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Hello, and welcome to Animal Park.
-I'm Kate Humble...
-..and I'm Ben Fogle, and we're beside the lake
in the safari park, home to the magnificent pink-backed pelican.
Longleat was the first place in the country to successfully breed these African birds and everyone is hoping
that there may be the patter of tiny webbed feet a little later in the year.
We'll be going behind the scenes to see a whole host of other animals, including...
The rare Pere David stag has got its antlers in a twist.
Oh, I hit him, did I?
Tim Yeo has to take drastic action.
We catch up with the new arrivals.
'At the camel barn, Bactrian baby Elvis has bounced onto the scene.
'While out in the paddock there are three new kids on the block.'
And I have a rare opportunity to get a close look at the new wolf cubs.
Too close for the wolf pack's comfort.
-They're coming over.
-Oh, yeah, they are coming back.
At the keeper's lodge, head of section Tim Yeo is preparing for a difficult task.
It's not something he's looking forward to.
This morning, on his rounds out in the enclosure, he spotted something worrying.
Somehow the Pere David stag had managed to get a piece of fencing wire tangled in his antlers.
Pere David deer are listed as critically endangered in the wild.
With just a few thousand left in the world,
the park's five females and one male are incredibly precious animals.
Tim must act quickly or the stag could get badly hurt.
The only way that we can remove the wire is to sedate him, which can
be quite a difficult job because they're very difficult to get close to.
But no other way of removing it, I mean, it's got to come off.
If it stays, he's liable to get more and more tangled up in it and it's an enormous hazard to him.
Darting is always stressful for an animal.
It's a tricky procedure, but Tim is highly trained, and knows how to do it as safely as possible.
There are risks to
the animal, obviously, but in this instance there's no other way - we have to do this.
It's crucial to get the amount of sedative right.
Too small a dose and the stag won't go to sleep,
but too large a dose could kill him.
To get close to the stag, Tim's come up with a cunning plan.
He's going to go with the film crew in their vehicle.
I'm hoping that perhaps we can go in disguise somewhat, you know.
This vehicle's very good because they do tend to get suspicious of
certain vehicles and certainly mine they see a lot and they're very suspicious of it.
They shouldn't be, and probably won't be, with this one.
The Pere David are shy creatures and very quick on their feet, so they're extremely difficult to dart.
Can we stop there, Will, please?
Tim wants to get as close as possible to make sure his first shot is accurate.
'You get really one good chance at this, and that's the first chance, because'
if it goes wrong the first time, the stag we are trying to sedate is wary
and presents a far more difficult target the second time and beyond.
The Pere David are not cooperating.
He doesn't really present a shot at the minute.
Tim is still at quite a long range from the stag, but suddenly he sees a chance.
No, I missed.
Unfortunately, the dart went wide.
Tim has to pick it up and start again.
Having missed once it's going to be even harder now.
Keep going, Will, just keep going as steady as you are.
The Pere David are nervous, and even more wary than before.
TIM WHISTLES SOFTLY
But eventually Tim sees another opportunity.
Oh, I hit him, did I? I don't know if I hit him.
-You think you got him?
-I don't know if I hit him.
I swung through and...
I'm not sure.
The shot was good, but somehow the stag is still standing up.
The last dart hit him, but he didn't receive the whole drug so its not been nearly enough to
sedate him, get him into a state that we can actually deal with him.
So I feel now
we need to back off, leave it well alone for tonight.
I think we need to
start afresh tomorrow.
We'll be back to see if Tim can sedate the stag before it gets badly injured by the wire.
# I see the bare moon rising
# I see trouble on the way
Safely separated from the deer in a nearby enclosure live the park's 18 Canadian Timber wolves.
11 males and seven females.
Two Tip is the alpha male,
and Frieda is the alpha female.
Wolf packs are strictly hierarchical, and usually only the alphas are allowed to breed.
The other wolves contribute by helping to look after the cubs when they're born.
Recently, keepers noticed that Frieda was expecting,
so they built her a nice box to have the cubs in.
But she ignored it and chose instead to have her cubs at the base of a large tree.
It's lucky for us because now we have a rare opportunity to see the
little cubs weeks before they would normally come out into the open.
Oh, look at those. Well, I'm up in Wolf Wood with keeper Bob Trollope.
What a fantastic moment, Bob.
Now the adults have all disappeared - they're being fed at the moment.
This gives us an ample opportunity just to come over and check
how many we've got. This is the first time we've got here.
-It looks like there are, one, two, three, four, five...in there?
Blind at the moment? It looks like they've got their eyes closed.
Their eyes are closed and they'll be like that for a week or two,
but we don't normally see them like this because they're in a den.
Yeah, right underground.
We only ever see them at about four weeks old when they're
brave enough to venture out, so this is great.
It's fantastic. It's absolutely fantastic.
Obviously it's quite hard to tell from here, but all of them look
a reasonable size, they look quite robust, they look pretty healthy.
I mean, do you think this looks like a good litter?
Well, it is early days.
As you said, they do look really plump and healthy, um,
and we know they have been suckling, but it is early days, and
if the weather turns nasty, who knows what's going to happen?
And how about the rest of the pack?
They do bond much closer together at this time of year.
One Tip, especially, is very quick at chasing our vehicles off...
if we go anywhere near the tree.
-So he's being a really protective dad.
-He's not the dad!
Two Tips is the dad and One Tip is the one that comes along and chases us off.
He's doing his job. He's the foreman.
-Two Tips is the boss and he's the foreman.
Right. He's the heavy that gets in to do the bullying work.
Yeah, he's the henchman.
They're coming over. I don't know if you can see them.
-Oh, yeah, they're coming back.
-So we might have to move.
We don't want to stress any of them too much, we'll pull away slightly.
It is amazing.
This is brilliant stuff, though, this is.
It's extraordinary, because it just shows even though they're obviously used to vehicles
and the public coming round here, that their wild instincts to protect the cubs are absolutely intact.
It's incredible, and they will grab hold of something and they will not let go.
So what they're doing now is what you would want them to do.
-It's brilliant. I think we're going to have to go further than I anticipated.
Yeah, they're really having a go at us, aren't they? I have to say, I'm very glad I'm in the truck.
I'm glad it's not my vehicle!
That's amazing, isn't it? What we're seeing so well is this co-ordination between all of them as well.
We're at a safe distance now and they've just left us.
So we're no threat to the cubs, so we're obviously away enough for them
to warrant going back to their food or going back and checking the cubs.
Well, Bob, that was an amazing, amazing view of those tiny cubs.
I mean, just fantastic.
Hopefully, over the next few weeks we'll see them grow up and
become healthy members of the pack, but congratulations.
-I know it's always a worrying time for you, but you must be very relieved.
Over at the East Africa Reserve live the park's ten African pygmy goats.
Although they're famous for their fertility, it's been a long time since any kids were born here.
But now keeper Bev Evans is hoping that's all about to change.
At the moment, we've got seven female pygmy goats.
About six years ago, we decided to castrate our males just to keep our numbers down.
At one time we've had 35 pygmy goats here, so ten really is a much better number for us.
But as our herd's getting a lot older we've brought in a billy to get a bit of fresh blood, really.
We don't really now if he's going to take his time to get to know them as such, and find his feet cos it's
different surroundings for him, or whether he's just going to carry on and get on with the job.
The lucky stud is a two-and-a-half year old goat named Jon-Joe.
He's come here on loan from a safari park
in West Glamorgan to carry out this special mission.
I was expecting something a little bit bigger,
but he is a proper pygmy so, yeah, he's a very good looking goat.
Bev may be confident of Jon-Joe's credentials, but the female goats or does don't seem quite so impressed.
Jon-Joe does seem quite interested, but to be honest, maybe some of the females aren't in season yet.
A lot of them are quite old, so to be honest, they might not all conceive.
And if they do they might just have single births, but we're hoping for twins from each.
It might not be love at first sight, but given time the horny
little billy goat manages to do what he came for.
Two weeks after he arrived, Bev has good news.
We've definitely seen Jon-Joe mating Sunflower and Allie, so we
definitely know that he's been doing well with some of the girls.
We imagine he's got on with it with the rest of the girls, but we're gonna have to wait and see.
For Jon-Joe, it's mission accomplished.
He's been an absolutely excellent goat.
He has actually done his job, and he's done it really well, and, yeah, he's got to go back home.
We'll be back to see if Jon-Joe's labours will bear fruit.
Elsewhere in the park, the breeding season's already well underway.
# Well, bless my soul, what's wrong with me?
Just days ago, Bactrian camel Barley gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Elvis.
# I'm in love, I'm all shook up... #
Elvis had a bit of a shaky start, as he was born with a weak hind leg.
# I can't seem to stand on my own two feet... #
Thankfully, within days the leg strengthened and Elvis was soon kicking up his heels in glee.
I'm a big fan of Bactrian camels, so today I'm in for a treat.
I am up in the new area with deputy head of section Kevin Nibbs, and one of the newest residents here.
How old is this little fellow?
-He is only a few days old at the moment.
-He is exquisite.
-He is a perfect little camel.
-He is a miniature.
Why have we got him out today? What's happening?
We've got to give him a little calcium supplement.
-Why are we giving him that?
-When he was born he struggled for the first 24-48 hours,
getting up, and we thought maybe it's a lack of vitamins and minerals so this is a calcium boost.
So you just pour it into his mouth?
-Like a very strong milk?
-Yes. He takes it quite nicely now.
-How often does he get that?
-He will get this every morning.
-Shall I hold him anywhere in particular?
Yes, just to stop him backing away.
He will get this every morning, for a good few weeks, now.
He's suckling from his mother as well at this time.
Yes. He is getting lots of milk.
There we go. So that's going to help his bones and things, is it?
Yes. Strong bones, strong teeth.
A really powerful source of milk, that is all it is.
He's got this rather different colour to the other camels.
Is that mum there?
-That's mum there, yes.
-She's peering through us.
-Is she quite protective?
-Yes, mum is very protective which is why we have brought him out here away from her.
That grey coat will fade away and it will turn brown.
Just like mum and dad, they are quite dark.
Obviously, by the fact that there are two humps, he's obviously
a Bactrian. Are they quite rare in wild?
-Yes. They are very endangered in the wild. There are less than 1,000 in the wild.
-That is incredible.
So it is a pretty important thing for the world.
Not just for our breeding programme but for the worldwide programme.
He's going to be a very important feature of it.
It is exciting for you when you get a new arrival like this?
It is. This is my first baby that I've seen.
For me, it's quite a privilege to get hold of him and do things like this with him.
Quite a frisky little baby as well!
He is. You can see how powerful he is just after a few days.
Give him a few weeks, he will be a nightmare.
He's making a few noises now, we should probably start putting him back in.
Shall I open that and let him back in? You want to go in there?
-She is really waiting, isn't she?
-He's off to get more milk now.
Fantastic. Kevin, thank you very much for letting me help out
and we will be following his progress through out the series.
This morning, head of section Tim Yeo is up bright and early,
preparing himself for an important mission.
Today, he has a second chance to dart the rare Pere David stag
who has managed to get fencing wire tangled in his antlers.
Yesterday, Tim scored a hit on the stag but sadly, the dart malfunctioned.
It failed to deliver the sedative drug and is still stuck in the Stag's thick hide.
It is vital that the wire is removed as soon as possible,
before the stag gets more tangled up and hurts himself.
So today, the pressure is on to get it right.
To get close to the stag without being recognised, Tim is going with our film crew in their car.
He wants to be within 30 metres of his target when he takes the first shot.
If he misses, as he did yesterday, the stag will become more skittish
than usual and almost impossible to hit.
But the other animals are not co-operating.
Right all around. Oh, no. Give me a break. Give me a break.
Good boy. Good boy. Come on, then. Come on, then.
It's a waiting game as Tim stalks the stag around his favourite wallow.
He's telling them to get out. I'm going in.
It is not the ideal place to bring him down.
The trouble is that shooting him down like that...
I'm not happy about it.
If sedated here, the stag might drown.
Tim has got to be patient.
But eventually, he sees his chance.
As it is designed to, the dart falls out once the drug goes in.
Thank God for that. That looked very good.
It has gone well into muscle, right into the rump.
So, fingers crossed, now, we will just wait and see what happens.
It takes a few minutes for the drug to work.
But soon, the entangled stag begins to drift off to sleep.
I'm just giving it time for the drug to fully take effect.
I know he has been down a little while but if we move in too quickly, he could get up.
He's not likely to do that but we have had it in the past.
If you move in too quickly, adrenalin, they're up and they're away.
The less stimulation we give him now, the better.
As soon as they're confident that the deer is out cold,
the team can approach him. Deputy Head Warden Ian Turner is on hand to help.
It will just come off Ian, I suppose, will it?
It is, more or less.
They want to do this quickly
so the stag is sedated for as little time as possible.
But they have to be gentle.
Oh, I see.
Just mind yourself because I am pulling his leg out.
Shall we cut some of that?
Here you go, Ed.
A side-effect of the drug is that the stag
loses the ability to regulate his own body temperature.
So Tim must make sure he doesn't overheat.
Then it is time to administer the antidote to rouse him.
OK, I think we could move off when we are ready, couldn't we?
-Anybody who does not need to be here, get back.
We just pull away now and leave him.
Now, Tim can only wait and hope that the stag will recover.
Within minutes, the stag wakes up.
He's a little groggy for a moment
but then he trots off to rejoin the herd as if nothing had happened.
The operation has been a success.
I'm so happy that we've managed
to catch him and remove this wire which is forever a hazard.
It had begun to wrap around one of his hind legs.
So it's a relief that we've removed it
before it's been able to do any damage.
He's back with the hinds now and life goes on.
Back at the East Africa reserve,
five months have passed since male African pygmy goat Jon-Joe
met and mingled with the seven female goats.
Now, the first of his kids have been born.
Keeper Bev Evans has brought Safari Park vet Duncan Williams to check on them.
Last night, she gave birth to twins, a boy and girl.
It was amazing to find two little ones with her so that was really good.
These two kids are doing well. But sadly, the news is not all good.
Gee and Sunflower gave birth to stillborn babies.
Now Gee is behaving strangely.
Obviously, we have Duncan in looking at everybody today, making sure they are all right.
But it is a bit of a worry, because it is possibly down to their age and
the fact they've never had babies before they are having stillborns.
She seems a little bit distressed and disturbed.
That is probably because she has lost her babies and she's looking around for them.
But Bev is delighted she has two healthy kids to add to the herd she looks after.
It is my first experience with pygmy goats and it is quite a shock to see how small they are.
They are absolutely tiny.
But such a big voice as well!
Really high pitched, really vocal.
Especially when you take them and move them to their mums.
Just days later, head of section Andy Hayton
and the team move the mums and their kids back into the paddock to join the rest of the herd.
Gee seems to have recovered well from her ordeal.
For the two youngsters, it will be the first taste of the wide open enclosure.
Just get them out and...
we like our animals
to be as normal as possible.
Get them into a normal frame of mind and routine of doing things as quickly as we can. Yes.
Get them out and let the kids see it.
Goats are highly social animals.
So Andy and the team want to introduce the kids to the rest of the herd as quickly as possible.
But there is one potential problem.
You have to be careful. These three boys have never seen babies before
and suddenly there's these new little weird bleaty things in there and it's freaky for them.
They'll be fine. They'll get used to it.
Thankfully, it doesn't take long for the herd to accept the new arrivals.
Including a third kid, born it to mum, Prawn.
They're using the shelter as a base.
They're going in there at night to sleep, which is brilliant.
We wouldn't want mums lining them up outside in the cold.
But they seem to be doing really well.
He's a little bit more of a quieter character.
That is because he is a single.
The other two are quite bolshy,
running around all over the place but then they have an extra three days on him.
Hopefully, he will get a bit more sprightly.
When you see them play, they're doing all sorts.
They're finding their feet, getting their balance and head-butting
each other, which if you notice in the older goats, they do do a lot.
So they are already showing, even on the second day, grown-up natural goat behaviour.
Next year, we will bring in another billy to our seven females and try again and see what happens.
So hopefully the second time, in the second year,
they'll be a lot more used to it and we will be as well.
We'll be keeping tabs on these new kids on the block throughout the series.
We're up beside Half Mile Lake with keeper Val McGruther, and this wonderful swan family.
I gather these two swans have lived on the lake for many years?
They have. As long as we can remember, really.
It's Albert and Victoria.
They have seven cygnets this year.
Every year, they have cygnets and they're very good parents.
They do look after them. They're very protective.
They need to be, because they live on the lake with sea lions.
You say that every year these two have cygnets.
Does that mean they mate for life?
Yes. They will mate for life.
If the mate dies perhaps they will look for another one, otherwise they will stay together.
There is a royal connection to them, isn't there?
Yes. They are royal birds. There isn't anybody allowed to kill a swan apart from the Royal Family.
-I don't think they do it very often, do they?
-I don't think they do!
-I hope not, anyway.
-When you see them like this, they are so beautiful.
-Those cygnets are fantastic.
-They are. They're lovely birds.
Val, thank you very much. Sadly, that is all we have time for on today's programme.
Here is what is coming up on the next Animal Park.
The Park is home to more than 50 species from all over the world.
While the keepers care for them all, they each have their favourite.
On the next animal park, they battle it out to determine which is Longleat's ultimate animal.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd - 2007