Ben Fogle and Kate Humble explore life behind the scenes at Longleat Estate and Safari Park. The bat cave needs a makeover, but first Darren and his troops must round up the bats.
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Hello and welcome to Animal Park. I'm Kate Humble.
I'm Ben Fogle, and these are Longleat's Bactrian camels.
Although there's quite a crowd here, they're actually quite rare in the wild.
To find them, you would have to go to Mongolia or to China, where there are only a few hundred left.
They survive in one of the most extreme environments in the world, where temperatures plummet to -20.
Well, we've got lots of other remarkable animals on today's programme, including...
White rhino bull Winston becomes a sperm donor.
Will artificial insemination allow him to become a father at last?
The bat cave needs a makeover, but first Darren and his troops must round up the bats.
Got one. ..Oh! Dropped it.
And the lion cubs are keen to play with their new toy,
but Kabir's got there first.
He's thinking, " I want a go and my dad won't let me!"
But first, for decades, Longleat has played an important role
in preserving the white rhino from extinction.
Though breeding rhino in captivity is notoriously difficult,
in the 1980s, the park successfully bred eight calves.
Adult male Winston moved here in 1993 from Windsor Safari Park.
It was hoped that he would carry on the breeding tradition, but sadly Winston never mated.
OK, let's see what he does.
Recently, we saw keepers introduce him to a new female, Marashi.
Here we go!
Wow, what a reaction.
But though they hit it off at first, so far romance has not blossomed.
Now Winston's 39 years old, and his time is running out.
To maintain genetic diversity amongst rhino, it's important to preserve Winston's bloodline,
so Head Warden Keith Harris has decided to try a new experiment -
artificial insemination for rhinos.
It's quite important we do use genes or blood from him within the breeding population.
So if this works, it will be very good.
Winston will have left us with something
when he goes to where all the rhinos go.
Last year, a veterinary team from the Berlin Institute For Zoo And Wildlife Research,
who are pioneering artificial insemination for rhinos,
came to Longleat to see if Winston's sperm was healthy enough to use.
To everyone's delight, tests showed that Winston's sperm is very potent indeed.
Now the Berlin team has come back to take another sample, and try to implant it into a rhino cow.
Vet Robert Hermes is hopeful that, using their new technique,
Winston could become a father at last.
A semen collection lasts about 20, 30 minutes.
We'll look at what we have and then pack up as quickly as we can,
and drive up to the West Midlands Safari where two females are waiting to be inseminated.
But first, Winston must be sedated.
It's a painless procedure, but the gun is needed to get the syringe through Winston's thick hide.
To keep him calm while the drug takes effect, keepers muffle his ears and cover his eyes.
Once Winston is unconscious, the team will have to move fast,
so he remains sedated for as little time as possible.
It's a rare opportunity to get a really close look at Winston.
Last time he was sedated, a tumour was discovered on one of his testicles,
and now Keith needs to find out if it's grown.
They've just been scanning the testis that had the tumour on.
I think the early thought is that it hasn't actually grown...
in size any more than last time, so that is slightly encouraging.
Can I get you here to hold this? Come on.
In order to extract sperm, Winston must be unconscious, but not too deeply asleep.
Moment by moment, vet Mark Combert monitors his condition.
These spasms are normal. It's sort of a nervous reflex reaction.
So it's not that he's waking up, it's just he gets a bit stimulated.
It looks painful, but actually this procedure is far from unpleasant for Winston.
The Berlin vets have successfully used artificial insemination with elephants in the past,
but not, as yet, with rhino.
If this new technique works, it will be a world first.
He's a bit too awake.
So we're gonna give him 0.05ml of Immobilon.
It's going OK. We had to give him
a little bit more to relax him.
He's a bit more tense today.
It could be a lot of reasons,
but they're actually getting sperm as we speak, so it's all going according to plan.
We'll catch up with Winston and the team later on.
Many of the animals in the park breed regularly all by themselves.
None are more prolific than the giraffes. Over 100 calves have been born here in the past.
Just two days ago, Becky give birth to a beautiful baby girl.
Luckily for us, staff are on hand with a camera
to record the little giraffe's first tentative steps.
Now that she's up and about, keeper Ryan Hockley has invited me down to meet her.
This is my first chance to see it!
I'm ridiculously excited.
Oh! Look at her!
-She's a beauty, isn't she?
-Oh, my word.
-She is quite, um...
I suppose I'd have to say a bit below that average height you'd expect.
She's a female. Quite often, they come out a little bit smaller.
-She's perfect in every way.
She's still got that slightly crumpled up face, like she's been stuck inside Mum for a bit.
I think they have to grow into their face, basically.
-They all have this wrinkled look about them.
-She's very steady on her legs.
-Yeah. Very sure footed.
Obviously, seeing her being born and that,
and within a couple of hours... She was up inside an hour,
but within two hours, she was steady, walking around the pen,
bright, alert, taking an interest in her surroundings,
-so really was textbook, from start to finish.
-And she's continued feeding well and all the things you have to worry about?
Everything's going perfectly at the moment.
-Which is tempting fate, but there you go.
-Touch wood, touch wood!
Becky, she's obviously aware that we're here, and we're keeping our voices down,
but she seems pretty calm and relaxed as well.
-So far, so good.
-She's coming right up to us.
Oh, this is lovely to see.
-Look at this!
-She wants to explore.
I can't believe how confident she is.
Look at you.
-Most of the grown-up giraffes won't do that.
It's like their born without that natural fear of us.
It's almost something they learn.
Not that we're doing things to make them fear us!
Like I say, they seem to come out and be very inquisitive of us,
and approach us, but then, over the weeks and months,
they key off their mums and see how the rest of the group interact with us, which isn't very much,
and they probably just follow suit, really.
-Now, you've put them both in with Jolly and Century.
When was Century born? Two months ago?
Just over, yeah.
-Was Century significantly bigger than this one?
You don't expect that she'll be quite that big in two months' time?
-He's a brute.
He was born with these massive knees.
-His knees were probably twice the size of hers at birth.
-You know, from looking at those knees, that's a big joint. It'll support a big animal.
And this is Jolly with Becky's calf now.
This is lovely to see, as well.
She's integrating herself in with key members of the group already.
I don't think there'll be a problem when we mix her in with the rest.
That sort of chewing - you see horses do that sometimes -
-but is this just exploring different textures, surfaces...?
Exactly. It's exactly that.
They don't have hands and fingers to feel things, like we do,
so most of their exploring is done by their mouth.
Obviously, that instinct to browse at things, pick away, constantly pick away,
-they're born with that instinct.
-Even though she's suckling?
She won't take hard feed for a while but she'll suckle...
Well, as long as Becky lets her, really,
-but it could be several months.
-She's an absolute joy.
Get your tongue out of your nose!
Your eyes will fall out.
We'll be keeping track of this little lady throughout the series.
Now we're off to Pets' Corner,
where head of section Darren Beasley is on a difficult mission in the Bat Cave.
Today, he has to move the Egyptian fruit bats so their cave can be given a makeover.
There are 14 of them in here, so he's called in the troops to help.
You've got the whole team, the whole posse of us.
We're going to do some painting and cleaning in here, because bats are pretty messy creatures.
We're going to mess around with the lights, so we're going to paint the ceiling.
But it's a bit of a military operation, because these are Egyptian fruit bats.
They're designed not to bump into things. We've got to catch 'em.
Because bats use echo location, they fly and bounce sound off things,
and can steer round everything.
It's not easy to catch them. So we need the team to try and chase them.
The bats will get a little bit tired, and hopefully they'll start,
not flying into them, but making my life a bit easier.
So, forward planning, a bit of military precision here, clear the decks.
And you need everybody as fit as world-class athletes.
So that's why I brought them along!
Darren and the team will have to get their tactics right.
Nets at the ready, they deploy in a pincer movement.
Got one. Oh, dropped it.
If you can...
So, bat number one.
Look at him.
Lovely fella, isn't he?
You don't often get many chances.
We do like an MOT, where we grab random ones throughout the year.
But we haven't had any problems with them.
Look at those beautiful wings. I love them to bits. Absolutely love them.
I tell you, I honestly don't think I could hit a barn door!
As the bats are captured, Darren takes the chance to show his team how to give them a health check.
You're looking for things like rips in the wings, maybe poor body weight condition.
Take your glove off,
and gently put your finger on his chest.
There's plenty of meat coating, you can't feel the breastbone at all.
Some people call them flying foxes.
This one's not as friendly as the last one, so I've got to watch my hands a bit.
They've got these nasty looking teeth, but really, these are totally fruit and flower eaters.
But there can be tough skin on some of the fruit, and they've got to get through that.
His little heart's beating, bless him. You see they've developed these...
claws, for hanging upside down.
Absolutely beautiful. All right, mate?
Darren's bat catchers are winning the battle, but slowly.
In you go. That's three.
We're going to be here a little while!
We'll come back to see how the team get on.
Up in lion country, the cubs Malika and Jsira are growing bigger and bolder every day.
As the weather gets warmer, they've been exploring the wide, open spaces of the enclosure,
testing their limits all the time.
Lion cubs earn the crucial skills of hunting and fighting
by playing with each other, and with their parents.
Even the larger lions could be playful beasts.
Recently, they took a real shine to their brand-new scratching post.
But today, there is another treat in store for Malika and Jsira.
A happy lion family in the sun.
I'm out in the lion enclosure with keeper Bob Trollope.
Why are they shut in the compound today?
It seems like a perfect day for Kabir and his pride to be out in big, open spaces.
-We're doing a bit of DIY in their section and it's safer if they're not with us.
So what sort of DIY? It's just a big area of grass, surely?
Well, we do sort of enrichment every now and again.
We've done a scratching post with Charlie's pride,
so we thought we'd try something in with Kabir's pride.
-Seeing as they've got a natural climbing frame...
-This is fantastic!
-..we thought we'd add something to it.
-A few toys for them to play with.
-I can see the ropes hanging.
-We've dangled a few things.
They're gonna love this!
We're hoping they are.
It's completely new to the cubs.
They won't have seen anything like this. I doubt the big ones have.
Hopefully, this is to encourage the cubs to play a bit more around here,
-because it is such a lovely setting.
-It's absolutely brilliant.
-It'll be great for the visitors, as well.
Presumably, this will play on natural hunting instincts, anyway.
Hopefully, what we'll see is what your domestic cat would do with a new toy -
-using their claws, biting it, all that sort of behaviour.
I can see head of section Brian Kent, looking puzzled.
Brian, do you want a hand?
-I'm left doing all the work!
-Oh, I'm sorry.
I'm on the last one.
Right, OK. So what are you going to do with this one?
-Try and get it wrapped round this position here.
-OK. Shall I throw that over the...
over the top of there? How's that looking?
-What do you think?
That's quite tough.
What do you think, Brian? Do you think they're going to react quite favourably to having new toys?
I think they'll really enjoy it. Especially the cubs.
It's ideal for 'em.
If we hammer it down...
then join us a little bit later, when we've finished the cub playground, and see how they react to it.
In the rhino house, Winston's still under sedation
while his sperm is collected, ready to be taken 100 miles up the road to West Midlands Safari Park.
West Midlands have had considerable success in breeding exotic animals.
This year, they have a hippo calf, and even one rhino calf conceived naturally.
But two of their female rhino have never bred.
Head keeper Bob Lawrence has been giving them hormone injections, in preparation for the insemination.
You get to the point with large animals, elephant and rhino, if they don't breed by a certain age,
they probably never will, and these two old girls, we need to get them breeding urgently now,
otherwise they never will and it'll be a terrible waste.
The park does have a bull named Sharka,
but so far, he hasn't been up to the job.
It's a funny thing with rhinos, they always get too familiar with each other.
It's significant that the bull came with these two girls, and it's almost like a brother-sister thing,
rather than an up-and-running mating scenario.
Now Bob is hoping that where nature has failed, the experimental insemination procedure will work.
It's important that if we can do this with these relatively common species of rhino,
it could perhaps be done on Indian rhino or black rhino, which are a lot rarer.
When this place opened in 1973, there were hundreds of thousands of rhino, possibly, on the Earth,
and in that intervening 33 years, 98% of those rhinos have gone,
so it's very important that we retain the ability to do this sort of thing,
and look forward, think forward, think of new ways of achieving the means to an end.
Back at Longleat, the team of expert vets from Berlin have collected Winston's sperm
and he's waking up. He doesn't seem too bothered by the experience, to head warden Keith Harris's delight.
It's always nice to see him standing up, that's the main thing, because...
2.5 tonnes of rhino is not easy to move.
Obviously, for his sake and everybody else's, he has to get straight back up.
He'll never know what happened.
Vet Mark Combert is passionate about the work he does.
What we're trying to do by
breeding in captivity is guaranteeing that there
will be animals to release into the wild if needed.
If for reasons of population decline, whether it's
disease or deforestation or hunting and poaching,
we'll have places for these guys to go.
Before they do anything else, Berlin team leader Robert Hermes
must check that Winston's sperm is still healthy.
Obviously the sperm have to move. In the rhinoceros, it's about 1 metre 50 from where
the bull puts them to the cervix, then they have to travel all the way to the oviduct.
The sperm movement is very important.
Winston's sperm passes the test. It's important
to use sperm as quickly as possible, so Robert immediately
takes the sample and sets off for West Midlands Safari Park.
-Hi, Rob. A good trip?
-Yes, thank you.
Hi. The things we do on a Sunday afternoon, eh?
Now Robert and the Berlin team will implant Winston's sperm into female rhino Mtuba.
We'll come back to see how they get on.
Back at Longleat's bat cave, Darren and his troops
are still trying to round up the last three Egyptian fruit bats.
I've got him.
-You can have the noisy one.
You can bite all you want, I've got gloves on.
All right, sweet, let's get your wings in.
Here we go.
Beautiful. Look at that. See all the veins and capillaries and things.
That's my finger through there, look how delicate that is.
OK, let's pop that one in.
Yes, got it, all right.
Something very interesting about the bat we noticed on one we MOTed back in the summer, was when they arrived
we didn't know how old they were, and they were all adults of varying age. These guys can live, what?
20, 25 years. The way to age them,
look into his mouth. All the teeth are worn almost all the way down on the bottom layer.
Can you see that? This is a very old bat and he's worn all his teeth, so he's an aged fellow.
Also, if you gently pull that wing out, John, gently.
Pull it out slightly. I've got this one.
I actually think, if you look at the condition of the wing,
-he looks older. See that?
He might have trouble in a little while.
We have to keep an eye on him.
Can you fit dentures to a bat?
I don't know. But he's probably a very old bat.
He could be pushing 20... the 25 mark, who knows?
'That's 13 in the box, but there's still one bat holding out.'
There he goes.
This is a fast one!
Actually, if I let him go in...
All right, mate. I'll get him, I nearly got him last time.
People think bats get stuck in your hair.
Jo's got really long hair. They don't get stuck in your hair.
They bounce sound off of you.
-They'll avoid you.
-All right, darling, I've got you.
And just to prove it...
Jo, don't get it stuck in your hair. Here it comes.
Stay there, Jo, for us.
This one. Thanks, yeah. Well done.
Yeah, that's right.
Last, but not least.
Well done. Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you. Well done.
-So, if you can get it all painted, cleaned, revamped
I'll be having a cup of tea over there, all right?
'The fruit bats would normally roost in dark caves.
'The team's mission is to make their enclosure
'as much like their natural habitat as possible.
'It's going to be a long job.'
I'm with Derek Longway, the manager of the butterfly garden here at Longleat.
We're with some of your residents. Who have we got here?
These are the owl butterflies, so called because of their eye markings.
Which is incredible, because it really does look like an owl's eye.
Yes, it's used as a deterrent for predators.
They'll flap their wings and flash the eye, which is a false eye,
and the predators will either be discouraged,
or if they do attack, they'll attack the back end of the wing,
-thereby letting the butterfly escape.
-The fruit that they are dining off looks quite old and manky.
As the fruit rots down, it releases the sugars and makes a sugary,
syrupy liquid, which is readily digested through the proboscis.
That's the thing just going into the banana there.
Are they sucking it up, like through a straw?
Absolutely, yes, like a hydraulic suction.
Presumably, where there are butterflies, there must be caterpillars.
Yes, I can see one not too far away, on the citrus here. That's a citrus swallowtail.
Oh, it blends in incredibly well to the leaf.
I can just make out its two little eyes.
-Otherwise I wouldn't have spotted that. Presumably it's a camouflage.
-Yes, nature's camouflage.
And what sort of butterfly will that turn into?
That will be a swallowtail.
Fascinating. Derek, thank you very much.
Here's what still to come on today's programme.
-We'll find out if Winston's sperm donation will make him a father at last.
-She's good, very good.
She should ovulate tonight.
They may be shy creatures, but this tortoise doesn't hold back when faced with a tasty treat.
And we'll see what the lion cubs make of their new climbing frame.
At West Midlands Safari Park,
the German veterinary team are preparing
to artificially inseminate rhino Mtuba using Winston's sperm.
First, they must check whether Mtuba is fertile enough
to receive the sperm.
Head keeper Bob Lawrence has been giving her hormone treatment
so her chances of getting pregnant should be at their highest today.
This is the point where we'll see whether the last 60 days or so of medication
has worked, whether she is cycling and just how receptive she might be.
If she's not quite ready, we'll probably inseminate anyway,
but revisit her again tomorrow.
But he'll know in a minute or two just how set she is.
She's good, very good.
Excellent follicle on the right ovary, 3.5 centimetres,
and that should ovulate tonight.
Vet Robert Hermes and his team have spent five years
developing the magic wand that will help artificially inseminate Mtuba.
It's made to replicate what a male rhino would do.
They have a very long genital tract.
The entire length is about 1 metre 50.
That's why we need special tools.
The arm of us is not long enough to reach.
The ovaries are right in the middle of a rhino,
but using their specialist tool,
Robert and the team are able to reach easily.
It looks very, very promising. Just about finished.
We want to get her up quickly
because she's lying on this right front knee,
but we're almost done and we'll keep everything crossed.
It may save populations, or may be a modern way
of introducing fresh bloodlines into existing populations.
At the end of the day, it's a lot easier to move semen around
than it is to move rhinos, isn't it?
The operation is over.
Mtuba's legs begin to twitch naturally, showing she's recovering well from the anaesthetic.
It's been a long day, but with the future of the white rhino at stake, no-one minds the effort.
If you see the other small calf in the other stall,
you'll really cross fingers and hope that we'll achieve another one.
Once you see one of these guys
and you know the problem throughout zoos in Europe and North America,
that they don't breed, you try to figure out a way t o have more running around. It keeps you going.
It's fantastic to work with animals like this
and you don't punch the clock at any time.
You just keep going as long as you can.
It's impossible to tell straight away if Mtuba is pregnant or not.
We'll find out later on.
Back at Longleat, the lions have been let loose.
I'm out in the lion enclosure with head of section Brian Kent
and keeper Bob Trollope,
and the lions, Kabir and his two wives and the cubs,
have just been let out.
A little earlier, we hung up toys for them,
on the dead tree here,
and waiting to see...
..what reaction we have, but Kabir's more interested in us!
So we've got...is it Jsira on the left? The slightly smaller one?
She's the smaller one, then Malika.
They're not too sure about this!
Is this a typical reaction? A bit superstitious at first?
Oh! Oh! Kabir's having a go.
He likes that one!
-He's straight into that, isn't he?
-It's a good job we nailed them down.
We needed to, didn't we?
He would have been the last one I'd have thought would have played with them.
Oh, Jsira's thinking, "Can I come in and play?"
She obviously thinks it's food.
Will it stay there?
That'd be the test - whether it stays up to his strength.
Yeah. How heavy is a big male lion, like that?
He's anything in the region of £450 to £500, I'd have thought.
He's pulled it out the tree already.
You can just see those teeth, as well!
It's interesting that both Luna and Yendi, the females,
don't seem really that interested in playing. More just looking at what's going on.
I think they will do, eventually,
but they're obviously a little bit more cautious.
They are the hunters in the pride,
so they're taking it steady, I suppose.
-Jsira with Dad.
-Jsira thinking, "I want a go but my dad won't let me."
-She'll have to watch out if he let's go.
That's it. Lion skittles.
We can see Malika just off to the side here.
She's got the end of the other rope.
We put a big knot in the end so they could tug on that, play with it.
They're putting their full force into that, look. Obviously not as much power as Kabir.
Oh! And is that Jsira?
Go on, jump on it, then!
Frightened her a bit.
I mean, in the wild, they're not going to find beautiful rope fenders
hanging up from trees,
but presumably this is quite natural behaviour for them, discovering new things?
It is. They're obviously very inquisitive anyway,
and something new, like this, then they're going to suss it out first,
and play with it, as they're doing.
It looks like play, put there's hunting instincts coming out here.
There is, yeah. They're pretending to kill something, basically,
the way they're going at it.
So, as you say, although they look quite small and cute,
there's that strength that they've got, even in those early days, is really important for survival.
Incredible power. Their teeth are incredibly sharp, as are their claws.
They would do you an awful lot of damage.
Kabir is loving this, isn't he?
I think he's here for hours.
-That's great. I think we can call that a success, don't you?
I think you've got a very happy family of lions. Bob, Brian, that you very much indeed.
At Pets Corner,
Jo Hawthorne is checking on the 14 Egyptian fruit bats.
They're waiting patiently in their box
while the bat cave gets a makeover.
Huddling together is normal behaviour for bats
and it's how they like to sleep in the wild.
They'll hang out in trees, actually, obviously,
because they're fruit bats,
so they'll just choose a bough or branch, and just hang about there.
But they tend to stick together.
They feel more security when they're actually hanging together.
I'm sure they can't wait to get out of there,
so I can't wait to let them out!
But, yeah, I think they'll be out tomorrow morning,
which will be great.
The team have spent hours painting and installing new lighting.
Finally, the finishing touches go on.
Oh, thank goodness for that!
Time to see what the bats make of it.
Here we go...
At first, it seems they can't see the box is open.
But, in fact, they're probably just cosy.
Bats actually have keen eyesight, to keep a lookout for predators,
though they only see in black and white.
There's lots of myths about bats being blind and everything.
I think that's basically due to the fact they are a creature that flies at night
and for all those people that go walking up the lanes, and they're flying and darting very near,
they don't know that they're using the echo-location,
getting that bounce of sound off of you, hence why they're flying so close.
But with their eyes, in this light, they can see as well as you or I.
I think what we'll do now is we'll probably go away and leave them now.
We'll leave you to it, chaps.
Soon the bats emerge and start enjoying their newly decorated cave.
Even if they can only appreciate it in black and white.
I've come up to the tortoise paddock with senior warden Bev Evans
and it's feeding time for Michelle and Thomas. Now, Michelle and Thomas are...?
-African spur tortoises.
-This is where they are?
-They are still in bed at the moment.
-Do they go in here every night?
They do, for security reasons, and because it's too cold at night for them.
-But it's a nice day today.
-It is and it's about time they got out.
How do we entice them out?
We're going to have to lift them out, to be honest,
because they are not very fast.
-Can I help you with that?
-Yes, you can. Put the food down on the side.
If you lift the roof, Ben.
-Just lift it up?
-Wow! There they are.
And then if we open both of the side doors.
And just pull these out. So how old are these two?
Tommy's this one here and he's about 12 years old.
Michelle's only five,
although she's already near enough the same size.
It's incredible. Shall we lift them out?
Is there a best way to pick up a...?
Just go for the sides, cos if you put your fingers in there,
he can pinch you between his shell and his feet.
Wow, he is heavy, isn't he?
-Is this Thomas?
-OK, Thomas. Gosh, how much do you think he weighs?
He's about 20 kilograms.
That doesn't say much for my weightlifting.
Ah, there you go.
Obviously, we've carried them out,
-but do they like spending the day outside?
They do a lot of grazing throughout the day,
and this is a nice paddock, because as well as the grass,
you've got dandelions and clover.
We've picked some dandelions here
and, intriguingly, we've got some melon here.
Yes, we do. This is a treat.
OK, so this isn't their usual diet?
No, and if you fed them on melon or any kind of lettuce
or cucumber every day, it would be quite bad for them.
But it's good to have a treat every so often?
And also you can add mineral supplements, so...
So, how do you feed a tortoise?
-If you just grab a piece of melon.
-I'll take this one here.
Stick it in front of Thomas and see if he is hungry.
He's already started on the dandelions.
What do you think of this?
Wow, look at that.
Look at the chunks he's taking.
Because tortoises have a beak, don't they?
They don't have teeth, they have a sharp edge to their mouth,
and if they do actually accidentally catch your finger,
it does actually hurt quite a lot.
-So I should hold it at the end.
That would be best.
I can't believe how quickly he's getting through that. I'm feeling sorry for Michelle.
Between the two of them, is there one that's greedier?
-Is Thomas here...?
-Thomas, he's more of a confident character anyway,
so he'll get straight in and eat.
Michelle's reasonably shy. She's still finding her feet here.
Thomas has been with us a lot longer,
so Michelle's still a bit shy.
Now, what shall I do with this last little bit? Shall I pass it to him? There we go.
I would like to keep my fingers just now.
-Well, Bev, that was a huge success.
-He did enjoy that.
-Thank you for letting me feed him.
-Can he have another one or is that too many?
-No, that would be lovely.
Why not try this type of melon? I think he'll like that one.
Some more, Thomas?
Today is a big day for bull rhino Winston.
Dung samples from West Midlands female Mtuba were sent for tests
to find out if the artificial insemination with Winston's sperm made her pregnant or not.
Head warden Keith Harris is anxiously standing by for a phone call with the results.
Oh, dear, what a shame.
Oh, that's a bore.
Right, well, we'll see if
they want to try again then. Presumably you'd like to do it again.
Oh, well, I'm sorry to hear the bad news.
But hopefully we'll be more successful in the future.
OK, then. Bye, then.
The artificial insemination may not have worked this time,
but the good news is, that at the grand age of 39, Winston's sperm is still fertile.
Everyone hopes that artificial insemination for rhinos will continue to develop
and that Winston may still become a father in the future.
How are you doing, Winny?
Try, try and try again.
Certainly, from their future,
you can actually store the sperm and then, theoretically,
the conservation of rhinos will be a lot easier
because there will never be a time when we haven't got rhinos.
Extinction will not be a thing.
So that's very important, and there's a lot of benefits
to be able to do AI with these animals
because trying to move large animals like this isn't always easy.
So, if you can take the sperm rather than the animal, then again,
that's got to be better for the species.
So there's a whole lot of different things that will
hopefully improve the life of the rhinos across the board.
We're up in Monkey Jungle with deputy head warden Ian Turner,
and over here are the water buffalo, really living up to their name!
-I don't think I've ever seen them in the water before.
-The go in often.
-It's got to be warm, and today's a day when you want to join them.
-This is what they do in the wild?
Yes, water buffalo. You can see how they splash themselves to cool down.
And, presumably, if there were lots of flies or biting insects around,
-that's a good way of escaping them.
The only bit you'll see is the head.
And, occasionally, like that one's doing, just flicks it over the top of the head.
I'm very tempted to join them,
-but I don't think it would be a good idea.
-I'm not sure it would.
Ian, thank you very much.
Sadly, that's all we've got time for, but here's what's coming up on the next Animal Park.
Longleat's littlest lions are coming to dinner,
but who taught them their table manners?
This rare Pere David calf is the most precious baby in the park,
but can she survive with a broken leg?
And young Gertie is in danger of catching a fatal infection,
so now the keepers must take desperate measures.
That's all coming up on the next Animal Park.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd - 2006
E-mail [email protected]
Ben Fogle and Kate Humble explore life behind the scenes at Longleat Estate and Safari Park. White rhino bull Winston becomes a sperm donor; will artificial insemination allow him to become a father at last? The Pere David deer are hovering on the edge of extinction, but can Longleat help save the species? The bat cave needs a makeover, but first Darren and his troops must round up the bats. And there is also a stakeout to see the lions tucking into a special midnight feast.