with the animals here. Even myself included, now, because I

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don't go in with the big cats. So the way you communicate and the

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relationship that you develop with them has to be more sophisticated,

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in a sense. And the way that you are looking after them from a medical

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point of view, you know, we can't always be feeling them and we have

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to be really, really in tune with them. So there is a very deep bond

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there. Charlotte says she doesn't like seeing animals in cages but

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believes that to engage people in conservation, zoos have an important

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part to play. Seeing animals on the TV and so forth, it's interesting

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but you are not going to have an emotional reaction in the way that

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you do when you are close to them, you hear them, you smell them. Maybe

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even get to touch them. And that's when this kind of electrical

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reaction occurs, I think. And people go home and something has changed in

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their brains and in their hearts. That is priceless.

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And don't forget, you can find us on Twitter...

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Now, here in Hambledon they've turned their village hall into an

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emergency control centre and halls right across the south are

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much`loved and cherished buildings. And if you look close enough, some

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have a remarkable story to tell. Moreton in Dorset. It's the Annual

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Harvest Social. An evening of food and drink, old friends and memories

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of the hall. This is one of my husband's relatives. So what event

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is this? This is some pantomime they did. I was rector here for 11 years.

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This was my farewell and they gave me a bike. They decided the bike I

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used to ride around all the villages was a bit ancient and decrepit. I've

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still got it and I still use it! We used to have live music. A band

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would come over and a lot of the soldiers used to come here as well.

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There has been a lot of dancing in this hall over the years? Very much

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so, yes. Old time dancing, square dancing. A lot of fun! But this year

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things are different. This could be the final get together because

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Moreton's historic hall is crumbling. This may be one of the

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last village gatherings in this hall. I know it sounds dramatic but

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tonight, we thought forget the fund`raising, let's just have a

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social evening. We are not selling anything... Oh, apart from the

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raffle tickets! After 100 years, Moreton's beloved wooden village

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hall is about to finally give up. The surveyors have told us that if

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we get a lot of snow, the weight of it would collapse. We thought we had

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enough money put away to build a new roof but then when we looked at the

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building and the roof, they said the walls are rotten as well so you

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would have to replace the walls because they will not stand the

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weight of a new roof. Oh, look! Oh, it's... There is movement there. I

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don't know how many years ago, probably 40 years ago, they put in a

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brace inside to hold the walls in. Together? Yeah. Those have rotted

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away so the brace is not doing anything. So we're not sure why it's

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standing, quite honestly. It shouldn't be. She really is on her

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last legs, isn't she? I am afraid so. Really is on her last legs. And

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it's no surprise. Moreton's historic Village Hall originally began life a

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few miles down the road at Bovington Army Camp. It's formed out of two of

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the many huts which housed troops as they prepared to fight in World War

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I. After the war, surplus to requirements, it was given to the

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village. My dad worked on the farm all his life and as a youngster, he

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was involved in going to Bovington and bringing this hall back to here.

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He and most of the farmers in the village provided transport to bring

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this hall back, in sections, to here. And that would be in, well,

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1920. So a horse and cart job? Horse and cart job. Definitely a horse and

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cart job! There was no lorries or vehicles of that nature at that

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time! Despite its history, the only option left

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is to try and find the money to replace the entire hall. What would

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happen, do you think, to Moreton if it lost its village hall? We would

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all jump in our cars and go off in opposite directions and we wouldn't

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know each other. That's what this has done. We've got to know our

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neighbours. We get together. You know, we're not just relying on the

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car to shoot off to toddler group in one village and... You know, it's

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about knowing each other and meeting each other. I think that's what it

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does for us. Moreton's not the only village struggling to hang on to its

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historic hall. In Farringdon in Hampshire, their hall is part of

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Massey's Folley. It took the eccentric Reverand

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Thomas Massey 40 years to build. Rocketing maintenance costs have

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left it with an uncertain future. But elsewhere in the South, it's a

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different story altogether. The tiny village of Rotherwick has an

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absolute gem. Its impressive village hall was

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donated by a wealthy American in the 1930s, in memory of his son. Henry

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De Forest created this Arts and Crafts masterpiece, which includes a

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fully sprung dance floor... Wow, that's fantastic! ..handbuilt by a

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team of Italian craftsmen. No expense spared. The wow factor,

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isn't it? You saw it yourself. You come through that door and you see

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this and you're not expecting it. Especially in a village the size

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because, I mean, even today, it's more than enough for the size of the

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village. And then there are the halls which keep their secrets

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hidden. From the outside, Woodgreen looks like your typical 1930s

:24:58.:25:02.

village hall. But it's only when you go inside that you realise why it's

:25:03.:25:04.

quite so special. Every inch of the village hall is

:25:05.:25:12.

covered by an 80`year`old mural painted by two students from the

:25:13.:25:16.

Royal College of Art ` Robert Baker and Edward Payne. Oh, my goodness.

:25:17.:25:23.

Look at this! Hello. Hello. This is Woodgreen Village Hall. It certainly

:25:24.:25:29.

is. Look at this! The artists created a snapshot of a

:25:30.:25:33.

year in the life of the village. They were volunteered to spend seven

:25:34.:25:37.

months living in the village with a grant of ?100 each to pay for their

:25:38.:25:43.

lodgings and everything they did. And then they worked out a scheme to

:25:44.:25:47.

decorate every wall in the hall. They are everybody that was living

:25:48.:25:51.

in the village in that couple of years. And you can recognise

:25:52.:25:54.

everybody here? Oh, yes. And some of them are still alive. Gosh! Put down

:25:55.:25:59.

your broom, I want a tour. This is too good to miss! The 360 degree

:26:00.:26:04.

mural tells the story of the seasons and depicts everyday life. We start

:26:05.:26:09.

in the spring. Some of the trees have their leaves, others haven't

:26:10.:26:14.

yet got them. And the two chaps sitting there and planning their

:26:15.:26:17.

night's occupation. OK, they don't look entirely innocent. I have to

:26:18.:26:21.

say. No. No, they're not. Poaching? Poaching, yeah. And that view,

:26:22.:26:26.

though, is that a view that you can still see today? You can still see

:26:27.:26:30.

it today. Castle Hill. Yes, it is the view from Castle Hill with the

:26:31.:26:33.

river winding its way across the water meadows. Beautiful.

:26:34.:26:37.

Remarkably, the artists' original sketches and plans survive. Yes,

:26:38.:26:42.

there is the fruit picker from the other wall. With all the details and

:26:43.:26:47.

the notes. Notes for colouring and so on. That is the design of the

:26:48.:26:54.

stage, by the looks of it. The measurements and door heights?

:26:55.:26:56.

That's right. Oh, one of the artists. And looking down on the

:26:57.:27:02.

village hall is a permanent reminder of the men behind Woodgreen's Grade

:27:03.:27:06.

II listed masterpiece. It's so wonderful to have this picture of

:27:07.:27:10.

the village as it was in the early 1930s. None of them are my

:27:11.:27:17.

favourites. They are all my favourites. And I feel privileged to

:27:18.:27:18.

look after them. This proves, hopefully, that you

:27:19.:27:30.

should never just think of village halls as well, village halls. They

:27:31.:27:34.

are fantastic slices of our heritage, which we all too often

:27:35.:27:41.

take for granted. Back in Moreton, it's the end of the night and the

:27:42.:27:45.

end of an era. As one village hall closes its doors, the locals already

:27:46.:27:49.

have plans for a brand new community centre nearby. The dawn of a new

:27:50.:27:55.

chapter and I am sure it is going to be as colourful and as fantastic as

:27:56.:27:59.

the last 100 years. I am certain of that because it is these people,

:28:00.:28:03.

young and old, who will make it. And buildings are great. As an

:28:04.:28:06.

architect, I love buildings. But it's people that really matter and

:28:07.:28:09.

these people will follow the show across the road.

:28:10.:28:16.

And great news, Moreton successfully won a big lottery grant and building

:28:17.:28:21.

work on their new hall starts later this year. Right, that's all we've

:28:22.:28:26.

got time for this week. I'll see you next time. Next week on inside out,

:28:27.:28:33.

we meet two women from Worthing determined to change their lives for

:28:34.:28:37.

the better. I've got a sweet tooth, I like to eat... I'd rather actually

:28:38.:28:41.

eat a chocolate cake than sit down and eat a chicken dinner.

:28:42.:28:45.

And find out how Boscombe came to be called the drugs capital of the

:28:46.:28:47.

South. Hello, I'm Sam Naz with your 90

:28:48.:29:08.

second update. An independent Scotland can keep the

:29:09.:29:12.

pound. That's the message from First Minister Alex Salmond who insists

:29:13.:29:16.

it's better for UK business. He accused Westminster parties of

:29:17.:29:18.

bullying for ruling out a shared currency. Full story at Ten.

:29:19.:29:22.

Ten million pounds is being promised by the PM to help small business hit

:29:23.:29:26.

by recent storms. Severe flood warnings on the Thames have been

:29:27.:29:29.

downgraded, but experts say water levels could rise again.

:29:30.:29:33.

A co-pilot from Ethiopian Airlines has hijacked his own plane. He took

:29:34.:29:37.

control when the other pilot went to the toilet. He asked for asylum

:29:38.:29:40.

after landing in Switzerland. He's set to become Italy's

:29:41.:29:43.

youngest-ever prime minister. 39-year-old Matteo Renzi is

:29:44.:29:44.

promising

:29:45.:29:45.

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