Episode 2 Animal 24:7


Episode 2

Four puppies shut in a dark wardrobe are freed. Presenter Tom Heap helps a temperamental croc move home, and there's a late-night stake-out to try to catch a snared badger.


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Transcript


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Britain's animals are under threat.

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All too often our wildlife and domestic pets

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are the victims of cruelty,

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persecution and neglect.

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Fighting to save them is a dedicated band of people

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trying to protect and care for them right around the clock.

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This is Animal 24:7

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Today on Animal 24:7...

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The smell is that strong, it actually makes me want to vomit.

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Locked up, four puppies shut in a dark wardrobe.

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There's no ventilation. When that's shut... If that light's off, they're both...

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You just lock them in a cupboard and that's not on.

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-You can't lock them in a cupboard.

-They do come out.

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A late night stakeout for a snared badger.

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We've been here five hours but the little badger hasn't turned up, unfortunately.

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It's most unusual.

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And I'm hoping practice makes perfect as I help to move this bad-tempered croc.

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Do be aware that these animals also have the ability to thrash,

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so no faces anywhere near the head.

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-So don't put it...?

-That's not a good idea.

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In the last year, the RSPCA has dealt with over 11,000 animals dumped by their owners.

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More often than not, the people have just moved house and left the animal to fend for itself, but that's not

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the only reason for leaving your pet home alone, as we're about to find out in this next story.

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'There's an urgent complaint, abandonment...'

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In south-east London, the RSPCA has been tipped off about some dogs that have been locked in a flat.

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'..Arrested yesterday evening...'

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It appears their owner has spent the night in a police cell

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for being drunk and disorderly so can't get back to care for them.

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It is quite a concern of mine now that they possibly need to come out today.

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RSPCA inspector Becky London is on duty and investigating.

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There's no way of knowing what state these dogs will be in. Becky rushes straight to the scene.

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After 15 minutes, she arrives at the property.

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Hello, just to let you know I have found it. I'm at number three now, so I'm gonna have a look myself.

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Becky's been told that as many as six dogs - two adults and four puppie - are shut inside this flat.

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Hello, is there anyone in there? It's the RSPCA.

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But everything seems quiet.

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It's complete darkness in there and I can't even hear a dog.

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If the dogs are in there and the chap has been arrested, who's gonna be looking after the dogs?

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Then, there's a surprise.

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The flat's owner, Robert, has been released without charge and has come

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home with his dad, who breaks in as Robert has left his keys inside.

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-This is your father and he's just...

-That opened easy enough.

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Well, that opened so you've got entry now into your flat.

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Becky is immediately concerned about the state of this flat.

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-Can we come in?

-Yeah.

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It's dark and dirty.

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It's a bit smelly,

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a bit pongy.

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On top of that, the two adults, Storm and Sky,

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are extremely boisterous and constantly bite Robert's dad.

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Yeah, they're a bit hyper.

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They've obviously just seen you.

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Can I just have a quick look in this room just to see where the dogs were?

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Oh, there's quite a strong smell of ammonia, urine, in here. Ugh.

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The dirt on the bedroom floor may be understandable, given that the dogs have been left alone.

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You probably want to open a window to get

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some air in here. And there's quite a few faeces on the floor, Robert.

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But then Becky finds something much more serious.

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Oh, it absolutely stinks in here.

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It seems Robert shuts the four puppies inside this wardrobe.

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The smell is that strong, it actually makes me want to vomit.

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And it's filthy.

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The bedding's actually dry. I don't think there's any urine on this

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but I suspect that there's been urine on the concrete floor at some point.

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Right, so if you go out, are they locked in that little cupboard?

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-Normally.

-And do you usually have a light on in there or are they usually in blackness?

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That light was on when you opened the cupboard just now, wasn't it?

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It's to stop them running around.

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They're dogs, they're in a small environment. They've got to let off steam.

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You haven't got a garden, which is not really ideal, having this amount of dogs cooped up in a small flat.

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I mean, it absolutely stinks.

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How can you live like this? Does it not get to you, the smell?

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-It's not normally like this.

-Really?

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Is it just because of last night?

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I mean this is a really small area, isn't it? That's fine for one dog

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but not two bitches and four puppies.

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There's no ventilation. When that's shut... If that light's off, they're both...

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You just lock them in a cupboard and that's not on.

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You can't lock them in a cupboard.

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-They do come out.

-Robert is clearly struggling to cope.

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-Becky offers to help.

-The dogs don't normally come in here.

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If I can get rid of the puppies for you, if I could take them

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off your hands, you don't need to lock them in that cupboard any more.

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So we can just close that off and you can use that for your clothes rather than keep dogs in the cupboard.

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Robert agrees to let the puppies go.

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Would they be able to take them today?

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But first she has to find a centre with enough space to take them.

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They're Staffordshire bull terrier cross Lurcher, eight weeks old?

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-We've got four.

-Robert can't remember exactly how old the puppies are,

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so he checks his diary, where one entry reveals a very sad story.

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"19 weeks." What does that mean, 19 weeks, is that just...?

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-It's 19 weeks being sober.

-Oh, right.

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-When I got broken into, not yesterday, the day before...

-Yeah.

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-..I had £237 saved.

-Right.

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-All my non-drinking money.

-Right.

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And they nicked it so I went on the booze.

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Right. Are you on it again now, are you able to sort of...?

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-I guess...

-You've done so well.

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Robert had been sober for almost four months,

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but when the money he'd saved from not drinking was stolen,

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it pushed him over the edge.

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It was this lapse that led him to leaving his dogs alone.

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Hello, Becky speaking.

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But at least now Becky can help.

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Can they? Brilliant.

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She's told space is available to take the puppies, allowing Robert to get things back on track.

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That's fantastic, yeah. One of our centres can take the puppies today.

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But as Becky begins to round up the puppies, Storm's behaviour gets worse.

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Stop gnawing.

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Are you OK? You're bleeding.

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Yeah, probably caught my finger.

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She repeatedly attacks Sky, the other Staffie.

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If they're going be like that all the time, you're not going to be able to keep two dogs together like that.

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Storm continues to be aggressive, attacking the puppies.

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It's all right, honey.

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This dog's actually quite scared of Storm so it's quite good

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that the puppies are going cos they're getting terrorised by her.

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Finally all four puppies are caught and Becky is able to take them away from the boisterous Staffie.

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Outside, Becky is met by Robert's mum, Daphne, and the full extent of Storm's bullying comes to light.

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If you have a look here, she's got a little nip on her head,

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that would have been from Storm.

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So I think it's best that these dogs are going now.

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In a couple of months' time, that could be a child that the dog nips

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and that won't be nice for the child or the dog.

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The pups' father, Bambi, belongs to Robert's parents.

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His presence only serves to wind Storm up even further.

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Everyone helps to take the puppies to the van.

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Really like you. Lovely, thank you.

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For Robert, there are some words of warning.

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If you can't control your dog, you need to get rid of her.

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I wouldn't want her in my house, she wouldn't come in my house being like that.

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Are you going to be at home with them, supervising them?

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You're not going to be going out now to the pub or anything like that, are you?

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I'm going to go home and tidy up.

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Although Robert's life has taken a turn for the worse,

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Storm and Sky are his companions and he doesn't want to lose them.

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I will come back to you next week and we'll re-look at this situation

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but at the moment I want to deal with the puppies.

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Yeah.

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But there's a long way to go if he's to have any chance of keeping them.

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Coming up... The tiny puppies show all the signs of a traumatic past.

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This is the little shaky one, this is the one that I think

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was getting attacked by the older dog quite a bit.

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And will this injured badger take the bait?

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Wow, it's really a privilege to be so close to such an elusive wild animal.

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Here on Animal 24:7 we do like to get close to the animals,

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but every now and then I've ended up a little bit too close and have been bitten

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by a beaver and cats, among others. Painful and inconvenient but little more than that.

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Today, though, I'll be handling something that can deliver much more than a mere flesh wound.

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This is Colleen...

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..a spectacled Cayman crocodile.

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With razor-sharp teeth and a tail that can deliver a powerful blow.

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she's a creature I'd normally prefer to keep at arm's length.

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You'll be able to see through the window in here.

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'But today, Colleen is moving to a new home to meet a new friend, and I'm here to help.'

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-Here she is.

-Yes.

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Here at Beaver Water World, Stella Quayle has been caring for the croc for the past year.

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I have now decided that she needs more to her life

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than solitary confinement, I don't think it's fair.

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They are quite a social animal.

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Though it's going to be hard for Stella to say goodbye.

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-So how are you going to feel when she goes?

-I don't want her to go, but it's for her...

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Don't start!

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But as I'm a novice reptile removal man, it'll be challenging for me too.

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I know this croc has previously had a bad attitude.

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This is Colleen in 2007...

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Back then she was called Eggs...

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..when she was rescued from a tiny shed with her friend, Bacon.

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She put up a serious fight...

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Gotcha.

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..and even injured her mate's tail in the process.

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Lost a bit on the end of its tail there.

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And it seems her bad attitude hasn't changed.

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She is a little bit feisty still, yeah.

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She's very sneaky, she's very clever, she's very calculating.

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There's only one man for this kind of job -

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dangerous animal expert Mark Amey.

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'He's going to take Colleen to his reptile centre where she can have some company.

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'If I'm going to help, I need a full safety briefing.'

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This looks like the sort of thing I've seen used with dangerous dogs.

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Use it for all dangerous animals, and of course this crocodile is under the Dangerous Animals Act.

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This is a Cayman grabber, they only close a certain way.

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So you can get overzealous on the grip and you can't hurt the Cayman.

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'Before I move on to the real thing, Mark has brought a more cuddly croc for me to practise on.'

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Tell me what parts I have to look out for, and run through that process.

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I think it's fairly obvious that the sharp bit at the front is the bit that we're going to avoid.

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The tail also can do a little bit of whipping,

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and obviously all of the scutes on the back

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-are quite sharp.

-So how are we going to secure this again?

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The gripper will go around the neck and we'll bring it out of the water. Then I'll restrain it downwards.

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The loop's going to come off and then you're going to need to replace my hand with your grippers.

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Then I can use both my hands to come up and secure the mouth.

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-Right.

-You can then take some tape and you'll go around this area here.

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Literally taping its mouth shut? It can still breathe?

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You don't have to go really, really hard and tight, it's just to stop it from opening its mouth.

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What I don't want to do is to stress the animals out

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by faffing about. The Cayman's welfare is paramount.

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'It'll be my job to carry Colleen and she's a lady I want to handle with special care.'

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Hand under the forelegs so that it can't wriggle and struggle, and that's it.

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-And off we go.

-And then do be aware that these animals also have the ability to thrash.

-Right.

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So no faces anywhere near the head.

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-So don't put it up...?

-That's not a good idea.

-OK, I think I'm ready, then.

-Good!

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I can manage THIS one!

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It's time to make our move.

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We enter Colleen's territory quietly and calmly.

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All right, Tom, are you happy?

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Yes, -ish. 'I can't help feeling anxious.'

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If it looks like she's going to thrash round then you've got a safe area there to climb on, OK?

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This is not a very safe area!

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'Mark's plan is clear and concise.'

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We'll do this nicely and gently.

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'But Colleen doesn't want to play ball.'

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She's holding her jaw down, clever.

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-OK.

-On the back?

-Yes, please.

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Thank you.

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Once Mark has Colleen restrained, it's my job to take over with the gripper.

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OK, there's no pressure on it now.

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-Off.

-Off?

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Yep.

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If we can get that away, now you can put the pressure on, please, Tom.

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I'm now going to restrain her jaws under.

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'Unsurprisingly...

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'Colleen isn't too impressed with the idea of having her mouth taped shut.'

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-Like that?

-Yeah.

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'I'm not sure who's more vulnerable here - Colleen or me.'

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-Is that enough?

-Very happy with that.

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'Even though Colleen's business end is taped up, I'm having to disguise my nervousness.'

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-OK, Tom, ready?

-I hope so.

-As we move house, you only get one go.

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OK.

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Here we go, under here.

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-So... like that.

-That's perfect underneath there.

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-Like that, and like that.

-I've got these if you feel strained.

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-Does that look right?

-That looks good to me.

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I'm tensing up holding her.

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I only hope she doesn't decide to wriggle.

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Feels absolutely amazing

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to be actually touching and stroking a real crocodile.

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You get a good feel of those plates now.

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-Yeah.

-With the back of your hand.

-They're really hard.

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When you see Colleen close up,

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it's hard to believe she was once kept in a shed.

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I'm going to lift her up slightly...

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'Mark has a customised blanket specially designed to keep crocs calm.'

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I just thread in like that?

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Perfect, all the way in.

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'Colleen is now secure and ready to go and meet her new friend.

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'But bearing in mind how she treated her old mate,

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'I can't help feeling a little anxious about how she's going to react.'

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Coming up... Kid Croc is ready and waiting.

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One of the most nerve-wracking things I've done.

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This hasn't been done before, I'm hoping this will all go swimmingly.

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And the frightened puppies finally get a taste of freedom.

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This is probably the first time that they've actually seen the outdoors.

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They're coming out of that stinking urine ammonia environment.

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That smell was just awful and now it's just fresh air, absolutely lovely for them.

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We pride ourselves on being a nation of animal lovers but the statistics tell a different story.

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Every year dozens of wild animals are killed by snares. Some are legal, others are not.

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But regardless of the legality, for those that battle to save these trapped animals,

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seeing them in such agony can be the hardest part of the job.

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Mike Winton and his wife, Sandra, have been feeding badgers in their back garden for years.

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And the finishing touch, a custard cream each.

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But now one of the visiting badgers seems to be in trouble.

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Mike believes it has been caught in a snare.

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You could pick out the glint of what looked like a metal band constricting it round the chest.

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So I went out and took some photographs and there's a band where

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the fur has all been rubbed away and it's obviously tried to get it off.

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So we're hoping that we can get hold of it tonight

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and do something about it.

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They've called the RSPCA, who are going to help catch the badger.

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First, Mike and Sandra must fill this trap with their usual spread of treats.

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Then, after a few hours, Inspector Keith Hogman arrives for a late night stakeout.

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He's hoping the injured badger will come back and take the bait.

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Keith will then pull the string that operates the trapdoor and take the badger to the vet's.

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I'll just settle myself down in this chair, I've got a bit of paperwork to do for a couple of hours.

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Hopefully it won't be too long before the badger turns up.

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So I've got a cup of tea, they've even laid on a paper on for me, the telly's on, so I'm a happy boy.

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So all he can do now is sit and wait.

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Badgers are elusive animals, they're very nervous around humans so we've set up a hidden

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night-vision camera in the garden and Keith has to keep very quiet.

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A couple of hours in, a hungry guest arrives but it's not the injured badger.

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We've got one badger coming to the trap to feed,

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not the badger that we're looking for.

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Wow, I'm really privileged to be so close to such an elusive wild animal.

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I'm just hoping the badger with the snare or the bit of wire round it does come along.

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I'm sure it will.

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The clock ticks on... and the badger doesn't show up.

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Well, it's...five past one, or so, so we've been here five hours.

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I don't know, the little badger hasn't turned up, unfortunately, which is most unusual.

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That's just one of those things, they can probably sense something's a bit different.

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So I'm going to pop off home to my bed.

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So no result tonight, and Keith's cage has been rattled.

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Oh!

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I really don't like leaving things.

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It's the next morning and Keith returns for a trip into the woods.

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The injured badger has been playing on his mind.

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He's concerned about the use of snares.

0:20:200:20:22

Badgers are a protected species and it's illegal to set snares that could trap them,

0:20:220:20:28

so Keith wants to investigate.

0:20:280:20:30

Mike takes him to the main badger sett.

0:20:330:20:35

Although he can't find any snares, Keith is concerned by some old wire fencing.

0:20:350:20:40

It appears to have been deliberately placed on top of the sett.

0:20:400:20:44

I've got no idea who's done this or put it there,

0:20:440:20:47

but with the wire turning up on the badger and this turning up,

0:20:470:20:50

I think there is foul play going on here. And badgers are one of our most protected creatures, you know.

0:20:500:20:56

It's wrong, people shouldn't get away with this.

0:20:560:20:59

His suspicions are heightened by a piece of old telegraph pole blocking an entrance to the sett.

0:20:590:21:04

It seems someone isn't happy about the presence of these badgers.

0:21:040:21:08

It just goes to show someone's been trying to disrupt this sett, perhaps move the badgers on.

0:21:080:21:13

Luckily enough for the badgers, it's easy digging here and as we've seen, there's loads of entrances.

0:21:130:21:19

Keith will keep an eye on this sett.

0:21:190:21:22

But, for now, the main concern is the injured badger. And as night falls, he's back at Mike's house.

0:21:230:21:29

This time he's not going to leave without it.

0:21:290:21:33

Tonight I think we're going to stay until light if need be.

0:21:330:21:36

Let's hope it's not that long, let's hope we get it before midnight.

0:21:360:21:39

But if need be, I'm willing to stay up that long.

0:21:390:21:42

Again there's early disappointment,

0:21:500:21:52

although not for the perfectly healthy badger

0:21:520:21:55

that turns up for another feed.

0:21:550:21:58

He knows we're here but he's not frightened of us.

0:21:580:22:01

I'm just hoping he's going to attract the injured one up.

0:22:010:22:05

Eventually, though, the injured badger does show.

0:22:130:22:18

This is the badger in question.

0:22:180:22:19

We've just got to be very patient now.

0:22:190:22:22

Keith can see the injury and it looks worse than he'd anticipated.

0:22:220:22:26

You can clearly see the wound on his back.

0:22:290:22:32

That looks bad.

0:22:320:22:34

It seems reluctant to go into the cage.

0:22:340:22:38

Given the ordeal it's suffered, this badger will be very nervous

0:22:380:22:42

and Keith doesn't want to startle it.

0:22:420:22:44

If it runs now, he might never get another chance.

0:22:440:22:48

Just move very slowly

0:22:490:22:53

and hopefully he will go into the trap to feed.

0:22:530:22:56

Eventually the badger falls into Keith's humane trap.

0:22:560:23:00

I'm going to let him start eating.

0:23:000:23:02

And Keith pulls the string to shut the door.

0:23:060:23:09

The badger is terrified.

0:23:110:23:14

Looking at the injuries, there's no time to waste.

0:23:140:23:16

Keith wants an expert opinion.

0:23:160:23:19

He rushes the badger straight to the vet's. The wound doesn't look good.

0:23:220:23:26

But the fact she's been eating and putting up a fight gives Keith some hope.

0:23:280:23:34

She's quite aggressive,

0:23:340:23:36

which is obviously good.

0:23:360:23:39

The badger is in pain after having wire wrapped round her for days,

0:23:390:23:44

and she's also frightened to be so close to humans.

0:23:440:23:48

Keith needs to hold the badger still

0:23:530:23:55

so vet Karen can sedate her and examine the wounds.

0:23:550:23:59

Once the badger's settled, Keith cuts the snare away

0:24:000:24:04

and the extent of her injuries become clear.

0:24:040:24:07

Oh, yeah, it's gone right underneath.

0:24:070:24:09

Keith has a closer look at the snare and doesn't like what he sees.

0:24:090:24:13

This was probably bought as a free-running snare, which is totally legal.

0:24:130:24:18

But it's been twisted round to make it into what I think is a self-locking snare.

0:24:180:24:23

So once it tightens, it just won't...it won't loosen.

0:24:230:24:29

So what I imagine happened,

0:24:290:24:32

she's pushed her way through and it's gone over her neck.

0:24:320:24:35

The snare's come away from its holding and she's obviously

0:24:350:24:38

been able to get away but the snare's still on her very tight.

0:24:380:24:41

The severity of this injury and the fact the badger is petrified

0:24:410:24:46

of people, means that treatment would just be too traumatic.

0:24:460:24:50

Personally, I think the wounds are quite extensive

0:24:500:24:54

and aren't going to heal, really.

0:24:540:24:56

-Yeah.

-They need a lot of work done and a lot of antibiotics.

0:24:560:24:59

-Yeah.

-So I think the fairest thing is to put her down, really.

0:24:590:25:02

-Yeah, I totally agree with that.

-It's a shame.

0:25:020:25:03

I think going by her age as well.

0:25:030:25:05

-Yeah.

-She's not a young badger.

0:25:050:25:07

Sadly the badger has to be put to sleep, but Keith can take comfort from knowing that if she hadn't been

0:25:070:25:13

spotted and brought in to the vet's, she'd have suffered a much slower, more painful death.

0:25:130:25:19

We've done the right thing for this animal by putting her to sleep.

0:25:190:25:22

She's not suffering now but someone knows who set this snare and has caused this to this animal.

0:25:220:25:27

So I'm going to look into that a bit further.

0:25:270:25:31

No animal should go through this.

0:25:310:25:33

Nothing should be persecuted like this.

0:25:330:25:35

These things are just disgusting.

0:25:350:25:38

If I had my way, whoever set this should be banged up for six months.

0:25:380:25:43

Later... the two Caymans reach a stalemate

0:25:510:25:55

in the battle to be top croc.

0:25:550:25:58

You're best off out, Tom.

0:25:580:25:59

Best off out, OK. What are you expecting to happen here, Mark?

0:25:590:26:03

I want one of them to let go.

0:26:030:26:05

Earlier in the programme we saw RSPCA inspector Becky London

0:26:080:26:13

remove four puppies from a flat in the south-east of the capital.

0:26:130:26:16

They had spent most of their lives locked in a dark and dirty cupboard,

0:26:160:26:22

and they'd been bullied by a rather boisterous Staffie called Storm.

0:26:220:26:26

Becky has now found space for them at a rehoming centre

0:26:260:26:30

but first they need a medical.

0:26:300:26:32

At Southridge RSPCA Centre...

0:26:390:26:41

..there's a reception committee waiting for Becky and the four tiny puppies.

0:26:440:26:48

Here they are. How nice are they? They're lovely, aren't they?

0:26:480:26:52

-Cute.

-They're hoping the dogs have travelled well.

0:26:520:26:54

Oh, you're the little frightened one, come on.

0:26:540:26:57

Oh, she's been a bit sick.

0:27:010:27:04

Kennel hand Anna Ridley begins the checks.

0:27:090:27:12

All little girls.

0:27:120:27:14

-Four girls, yeah.

-She looks OK.

0:27:140:27:18

The puppies spent most of their lives in a dark cupboard being terrorised by bigger dogs.

0:27:210:27:27

This is the little shaky one that I had at the beginning.

0:27:270:27:29

This is the one that I think was getting attacked by the older dog.

0:27:290:27:33

It's small wonder they're frightened.

0:27:330:27:35

They would have just been nervous of other dogs,

0:27:350:27:37

they could have just grown up being quite timid and just not themselves.

0:27:370:27:42

It's just not healthy for them just being scared all the time.

0:27:420:27:45

Each puppy is given a check,

0:27:450:27:48

microchipped,

0:27:480:27:50

and wormed. It doesn't taste nice...

0:27:500:27:53

They don't really like it, so you tend to get it spat in your face.

0:27:530:27:57

..but it can be a lifesaver for young puppies.

0:27:570:28:00

All puppies are keen to explore,

0:28:050:28:07

and slowly but surely these four begin to come out of their shells.

0:28:070:28:12

She just wants to go and play with her sisters, don't you?

0:28:120:28:16

That's what you're looking at, playing.

0:28:160:28:18

Ah, there. Oh, they're going to get such good homes.

0:28:200:28:24

Their lovable personalities are finally starting to shine through.

0:28:250:28:29

Absolutely brilliant. I mean, they're so lively, they're so playful.

0:28:290:28:32

I think they'll come into their own now.

0:28:320:28:34

They're in their own little element now.

0:28:340:28:36

They can be their own boss, basically.

0:28:360:28:41

The puppies will be put up for rehoming in a few weeks' time.

0:28:410:28:45

For now, it's out into the big wide world.

0:28:450:28:48

This is probably the first time that they've actually seen the outdoors.

0:28:480:28:52

They're coming out of that stinking urine ammonia environment.

0:28:520:28:55

That smell was just awful and now it's just fresh air, absolutely lovely for them.

0:28:550:29:01

The puppies will stay at the centre until they've had all their vaccinations.

0:29:010:29:05

Then they'll be on the lookout for new homes.

0:29:050:29:07

So the future is absolutely brilliant for these guys,

0:29:070:29:11

they'll all get rehomed really quickly, everybody wants a puppy.

0:29:110:29:15

Brilliant.

0:29:150:29:17

For Becky it's been a successful day,

0:29:180:29:21

but there's still plenty of work to do with the original owner.

0:29:210:29:25

Still to come...

0:29:340:29:36

A new life for the puppies, but old memories die hard.

0:29:360:29:41

She's a little bit wary of the dark, especially if we try and take her

0:29:410:29:45

for a walk late at night, she doesn't like going.

0:29:450:29:48

Earlier in the programme I helped capture Colleen the Cayman crocodile.

0:29:510:29:56

Caymans are social animals so Colleen was being taken

0:29:560:29:59

to meet a new croc in the hope they'd make friends.

0:29:590:30:02

But Colleen has a bad reputation so the big question, how will she react when she meets Kid Croc?

0:30:020:30:10

This is Colleen's new home...

0:30:200:30:23

..and this is Kid Croc, her new housemate.

0:30:240:30:27

He's a different type of Cayman from Colleen so they can't breed,

0:30:290:30:33

but it's hoped they can be friends.

0:30:330:30:36

'After a 2½ hour drive, I'm curious to see if Colleen's mood has brightened.'

0:30:360:30:41

Do you think she'll still be wrapped up in that blanket?

0:30:410:30:44

No, I don't think she'll be wrapped up in it, I think she'll be safe and secure and probably cuddling it.

0:30:440:30:48

-Throw the covers off?

-That's it.

0:30:480:30:50

'And Mark is right.'

0:30:500:30:53

There she is, still looks as still as ever.

0:30:540:30:57

But it always makes me a bit nervous, that stillness. I think, "Is she going to suddenly move?"

0:30:570:31:01

They're completely still and doing nothing,

0:31:010:31:04

and suddenly they can burst into an enormous amount of energy and power.

0:31:040:31:08

So there's no middle stage, there's not a kind of warning of beginning to move. It's either that or bang?

0:31:080:31:12

-Yeah. It's survival.

-Well, I'll let you get her out, then!

-Thank you.

0:31:120:31:16

And she's fine.

0:31:170:31:19

As soon as you've touched the animal, you can actually

0:31:190:31:23

guess exactly the way she's going to be, and she's absolutely fine.

0:31:230:31:26

'Colleen seems to be in a good mood, so I dare to get hands-on again.'

0:31:260:31:32

-On there?

-Yep, brilliant.

0:31:320:31:34

Hand underneath, hand on top.

0:31:340:31:35

Don't think I've quite got her right.

0:31:350:31:37

There we go, that's better. Then hand on there.

0:31:370:31:40

I may have done this before

0:31:400:31:42

but I wouldn't say I feel entirely confident.

0:31:420:31:45

Colleen may have a record for attacking her friends

0:31:470:31:51

but Kid Croc can also be temperamental.

0:31:510:31:54

Come on, Kid, back up.

0:31:540:31:56

Ah ah ah, back up, back up.

0:31:560:31:58

-'Mark goes ahead to make sure that Kid gives her some space.'

-OK, Tom?

0:31:580:32:02

Righto.

0:32:020:32:04

-This is Colleen's first chance to see her new room-mate.

-Sure.

0:32:040:32:08

'She's carried slowly towards the water under the watchful eye of Kid Croc.'

0:32:080:32:13

I'm just going to ask you to remove that tape.

0:32:130:32:16

It is with some trepidation that I take the last coil off this tape.

0:32:160:32:22

She's not going to suddenly snap?

0:32:230:32:25

No, I've got hold of her jaw.

0:32:250:32:28

I'm relieved about that.

0:32:280:32:30

How are you going to introduce her?

0:32:300:32:32

I'm going to introduce her down in that corner,

0:32:320:32:35

keep Kid over the other side so she'll go straight under the water.

0:32:350:32:39

If she goes under the water then he'll see her as another crocodilian rather than a food item.

0:32:390:32:45

How much concern is there that they won't get on?

0:32:450:32:49

It's one of the most nerve-wracking things I've done.

0:32:490:32:52

This hasn't been done before. I'm hoping this will all go swimmingly.

0:32:520:32:56

It would be a lovely environment for her. But we won't know until we try.

0:32:560:33:00

And if they start to fight, what can you do?

0:33:000:33:02

I'll have to step in and see if I can actually put the status quo in by telling them both off.

0:33:020:33:08

Good luck. I'll be watching from the other side of this wall!

0:33:080:33:11

A good place to be.

0:33:110:33:13

'But who's to say Kid Croc is keen to share his des res?'

0:33:180:33:22

Well, so far, so good.

0:33:220:33:24

Yeah, it's exactly as I would have hoped the reaction would have been.

0:33:240:33:28

So he's basically paid her no nevermind,

0:33:280:33:31

she's gone into defensive mode, gone straight underneath the water.

0:33:310:33:34

Being a male and a female there should be no animosity.

0:33:340:33:37

-Two males, it'd be a different kettle of fish.

-Oh, hello...

0:33:370:33:41

He's got a bit of leg there.

0:33:450:33:47

It's not as bad as you think, there's no thrashing going on.

0:33:470:33:51

You've got to wait for them to let go.

0:33:510:33:54

'The two crocs have arrived at a stalemate. It's a case of "I'll let go if you do".

0:33:540:33:59

You're best off out, Tom.

0:33:590:34:01

Best off out, OK.

0:34:010:34:03

'Minutes go by, yet neither croc seems willing to give in.

0:34:040:34:09

'Mark stays remarkably calm.'

0:34:090:34:12

Colleen's letting go.

0:34:120:34:13

-Have you dealt with this before?

-Yeah.

0:34:150:34:18

I'm amazed how hands-on you are.

0:34:190:34:22

What are you expecting to happen here, Mark?

0:34:240:34:27

I want one of them to let go.

0:34:270:34:29

'But no-one's budging.'

0:34:290:34:32

So far, they're holding

0:34:330:34:35

rather than biting in hard.

0:34:350:34:38

This one's just holding.

0:34:380:34:40

You mean it's like a...

0:34:400:34:42

-like a grip more than a real bite, hard bite to injure?

-Yeah.

0:34:420:34:46

'Finally there's a truce. Mark acts quickly.'

0:34:460:34:50

Now I'm hoping they've got that out of their system.

0:34:520:34:55

You can really see what supreme predators they are.

0:34:550:34:58

Ooh, she's just had another go.

0:34:580:35:00

Yeah.

0:35:000:35:01

He's got a little mark on the side of his face,

0:35:030:35:06

which I'm not worried about at all.

0:35:060:35:08

I'll have a look at Colleen's foot.

0:35:080:35:11

Not a single mark on it.

0:35:110:35:13

-Really?

-Not a single mark on it.

0:35:130:35:15

I think that happened through the thrashing, not the teeth.

0:35:150:35:19

So the teeth have made no marks, so it's basically,

0:35:190:35:23

"Who are you? I'm going to hold on to you till I find out what you are."

0:35:230:35:27

Sort of sizing each other up?

0:35:270:35:28

Yeah. And don't forget we've also invaded his territory,

0:35:280:35:32

so he's going to hold on to that thing and find out what it is first.

0:35:320:35:35

When you were trying to separate them, you just got right in there with your hands.

0:35:350:35:40

-Is there not a real danger that they might just have a piece of you?

-That's true.

0:35:400:35:44

But it's always after the event, isn't it?

0:35:440:35:47

I had no choice, I don't want them to get injured,

0:35:470:35:49

I don't want them to get harmed, and it's my responsibility because I've done all this.

0:35:490:35:53

The only way I could actually see to do that is to actually try and shake them out of that mode.

0:35:530:35:59

But your experience tells you that they're at least unlikely to turn on you.

0:35:590:36:03

-And I've also positioned myself where they can't get me.

-Right.

0:36:030:36:06

So how are you going to keep an eye on them for the next 24 hours?

0:36:060:36:09

See, these guys are predominantly nocturnal, so their active period

0:36:090:36:14

-is going to be when the lights go out and that's the period of time that I have to be more diligent.

-Right.

0:36:140:36:19

But it's also the period of time when they can get

0:36:190:36:22

to know each other on their terms rather than me forcing the issue.

0:36:220:36:25

It really will be 24:7 for you, then?

0:36:250:36:28

It really will be 24:7 for me, yeah.

0:36:280:36:31

All seems quiet for now,

0:36:340:36:36

but Mark will be keeping a close eye on the crocs, just in case.

0:36:360:36:40

I'm pleased to say that Kid Croc and Colleen have got over their

0:36:460:36:50

teething troubles and are now best of friends.

0:36:500:36:53

Now we're back with RSPCA inspector Becky London.

0:36:530:36:57

Earlier, Becky took four puppies away from a home in the capital.

0:36:570:37:03

They were being kept in a dark and dirty cupboard,

0:37:030:37:05

and bullied by a boisterous Staffie called Storm.

0:37:050:37:09

A week has passed since Becky met Robert and his dogs.

0:37:140:37:18

Today she's keen to find out if Storm and Sky's behaviour has improved.

0:37:180:37:24

She also wants to know if Robert is coping better now that he just has two dogs to care for.

0:37:240:37:29

How are you?

0:37:310:37:32

First impressions are good.

0:37:320:37:34

The flat is much tidier.

0:37:340:37:36

It's nice to see you've got a dog bed down,

0:37:360:37:39

that's brilliant.

0:37:390:37:40

They've got a tiny amount of water, you might want to...

0:37:430:37:47

just fill your water up.

0:37:470:37:49

And Robert tells Becky he's off the booze again and he's starting to get his life back on track.

0:37:500:37:56

Because of that binging drink I went on,

0:37:560:37:58

I've just about recovered.

0:37:580:38:00

-Right. Are you off the drink?

-Yeah.

0:38:000:38:03

It smells fresh, I can't smell urine, faeces, like I did last week. It was awful, I had to hold my breath.

0:38:030:38:09

Can I have a quick look at your room where the toilet was before and the urine?

0:38:090:38:14

And inside the bedroom, there are more improvements.

0:38:140:38:17

Oh, yeah, it just smells all fresh.

0:38:170:38:20

The area of concern was the floor, wasn't it? The urine was really strong, it was damp.

0:38:200:38:25

I was treading in faeces. That's brilliant.

0:38:250:38:28

You don't lock any dogs in the cupboard any more?

0:38:280:38:30

You use that for your own clothes now?

0:38:300:38:32

-Yeah.

-Yeah, because a cupboard is for your clothes, not for dogs.

0:38:320:38:36

Robert seems to be coping better,

0:38:370:38:39

but Storm and Sky are still provoking each other.

0:38:390:38:42

-Would you call this play-fighting when you see them?

-Yes.

0:38:420:38:45

Yeah, I mean Sky's giving as good as she gets now, isn't she?

0:38:450:38:49

I've been trying to stop them. Storm, get to bed.

0:38:490:38:52

Yeah. But I mean that's play-fighting, isn't it?

0:38:520:38:55

Storm, get to bed.

0:38:550:38:58

Both their tails are wagging.

0:38:580:39:00

-Well, she's doing what you say.

-Yes.

0:39:000:39:03

The dogs are noticeably calmer.

0:39:060:39:08

Coming in here, it's a different atmosphere. It just feels really quiet. A bit unusual.

0:39:080:39:13

But the dogs are actually well behaved when they want to be.

0:39:130:39:16

But Becky's still keen to see how much control Robert has got.

0:39:170:39:21

Bed. ..Storm.

0:39:210:39:24

She got on her bed and she's sitting, so she is listening to you.

0:39:240:39:27

That's really good, Robert, your dogs are well behaved.

0:39:270:39:31

Well, they're acting completely normal now, the way dogs should be.

0:39:310:39:35

The difference in a week is remarkable.

0:39:350:39:37

I think the dogs will be OK from here on in.

0:39:370:39:40

He walks them separately, he knows the dogs' limits now.

0:39:400:39:44

When they start to get nippy, he'll separate them, which is brilliant.

0:39:440:39:48

Becky is delighted with the improvements Robert has made.

0:39:480:39:52

See, look, now she's interested in the toy.

0:39:520:39:55

Well, done, Robert, you've done a good job.

0:39:550:39:57

And as Becky leaves, Robert isn't far behind.

0:40:000:40:04

-Storm.

-Another training session for Storm and proof that he really is

0:40:040:40:09

committed to keeping these dogs on the straight and narrow.

0:40:090:40:12

Forty miles away, in Luton, there's another happy ending.

0:40:140:40:18

-One of Sky's puppies, Lily, is also getting used to a new way of life.

-Come on.

0:40:180:40:23

Lily has been adopted by Darren and Kelly,

0:40:230:40:26

who quickly discovered she was one puppy who didn't want to be alone.

0:40:260:40:30

The first couple of nights, she had some separation anxiety from the rest of her siblings.

0:40:300:40:36

We had kind of tried to set her up in her own bed and give her an area,

0:40:360:40:41

but she didn't like it and she now sleeps with us in our bedroom.

0:40:410:40:46

-Belly rub?

-But despite these teething problems, Lily has won the hearts of her new owners.

0:40:460:40:52

She is adorable and she loves her cuddles. A really affectionate dog.

0:40:520:40:56

Part of the family, aren't you?

0:40:560:40:58

Half an hour away, Lily's sister, Summer, has also found a new family.

0:40:590:41:04

The Butterfields had been looking for a new dog after their old one died a couple of years ago.

0:41:060:41:12

We looked at all sorts of puppies advertised locally, pet shops, that sort of thing.

0:41:140:41:19

Couldn't really find anything that suited our needs, so we had a trip

0:41:190:41:23

round the RSPCA kennels and there we saw Summer.

0:41:230:41:27

Summer spent most of her early life locked in a dingy wardrobe

0:41:270:41:30

being terrorised by the older Staffie,

0:41:300:41:34

and it seems this is still playing on her mind.

0:41:340:41:37

She's a little bit wary of the dark, especially if we try and take her

0:41:370:41:42

for a walk late at night, she doesn't like going.

0:41:420:41:44

She's a little bit wary of some dogs but other than that she's pretty good with other people.

0:41:440:41:50

-She just wants to go and greet them.

-So thanks to Becky's hard work...

0:41:500:41:53

Hello, Sky. Are you coming to say hello?

0:41:530:41:56

..and Robert's determination to change, this story really does have a happy ending.

0:41:560:42:01

If you think you know of a case of wildlife crime or a creature that needs immediate protection,

0:42:050:42:11

remember there are people out there who will answer your call right around the clock.

0:42:110:42:16

They are who we meet on Animal 24:7.

0:42:160:42:19

Next time on Animal 24:7...

0:42:210:42:25

Killing for kicks - a sickening attack on a family of swans.

0:42:250:42:30

It doesn't matter how many times you see it, the job you go to always affects you.

0:42:300:42:34

It shouldn't have to happen.

0:42:340:42:36

The tiny kittens who are missing their mum.

0:42:360:42:39

These kittens are going to die if we don't intervene.

0:42:390:42:42

They can't feed themselves at that age,

0:42:420:42:44

they need to be either bottle-fed by someone or ideally fed by Mum.

0:42:440:42:48

And are these fish about to go down the pan?

0:42:480:42:51

TOILET FLUSHES

0:42:510:42:55

A couple of goldfish in the gents as well.

0:42:550:42:57

It does give you something to look at, I suppose.

0:42:570:43:00

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd.

0:43:080:43:11

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:110:43:14

Series following people who protect and work closely with wildlife and domestic animals.

Four puppies shut in a dark wardrobe are freed. Presenter Tom Heap helps a temperamental croc move home, and there's a late-night stake-out to try to catch a snared badger.


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