Episode 6 Animal Park


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Episode 6

Life behind the scenes at Longleat Estate and Safari Park. Lion cubs Malaika and Jasira meet their father for the first time. Plus the otter pups learn how to swim.


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Hello and welcome to Animal Park. I'm Ben Fogle.

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And I'm Kate Humble and we're out in the safari park here at Longleat.

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Last year, over three quarters of a million people

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came here to see the animals that live here.

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We'll bring you all the stories about the animals and the people that look after them.

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Here's what's coming up in today's programme.

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Lion cubs Malaika and Jasira face their biggest challenge yet

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as they prepare to meet their father, Kabir.

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Will he greet them, or eat them?

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The otter pups are three months old,

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but still don't know how to swim.

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Will they finally take the plunge?

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And five lucky keepers are going to Kenya,

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to learn more about how the animals they look after behave in the wild.

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This is a lifetime opportunity to go out to Africa

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to see wildlife as it should be - absolutely perfect.

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But first, we're off to Longleat's lion country.

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For years, the park has successfully bred lions.

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Now the keepers are trying to bring together a new group,

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under the new male, Kabir.

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For weeks after they were born,

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lion cubs Jasira and Malaika stayed inside the lion house

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with their mothers in separate enclosures.

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After completing their inoculations,

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the cubs took their first big step - they were allowed outside together.

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I'm really happy with that.

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They've been next to each other for such a long time,

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and all of a sudden they can actually meet each other and play,

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it's like all their Christmases in one, I should imagine.

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Now the cubs are ready for their next big challenge.

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It's time for them to meet their father, Kabir, for the first time.

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It's a dangerous moment for the little lions.

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In the wild, male lions sometimes kill the cubs of competing males.

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Kabir has lived next door to the cubs for most of their lives,

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so he should recognise Malaika and Jasira as his own.

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But if he doesn't, or if they annoy him, he could become vicious.

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We don't know how he's going to react to them.

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As you can see down here now,

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the cubs are fine with him between the cages

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and they're not too fazed when he starts roaring and growling at us.

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But it might be a little bit different,

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if one of these cubs tries to jump on him and play with him.

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It's an anxious time for keepers Bob and Brian.

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They've spent months raising the cubs,

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now they have to let nature take its course.

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The only precautions we can take when they're on the outside

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is to be in our vehicles and be ready to step in if - as and when.

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Come on then, mate. Come on.

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They don't want to go.

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Are you ready then?

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Go on.

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Come on, cubby.

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No, you're supposed to go out.

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At last, the whole pride is together.

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Go on. Good girl.

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So far, Kabir is showing no interest in the cubs,

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perhaps because he has other things on his mind.

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With things going to plan,

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Bob can now let the pride out of the controlled confines of the compound

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and into the much larger main enclosure for the first time.

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This is uncharted territory for the two cubs.

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They've both got to learn new smells,

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not just one of them at a time.

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So they'll both be learning together ultimately.

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And this is a much bigger area so they can wander off

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and run around and they could very well lose sight of Mum

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if they want to run off.

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They'll find all the best places to cuddle up when it's cold.

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When it's hot, they'll find the places that are in the shade.

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All things like that.

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Everything seems to be going well.

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But Jasira is getting a little bit too cocky for her own good.

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Luckily, Kabir just tells her off.

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He's a grumpy father, but a good one.

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If everything carries on as it is,

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I think we're gonna have a nice display this summer.

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I've come down to Sea Lion Beach with head of section Mark Tye

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and keeper Michelle Stevens

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to help with the feeding and to find out who's pregnant.

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So are you expecting some little sea lions?

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Yes, we are, hopefully.

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Um, we're expecting two, one from Celia and one from Jo-Jo.

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OK. Where shall I go?

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If you just go past those rocks there, Ben.

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I'm still always amazed, Mark, at how you can recognise

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all the different sea lions. Am I OK standing here?

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Yeah, that's fine.

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That's Buster's fish there.

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I recognise Buster, the big chap.

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-Who's this you're feeding now?

-This is Celia.

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Right. Is she expecting?

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Yes, she is. She's fairly fat now.

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There's another couple of months to go before she'll be due.

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-Right.

-But she is looking quite big.

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And who have we got over here on the right?

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On the right there's Jo-Jo.

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She's hopefully the other female that's expecting.

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-And on the left next to her?

-That's Nancy.

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She's not gonna have a baby,

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because two years ago after she gave birth she had a prolapse.

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So the vet decided it wouldn't be a good idea

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for her to become pregnant any more.

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So we put her on contraceptives every year now.

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I know there's always a pretty strict hierarchy

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amongst the female sea lions.

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Has that changed in the last year?

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Well, obviously, last year we lost Lindy

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who was our dominant female at the time.

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And...since then,

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Celia's had ideas of grandeur that she wants to be top female.

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Unfortunately, Jo-Jo doesn't quite agree with her.

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So that presumably creates its own problems.

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Yes, there's a little bit of friction between the two.

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Particularly at feeding times,

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which is why I try to keep Celia up here on this rock.

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So you can keep an eye on her?

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So I can keep her away - if they start trying to eat together,

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they end up pulling lumps out of each other,

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which is a bit unfriendly.

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-It's not good, especially when you're pregnant.

-No.

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So, remind me of the gestation period for a sea lion.

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The gestation period is just over 11 months.

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It's about 11 months, two weeks.

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So, literally, once they've given birth,

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two weeks after that, they're mated again.

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And it starts again?

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They are literally pregnant all year round.

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I know last year - cos obviously, Sea Lion Beach here,

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you've had it for about a year now.

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Last year was the first successful birthing on the beach, wasn't it?

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Are you hoping...? Oh, be quiet, Buster!

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Are you hoping that it will be successful again this year

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and that they'll give birth here again?

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Yes, I am. They have got used to it now.

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Obviously, in the past, we had silly situations

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where they gave birth in boats and on Gorilla Island,

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and things like that.

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So they have got used to this beach area and the pen next door.

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And there's no reason why they shouldn't give birth here again.

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They were quite comfortable with it last year.

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-So I'm sure that will happen again.

-Do you still look forward to it?

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Absolutely. It's what we're here for, to breed these animals.

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It's great for us.

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It's great to see these animals giving birth

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and living a natural, healthy life.

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You're doing the right thing if the animals are happy.

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If they weren't happy, they probably wouldn't breed.

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So, you know, it's great for us.

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It's also nice to have new additions in the lake.

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Well, Mark, thank you very much for letting me help.

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You're very welcome. Thank you.

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Go on, Buster.

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Across the park at Pets Corner, keepers were delighted recently

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when Asian short-clawed otters Rosie and Romeo became parents.

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Their two otter pups emerged from the nest a couple of months ago.

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Since then, keeper Rob Savin has been waiting patiently

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for the pups to get in the water for the first time.

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They're three months old now,

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and they should be ready to take the plunge.

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But surprisingly, swimming is not a talent otters are born with.

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It's a skill the pups will have to learn.

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Parents Rosie and Romeo have to remain vigilant

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to keep them out of danger.

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Potentially, if they jumped in a big pool of water very early on,

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if they were uneducated swimmers, the chances are they might drown.

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But the idea that Mum and Dad are around,

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especially Mum, is to drag them out.

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And if there's a problem, what she should do -

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if they're swimming and then struggling -

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she'll go and and bring them back out again, that's hopefully the idea.

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Asian short-clawed otters are less aquatic

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than any other breed of otters.

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Nevertheless, they're powerful, graceful swimmers

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and at their most agile in the water.

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Their enclosure is well adapted to adult otters -

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it has a stream running through it and several plunge pools -

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but so far the youngsters are hanging back.

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So Rob has come up with a plan

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to make water a little less frightening.

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He's making them a paddling pool.

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Otters need to be taught...

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I mean, they needed to know where their food was coming from.

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They also needed to know which parent was gonna provide the food.

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All animals learn from Mum and Dad, usually,

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and it's partly learned behaviour,

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and you've got instincts as well, things that they're born with.

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Swimming, you would think with an otter, it comes quite natural,

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and I suppose, when they see water,

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they should know roughly what to do with it.

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It's not really enough, nowhere near enough

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for them to swim in properly, they're far too big.

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They're sniffing, sniffing the sides,

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but I don't know if they're gonna go in.

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Oh, what's this?

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Rosie leads by example and climbs in first.

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Eventually, curiosity gets the better of the pups.

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One's in!

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And...yeah, they're both in now. That's lovely, yeah.

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It's more Mum than Dad, I don't think Dad's too bothered.

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Romeo, he's not interested at all, not at the moment,

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but Mum's definitely taking them in there, that's really good.

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They've managed to just all fit in there briefly,

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but I think it was more of a playful roll-around.

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It's fantastic to watch when they're like that,

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especially the little ones getting in on the act.

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I've seen Romeo and Rosie playing like that, but with the little ones rolling around,

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there's nothing left of that clean water now.

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It's just a big bowl of mud, but it's fantastic.

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They've certainly had a wash, if nothing else. They've had a bath.

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In the wild, otters would find most of their food in water.

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As well as being fun,

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this swimming lesson will teach the pups vital survival skills.

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Very intelligent animals, otters.

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They're playful, very social, especially this particular species.

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And when animals play, they use play as a learning process as well.

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I mean, Mum's diving in there. They're not following.

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They're not quite ready for that big leap into that bit yet,

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but when they do, it'll be a learning process.

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It'll be quite a shock to the system,

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it'll probably look quite funny,

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but if there's a problem, Mum should leap in and save them.

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The pups liked the paddling pool,

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but they're still unwilling to throw themselves in at the deep end.

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We'll come back later to see if they take the plunge.

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The safari park is home to more than 400 animals,

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representing 50 different species drawn from every corner of the world.

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They are cared for by more than 100 dedicated staff,

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but few of them have ever seen these animals in their natural habitats.

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Soon, however, some of them will get the chance to go to Africa.

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AFRICAN MUSIC

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The park is closely involved with the Tusk Trust,

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a charity dedicated to conserving the wildlife and habitats of Africa.

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The trust runs 25 conservation projects in 15 countries.

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This year, Deputy Head Warden, Ian Turner

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will take a select group of staff to see their work in Kenya.

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This is a lifetime opportunity, to go out to Africa.

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I mean, OK, we're working,

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but you're getting to do stuff you want to do.

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It's a job,

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but you're going to Africa to see wildlife as it should be.

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So what do you think I'll enjoy most out in Kenya, Andy?

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The lucky four who will join Ian are Andy Hayton and Bev Evans,

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from the East Africa Reserve,

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along with Darren Beasley and Jo Hawthorne from Pets Corner.

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For head of section, Andy Hayton, it will be the second trip to Kenya,

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and a chance to build on his experience.

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-It's not gonna be a bit scary?

-No.

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Natural behaviour -

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seeing what the animals out there behave like naturally.

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If we see our animals exhibiting that behaviour,

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we know we are going down the right road.

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So anything like that is always helpful.

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Darren Beasley will also be on his second visit to Kenya.

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He'll be looking for the kind of animals

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he is used to keeping at Pets Corner.

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These are some things that hopefully you'll see.

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Something that really whetted my appetite last time

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was the amount of small animals.

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We talk about biodiversity - the little ones and the big ones are all needed. It's crucial.

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I'm hoping now, with Jo coming with us this year,

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we can find the small animals - the tortoises, the mongoose,

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the bugs, the beetles - and all the things that really get me going.

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For keepers Bev and Jo, it will be their first chance

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to see their favourite animals in the wild.

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I'm definitely looking forward to seeing giraffe and zebra out there,

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just to compare them to our lot, really.

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But elephants...

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As a child, I just loved elephants.

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So, definitely, seeing that in the wild, that would be just amazing.

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Jo's interests are rather more down to earth.

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Tortoises is what I'm really interested in.

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Just the chance to see one of the two species out there would be amazing.

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But this isn't a sightseeing trip.

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Seeing these animals in their natural environment,

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exhibiting their natural behaviour,

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will allow the keepers to increase their knowledge

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and care even better for the animals they keep back home.

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Looking at the giraffe and seeing the way they feed,

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at what height, and all the different types of diet they have,

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we could bring something back for ours,

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and have an idea of an enrichment idea and things like that.

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The keepers will also be able to share

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what they learn about conservation with park visitors.

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Last year, we had over 700,000 people at Longleat

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and I reckon, personally, we talked to most of them in Pets Corner!

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And we can pass that message on.

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You can be depressed about the world and say life's hard

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and everything is being extinct, it's not. There is hope out there.

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ELEPHANT TRUMPETS

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I'm in the chipmunk enclosure with keeper Val McGruther,

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and I gather that it's been all change, some for good, some for bad.

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Yes. It's a little bit sad. Our favourite little chipmunk Garston,

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he was the one that always used to come to us,

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I'm afraid he sadly died back in the winter.

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-He was quite an age, though, wasn't he?

-He was about seven.

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For a male chipmunk, that is really good.

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He seems, though, to have a worthy successor. Who's this?

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We've been training some new chipmunks to come and take the food.

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-He's been really good.

-He's amazing.

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He's the one that comes most. He's taken over Garston's job, really.

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So, when you say train them, how do you do that?

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Is it just a matter of sitting in the enclosure

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-and letting them get used to you?

-It is a lot.

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It's a bit like training other animals, to be honest.

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They like their food and they have particular things they like.

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Like some of these things we have here.

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Nuts, blueberries, nice little bits of fruit and stuff like that.

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So, we'll sit in here and then they get used to being in here.

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They get used to coming

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and perhaps taking a little bit of food every now and again.

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Gradually, we'll increase it so more people come in.

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And then, hopefully, we'll have children coming in here again.

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Which they would love. They are absolutely adorable and lovely,

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although they have all disappeared.

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Where are you? Come out and show us how adorable you are.

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He's hiding over there.

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-Oh, there he is! Look!

-He's saving it for later.

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-Do they bury things like squirrels?

-Yes, they do.

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Are they better at remembering where they put them?

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They're about the same, I think.

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What's interesting, as with squirrels,

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-you'll get another one looking and seeing where he's put it.

-Really?

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If he gets the chance, he'll nick it.

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What I was going to say - obviously, they're very adorable.

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It must be very tempting to keep them as pets.

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-Are they good pets?

-They don't really make good pets.

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They're interesting animals to keep, rather than a pet, if you see what I mean.

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You need a nice bit of space for them.

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An aviary the size of this would be great.

0:19:290:19:32

And you need to spend time with them.

0:19:320:19:34

Because you won't get this if you don't spend time with them.

0:19:340:19:37

You need to be in with them.

0:19:370:19:38

Just watching here, we're just being very slow and careful.

0:19:380:19:42

This is amazing to see how he's cracking into that almond

0:19:420:19:46

without any problem at all.

0:19:460:19:47

They've obviously got very sharp teeth.

0:19:470:19:49

They have got sharp teeth,

0:19:490:19:51

and chewing into the nut like that is very good for their teeth,

0:19:510:19:55

because their teeth are constantly growing,

0:19:550:19:57

and it trims them a bit as they go along.

0:19:570:19:59

Like all rodents, they've got constant growing teeth,

0:19:590:20:02

so is it important, as well, to have things in the enclosure

0:20:020:20:05

that they can wear their teeth down on?

0:20:050:20:08

Yes, it is, very important.

0:20:080:20:09

They've got all the branches here and everything, which are good,

0:20:090:20:13

and hard food to eat, like nuts and a bit of biscuit in there,

0:20:130:20:17

hard seeds and things like that, that's all really good.

0:20:170:20:20

Now, he's actually taking far more than he can eat all at once.

0:20:200:20:24

It seems like... Is he stuffing it into a cheek pouch?

0:20:240:20:28

Yeah, they've got these cheek pouches on either side,

0:20:280:20:32

same as little hamsters have, and they will fill their cheek pouch.

0:20:320:20:36

Sometimes they'll eat at the same time, they'll save some,

0:20:360:20:39

they'll take it and bury it, as we saw earlier, for later so that...

0:20:390:20:44

I think I've made a friend here as well. He's great!

0:20:440:20:48

Well, Val, I'm very sad to hear the news about Garston,

0:20:480:20:51

but this little fella is an absolute delight,

0:20:510:20:54

and I hope that all of them continue to thrive

0:20:540:20:57

and give the visitors as much pleasure as they have in the past.

0:20:570:21:00

-Thank you very much.

-Thank you very much.

0:21:000:21:03

Working with Val at Pets Corner is keeper Jo Hawthorne.

0:21:120:21:16

Her passion is caring for some of the park's smaller and cuter inhabitants.

0:21:160:21:21

But now she's preparing to go to Kenya,

0:21:210:21:23

where she'll see some really big game in the wild.

0:21:230:21:28

Kenya is a world leader

0:21:280:21:30

in the conservation of both black and white rhino,

0:21:300:21:33

so Jo will definitely come across these animals during her visit.

0:21:330:21:37

I've read lots about them and, you know,

0:21:390:21:41

actually done a bit of assignment work on them

0:21:410:21:44

but never really actually had the time to spend with them.

0:21:440:21:47

To gain some experience before she meets them in the wild,

0:21:490:21:53

she's come to the rhino house

0:21:530:21:55

to see what she can learn from her colleague Kevin Nibbs.

0:21:550:21:59

Hopefully, he can give me insights in how they're kept in captivity,

0:21:590:22:03

and then of course I can go out and maybe pick up a few little pointers,

0:22:030:22:06

behaviouralisms, things like that, when I get out to Kenya.

0:22:060:22:09

So who have we got here, Kev?

0:22:090:22:11

In the first pen is Razina, she's five.

0:22:110:22:14

-Then we've got Anjani, the little male.

-OK.

0:22:140:22:17

He's nearly seven, he'll be seven this year.

0:22:170:22:19

In the far pen there we've got Marashi, the oldest one,

0:22:190:22:22

-who's seven as well.

-She's seven, right.

0:22:220:22:25

At the moment she kind of leads these three youngsters,

0:22:250:22:27

-she's the biggest one, pushes them around.

-She's the boss.

-She kind of takes charge, yeah.

0:22:270:22:32

When they say the white rhino is the gentlest, they definitely are...

0:22:320:22:37

Yeah, they are the more sort of chilled out, relaxed.

0:22:370:22:41

-They only get upset over little things.

-Right.

0:22:410:22:45

If a wild rhino does get upset, it's best to keep well out of the way,

0:22:460:22:50

as I found out when I was in Africa last year.

0:22:500:22:53

For a moment, it was touch and go.

0:22:530:22:54

He now wants to have a go at us.

0:22:570:22:59

-Are we in trouble?

-Possibly, yeah.

0:23:020:23:05

LAUGHTER

0:23:210:23:24

That was close, it was like about a couple of inches.

0:23:280:23:32

After what happened last time,

0:23:330:23:35

Jo's keen to learn as much as she can about how rhino behave outdoors,

0:23:350:23:40

so Kevin has brought her to the enclosure

0:23:400:23:43

where bull Winston is grazing.

0:23:430:23:45

Winston is normally very placid, but he weighs at least two tonnes,

0:23:460:23:51

and in the past he has been known to throw his weight around.

0:23:510:23:56

Is he expecting us or...?

0:23:580:24:00

I think he is now, he's probably heard us coming all the way up,

0:24:000:24:04

-we'll jump out in a minute and chuck some hay to him.

-OK, brilliant.

0:24:040:24:08

Before we get out, we'll go through a few safety things.

0:24:080:24:10

Basically, we leave both doors open,

0:24:100:24:12

so if we do need to get in, it's really quick to jump in.

0:24:120:24:15

-And we won't go very far from the vehicle.

-OK.

0:24:150:24:18

But that's basically it, and the tractor will keep an eye on us,

0:24:180:24:21

so we should be OK. So are you ready?

0:24:210:24:23

-After you, then!

-Are you ready?

0:24:230:24:25

Rhinos have poor eyesight,

0:24:290:24:31

but make up for it with an excellent sense of smell and hearing.

0:24:310:24:35

Amazingly, they're also very fast -

0:24:350:24:38

from a standing start they can accelerate within seconds

0:24:380:24:41

to a charging speed of up to 30mph.

0:24:410:24:45

So is this a safe distance, Kev?

0:24:450:24:47

With him, yeah, this is a very good distance,

0:24:470:24:51

but with the younger guys we would be maybe twice this,

0:24:510:24:54

just to make sure, doubly sure.

0:24:540:24:55

They'd be a lot quicker, I suppose.

0:24:550:24:57

Absolutely, they'd cover this in maybe a couple of seconds.

0:24:570:25:00

The sight of a bull rhino up close is an awesome experience.

0:25:020:25:07

It's quite daunting, cos you see him from far away,

0:25:070:25:10

and he's doing his thing, and he's just feeding,

0:25:100:25:13

but, like Kev said, until they start getting closer to the vehicle,

0:25:130:25:17

you become so aware that they're getting bigger as they come nearer,

0:25:170:25:20

and you can see the power, you know?

0:25:200:25:22

And you know, just the width and breadth of his chest and his legs,

0:25:220:25:26

you could actually see why if it broke into a trot,

0:25:260:25:29

it would be quite scary.

0:25:290:25:31

He's obviously aware we're here, but he's quite calm, isn't he?

0:25:310:25:34

He is, actually, yeah, very calm.

0:25:340:25:37

This is good for him. He loves it out here.

0:25:370:25:39

You can see how one could turn, I mean...

0:25:390:25:42

You wouldn't actually be able to do a lot, really,

0:25:420:25:45

if one decided he was gonna come along and...

0:25:450:25:48

"oof" you out of the way with his horn there.

0:25:480:25:51

I wouldn't want to be in front of one if he was making a run at me,

0:25:510:25:55

that's for sure.

0:25:550:25:56

-They really are like a bulldozer, aren't they?

-Definitely.

0:25:560:25:59

Armed with more knowledge about their behaviour,

0:25:590:26:03

Jo can look forward to interacting safely with wild rhinos in Kenya.

0:26:030:26:08

It's good to get a few kind of pointers from Kev

0:26:080:26:12

to see how they act and what I can pick up on -

0:26:120:26:14

behavioural signs and that, so it'll be great to study them out there,

0:26:140:26:18

I can't wait to see them.

0:26:180:26:19

To keep the animals happy and interested,

0:26:270:26:30

the keepers are constantly coming up with new activities and games for them.

0:26:300:26:34

I'm back with Val McGruther to see the latest treat she's developed

0:26:340:26:38

for the Chinese pot-bellied pigs.

0:26:380:26:40

You've come up with an inventive way of keeping the pigs occupied, haven't you?

0:26:420:26:46

Yeah, we've got this nice ball here with a few holes in it.

0:26:460:26:49

We stick some pig nuts in there, these little things.

0:26:490:26:52

These things here? I'll just pop them in there.

0:26:520:26:54

-So what's the idea?

-Well, they'll roll the ball along,

0:26:540:26:58

the pig nuts'll come out, they'll have nice little snack

0:26:580:27:01

at the same time as having a bit of fun.

0:27:010:27:03

-Which one's this one?

-This is Bruno.

0:27:030:27:04

Oh, yeah, you can see from the tusks at the front.

0:27:040:27:08

OK, well, he's looking very keen, ready for kick-off.

0:27:080:27:11

Go for it, Bruno!

0:27:110:27:13

MATCH OF THE DAY THEME PLAYS

0:27:130:27:14

Well, Bruno's gone straight for it.

0:27:160:27:18

He has, hasn't he? Yeah, he's quite a dab hand at football.

0:27:180:27:21

Do you find...? Do you find that, er...

0:27:230:27:26

that Bruno does tend to be the more inventive of the two?

0:27:260:27:29

-Do they have very different characters?

-They do a bit, really.

0:27:290:27:32

He's the one that tends to be more like this, chasing the ball about.

0:27:320:27:37

Well, he looks very happy.

0:27:370:27:38

Blossom might be going in for a bit of a tackle. Go for it, Blossom!

0:27:380:27:42

-Oh, yes! And she's won, brilliant, absolutely...

-One for the ladies!

0:27:430:27:49

Exactly! Who said that girls can't play football?

0:27:490:27:52

Val, thank you very much indeed,

0:27:520:27:54

and we've still got lots more coming up on today's programme.

0:27:540:27:57

Rob sets up a spy-camera, in case the otter pups decide to take a dip.

0:27:590:28:04

We'll see the results.

0:28:040:28:07

The kids at Longleat's local school

0:28:070:28:09

do their bit to save African wildlife.

0:28:090:28:12

Well, because people are killing other animals,

0:28:120:28:16

so they make jewellery and different clothings of them.

0:28:160:28:21

I don't think that's very nice to other animals.

0:28:210:28:23

But first...

0:28:250:28:27

LION ROARS

0:28:270:28:28

..the lion cubs have just met their father Kabir for the first time.

0:28:280:28:32

Now they must tackle another new challenge.

0:28:320:28:35

I've come up to the Lion House to meet head of section Brian Kent.

0:28:370:28:41

Morning, Brian - and deputy, Bob Trollope.

0:28:410:28:43

And just have a look over here, look at these young cubs.

0:28:430:28:46

Today Malaika and Jasira are going to be taught an important new skill.

0:28:460:28:51

If the keepers need to give the lions any kind of medicine,

0:28:530:28:56

they do so by hiding it in a piece of meat,

0:28:560:29:00

so now the cubs must learn to eat off a stick.

0:29:000:29:03

Can I help you with the...administration as such?

0:29:040:29:08

So there's no medication now, is there?

0:29:080:29:10

This is purely just some little meat chunks.

0:29:100:29:12

These are little placebo chunks, I suppose.

0:29:120:29:15

We hold it up to the bars, shall I do one and you do one?

0:29:150:29:17

They take it straight off the stick.

0:29:170:29:19

I'm amazed that they're eating meat already.

0:29:190:29:22

Are they still suckling as well from their mums?

0:29:220:29:24

You'll find that Jasira, the smaller one, she goes back occasionally,

0:29:240:29:29

but they are gradually sort of weaning themselves off.

0:29:290:29:31

Look at their claws, their claws are already enormous.

0:29:310:29:35

-They must be very sharp. There you go, sorry.

-Tremendously sharp.

0:29:350:29:39

And their teeth, have they still got their baby teeth as such?

0:29:390:29:43

Yeah, they've still got their milk teeth,

0:29:430:29:45

and they'll keep them for the best part of a year.

0:29:450:29:48

As you can see, Malaika here is very greedy.

0:29:480:29:50

-Is she? Is she the greedier of...

-Very much like Dad.

0:29:500:29:53

Dad is over there. What's Dad doing, actually?

0:29:530:29:55

Kind of scraping away at the...

0:29:550:29:57

He's realised we've got some meat over here.

0:29:570:29:59

Because we do it to all the lions here,

0:30:010:30:03

just so they get used to taking it off the stick.

0:30:030:30:05

He's getting frustrated that he's not getting meat as well.

0:30:050:30:08

We can pop along later on and give him a few chunks.

0:30:080:30:11

And are you pleased with their progress? Oh, gosh, what's that?

0:30:110:30:15

Is that just a little squabble?

0:30:150:30:16

-Malaika being a bit greedy.

-Is it?

0:30:160:30:19

Malaika is two months older,

0:30:190:30:21

so she's slightly bigger and a bit more boisterous.

0:30:210:30:23

Hence slightly more dominant?

0:30:230:30:25

Slightly more dominant, and that's basically because of her size,

0:30:250:30:29

-she can overpower the little one.

-Look at that.

0:30:290:30:32

She's a little bit stroppy but, you know, it's all part of learning.

0:30:320:30:36

They're learning their hierarchy here.

0:30:360:30:39

And they're gobbling through this meat here, do they eat a lot?

0:30:390:30:43

It's an incredible amount. You know, as we were saying...

0:30:430:30:46

GROWLING

0:30:460:30:48

Hey-hey-hey!

0:30:480:30:49

Down!

0:30:510:30:53

They're surprisingly aggressive for young pups.

0:30:530:30:57

You imagine what sort of damage that will do, these are designed...

0:30:570:31:00

The claws really are ferocious looking.

0:31:000:31:03

They are, but they're designed to take punishment, as you can see.

0:31:030:31:08

And the noises that are going on here,

0:31:080:31:10

is this just a sort of..."Give me that meat as soon as you can"?

0:31:100:31:14

It's just basically trying to warn off little Jasira here

0:31:140:31:17

and hurry us up by giving her another chunk.

0:31:170:31:20

Well, Bob and Brian, thank you very much.

0:31:200:31:23

What a joy, to be feeding these young cubs.

0:31:230:31:27

Of course, we'll keep up with their progress throughout the series.

0:31:270:31:31

At Pets Corner,

0:31:390:31:41

Rosie the Asian short-clawed otter is enjoying a swim.

0:31:410:31:44

Her pups are three months old,

0:31:440:31:46

but they have yet to pluck up the courage to join her.

0:31:460:31:49

Keeper Rob Savin knows it's time for them to start swimming,

0:31:490:31:53

so he's decided to bribe them.

0:31:530:31:56

We are gonna try with a bit of food.

0:31:560:31:59

We've had a little go already, actually.

0:31:590:32:01

It's not really worked, to be honest.

0:32:010:32:03

We've thrown a bit of egg in there, boiled egg,

0:32:030:32:06

and they all love boiled egg.

0:32:060:32:08

And they'll all eat it, including the little ones, but only Rosie -

0:32:080:32:12

she's the only gannet around here at the minute - she's going in!

0:32:120:32:16

She's getting every bit of egg!

0:32:160:32:17

I have actually seen her - it's a little bit of a cheat -

0:32:170:32:21

she's going up and she's actually giving it to them.

0:32:210:32:24

The little ones are screaming at her.

0:32:240:32:26

They're not bothering going in the water, they don't want to know.

0:32:260:32:29

They wait until she gets it - "I'll have that, Mum," -

0:32:290:32:32

so Mum goes back for more!

0:32:320:32:33

I've got a bit of cat biscuit

0:32:330:32:35

and I'm gonna try throwing that in a little bit now

0:32:350:32:38

and we'll have a little go with that.

0:32:380:32:40

And she will eat this.

0:32:400:32:41

I mean, cat biscuits, really, we use it as a treat food.

0:32:410:32:45

When you see them jumping around on land, that tail - brilliant balance.

0:32:450:32:49

And different animals under water,

0:32:490:32:52

they are very elegant.

0:32:520:32:55

The tail is used as a rudder and they can spin and turn and dive.

0:32:550:32:59

I love watching it.

0:32:590:33:01

But we don't see it as often as you perhaps would with other otters.

0:33:010:33:05

It's fantastic.

0:33:050:33:07

The pups still aren't ready to join their mum in the deep water.

0:33:080:33:12

But in their natural habitat, they usually stick to the shallows.

0:33:120:33:16

The Asian short-clawed otters are not so partial

0:33:160:33:20

to going into deeper areas of water.

0:33:200:33:22

They like the paddy rice fields and areas like that

0:33:220:33:26

where there's lots of shallow, almost marshy water.

0:33:260:33:30

And they'll weave in and out of the different grasses and plant life.

0:33:300:33:35

They'd find all sorts of different crustaceans

0:33:350:33:38

and even perhaps little frogs and things inside all of that.

0:33:380:33:44

And they use their paws quite a lot,

0:33:440:33:46

so they'd almost feel in from the shallower parts into the deeper mud,

0:33:460:33:50

and they'd use their nimble little paws.

0:33:500:33:52

So very agile little creatures.

0:33:520:33:54

Rob has one more plan.

0:33:540:33:57

He thinks the pups might take the plunge

0:33:570:34:00

if they think no-one is watching them.

0:34:000:34:02

So he's set up a camera to spy on them.

0:34:020:34:05

They're still a bit wary of us,

0:34:050:34:07

still a bit wary of the movement and different objects,

0:34:070:34:10

new objects, I think it's best we try to get them used to something

0:34:100:34:14

that's steady and still.

0:34:140:34:15

So it should be aimed at the right point, but hopefully -

0:34:150:34:19

I'll just set it recording now - we'll catch something.

0:34:190:34:22

We can walk away, they've got peace and quiet - that's the plan!

0:34:220:34:26

Now there's nothing Rob can do but wait and hope.

0:34:270:34:31

The safari park exists to protect endangered wild animals

0:34:400:34:44

and to spread the word about the need for wildlife conservation.

0:34:440:34:48

Just down the road from the park is Horningsham Primary School.

0:34:490:34:53

The children have all had the chance to see the animals for themselves

0:34:530:34:58

and it's made an impact.

0:34:580:35:00

So, who can tell me what we've been learning about?

0:35:000:35:05

Tom, what have we been learning about?

0:35:050:35:07

About these animals.

0:35:070:35:10

That's right, what else have we been doing? Lucy?

0:35:100:35:12

We've been learning about conservation.

0:35:120:35:14

Right, conservation. Who can tell me what conservation means?

0:35:140:35:18

-Anita?

-Conservation is when zoos have endangered species

0:35:180:35:25

and breed them so that they can put them back in the wild,

0:35:250:35:31

so that they will still be there for future generations.

0:35:310:35:35

How are other animals in other countries becoming endangered?

0:35:350:35:40

Well, because people are killing other animals,

0:35:400:35:44

so they make jewellery and different clothing.

0:35:440:35:48

I don't think that's very nice to other animals.

0:35:480:35:50

Now head teacher, Carol Andrews,

0:35:500:35:52

has invited Darren Beasley and Jo Hawthorn to come to the school.

0:35:520:35:58

-Hello.

-Hello!

-All right?

0:35:580:36:01

They are going to talk to the kids about their upcoming adventure.

0:36:010:36:05

D'you know that Jo and I tomorrow are going to Africa?

0:36:050:36:08

Yeah, have you heard that? Africa, a long way away.

0:36:080:36:12

-And we're going to one country in particular, called...?

-Kenya!

0:36:120:36:15

Kenya, well done!

0:36:150:36:17

They've got lots of animals we'd really like.

0:36:170:36:19

We only get to see them in Longleat, in places like safari parks.

0:36:190:36:23

Imagine if, in your back garden, you had a giraffe.

0:36:230:36:25

That would be a bit good, wouldn't it?

0:36:250:36:27

And I've brought some pictures Jo's got here, look.

0:36:270:36:31

They're quite small so I'll pass them round.

0:36:310:36:34

Jo will bring them round in a minute.

0:36:340:36:36

There's a picture of some men that look like soldiers.

0:36:360:36:39

They do a really good job. They mean that when you grow up,

0:36:390:36:42

you should still be able to see things like rhinos in the wild.

0:36:420:36:45

'I think in this day and age, you can't keep yourself in your village'

0:36:450:36:49

and just know what's around your home.

0:36:490:36:51

It's important we have the TV, the internet and books and things.

0:36:510:36:55

It's important you know what goes on.

0:36:550:36:57

Because what these children do here

0:36:570:36:59

is gonna affect what happens in Africa. These are our future.

0:36:590:37:02

What happens if it's really hot for nearly the whole year?

0:37:020:37:05

What happens to all the grass?

0:37:050:37:07

-It dies out.

-It dies out. What do the animals eat?

0:37:070:37:10

They eat nothing!

0:37:100:37:11

Can't they go down the supermarket and buy some dinner?

0:37:110:37:14

No!

0:37:140:37:16

-They don't have money!

-They don't have money! Oh, no!

0:37:160:37:19

They're too big to get in the supermarket door.

0:37:190:37:21

The children aren't just interested in the animals of Africa.

0:37:210:37:24

They're keen to get involved with the local community

0:37:240:37:27

where Darren and Jo are going.

0:37:270:37:29

What they're gonna do is try and twin themselves

0:37:290:37:31

with one of the village schools out in Kenya where we're going.

0:37:310:37:35

They're gonna support each other and pass information.

0:37:350:37:38

Kids there often can't afford basic things we all take for granted.

0:37:380:37:41

So the children have decided to do what they can to help.

0:37:410:37:46

So we have a box of books here

0:37:460:37:47

that we are hoping that you're going to take over.

0:37:470:37:50

Oh, that's fantastic! That is really, really kind.

0:37:500:37:53

I promise you, they really will get a lot out of those.

0:37:530:37:56

Thank you very much. And thank you.

0:37:560:37:58

We have another book that Imogen's going to give you.

0:37:580:38:01

-This is a book the class have made.

-Oh, that's beautiful! Well done.

0:38:010:38:05

It's lovely. I know the children in Kenya will love this very much.

0:38:050:38:10

Give yourself a round of applause, because you've earned that.

0:38:100:38:13

Well done.

0:38:130:38:15

Thank you. We've got to go, because we've got to pack our cases and go!

0:38:150:38:20

-We'll see you later.

-Bye! Thank you!

-Bye!

0:38:200:38:23

'It's really exciting.

0:38:230:38:25

'The children know a lot about conservation

0:38:250:38:27

'in this country and abroad. They've given us some fantastic books.'

0:38:270:38:31

The children in Kenya are gonna adore them.

0:38:310:38:33

They have no resources out there so it's fantastic.

0:38:330:38:36

And to see the faces in there,

0:38:360:38:38

I know it's going to be matched by the happy faces in Kenya next week.

0:38:380:38:42

Tomorrow, Darren and Jo are off to Kenya.

0:38:420:38:45

And of course, when they get back, they'll update the kids.

0:38:450:38:49

Back at Pets Corner,

0:38:570:38:58

it's time for Rob Savin to check his camera.

0:38:580:39:01

Has he caught the otter pups going for their first swim?

0:39:010:39:06

For hours the young otters played close to the bank,

0:39:060:39:09

but they just wouldn't get in.

0:39:090:39:11

Then, at last...

0:39:160:39:18

It's a breakthrough.

0:39:220:39:25

Got them on tape. They can't deny it!

0:39:310:39:33

We saw definitely one of the little ones go for a swim.

0:39:330:39:37

After all his patience and hard work, it's a proud moment for Rob.

0:39:370:39:42

They were chasing after, I think it was a bit of food.

0:39:420:39:45

But they dived straight in, it was more like a belly flop to be honest!

0:39:450:39:49

And it was in the shallow part of the pool,

0:39:490:39:52

but they came straight back out, seemed quite happy about it.

0:39:520:39:55

So hopefully, that's it now.

0:39:550:39:58

Across the park, the giraffery has also been enjoying a fruitful year.

0:40:060:40:12

We're up at the Giraffe House with head of section, Andy Hayton

0:40:120:40:15

and behind us is Jolly with her beautiful calf, Century.

0:40:150:40:20

The 100th calf born at Longleat, I gather?

0:40:200:40:23

-Yes, the 100th calf in our 40th year and Jolly's tenth baby as well.

-Wow!

0:40:230:40:28

So, Jolly really deserves that one.

0:40:280:40:31

And looking extremely healthy and fit.

0:40:310:40:33

He's a monster! He really is!

0:40:330:40:35

He's very tall! How old is he now?

0:40:350:40:37

-He's about two months old now. And he's just huge!

-He really is.

0:40:370:40:41

Now Andy I want to -

0:40:410:40:42

just over here is another of your pregnant giraffes, isn't it?

0:40:420:40:46

This is Becky, is that right?

0:40:460:40:47

This is Becky, yeah, and that's the 101st baby in there.

0:40:470:40:52

And how imminent is that birth?

0:40:520:40:54

Oh, she's due in the next week or so, so very imminent.

0:40:540:40:57

Last time she really messed us around.

0:40:570:40:59

She was late, quite considerably late.

0:40:590:41:02

But they can go quite a way over their...

0:41:020:41:04

Because she's actually had quite a few giraffes?

0:41:040:41:07

Yeah, she's an old hand as well.

0:41:070:41:09

What are the signs that she's about to give birth?

0:41:090:41:13

You know, what tells you it's about to happen?

0:41:130:41:16

She will be restless and give us little signs.

0:41:160:41:18

But, these animals instinctively, they won't give anything away.

0:41:180:41:22

Because if they give things away where they naturally come from,

0:41:220:41:25

they become a target.

0:41:250:41:27

So a lot of the time, you won't actually see real, clear-cut signs.

0:41:270:41:30

So it's very, very tricky.

0:41:300:41:32

You think something's going on but no, you won't get it.

0:41:320:41:34

Especially her and Jolly, they're real cagey.

0:41:340:41:37

New mums, you might get a bit more, because it's a new experience -

0:41:370:41:40

"Ow, that really hurts, what's going on?"

0:41:400:41:43

They jump around a bit more. But these guys...

0:41:430:41:45

Just absolutely calm, then...

0:41:450:41:47

Will you literally turn up in the morning and find a calf?

0:41:470:41:50

That would be nice. It's nice when you come in.

0:41:500:41:53

Jolly did exactly that for us - we came in and there was a calf in there stood up.

0:41:530:41:57

When you're watching a birth it's stressful.

0:41:570:41:59

It's taking too long and she's looking upset and it's distressed...

0:41:590:42:03

It's harder.

0:42:030:42:05

So just walking in and there's a healthy baby stood up that's drunk is great.

0:42:050:42:09

Fantastic. Andy, thank you very much.

0:42:090:42:11

We'll keep an eye out for Becky. Sadly, that's all we've got time for today.

0:42:110:42:15

But here's what's coming up on the next Animal Park.

0:42:150:42:18

We're off to Kenya with the staff from Longleat.

0:42:180:42:21

These brave men and their faithful hounds

0:42:230:42:26

risk their lives to protect endangered species.

0:42:260:42:29

Stop!

0:42:290:42:31

We go out on patrol with the anti-poaching unit.

0:42:310:42:35

After a boisterous dust bath, it's time for baby's bottle.

0:42:350:42:39

And one of Longleat's largest lions gets a little too close for comfort.

0:42:400:42:45

Oh! I think we've got someone biting the tyre.

0:42:450:42:48

LAUGHTER

0:42:520:42:54

So don't miss the next Animal Park.

0:42:540:42:57

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd 2006

0:43:040:43:07

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:070:43:10

The otter pups are three months old but they still don't know how to swim; will they finally take the plunge? Lion cubs Malaika and Jasira face their biggest challenge yet as they prepare to meet their father Kabir; but will he greet them or eat them? And five lucky keepers prepare for a special trip to Kenya, to meet their animals in the wild.

Presented by Ben Fogle and Kate Humble.