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.
And I'm Kate Humble and we're out in the safari park here at Longleat.
Last year, over three quarters of a million people
came here to see the animals that live here.
We'll bring you all the stories about the animals and the people that look after them.
Here's what's coming up in today's programme.
Lion cubs Malaika and Jasira face their biggest challenge yet
as they prepare to meet their father, Kabir.
Will he greet them, or eat them?
The otter pups are three months old,
but still don't know how to swim.
Will they finally take the plunge?
And five lucky keepers are going to Kenya,
to learn more about how the animals they look after behave in the wild.
This is a lifetime opportunity to go out to Africa
to see wildlife as it should be - absolutely perfect.
But first, we're off to Longleat's lion country.
For years, the park has successfully bred lions.
Now the keepers are trying to bring together a new group,
under the new male, Kabir.
For weeks after they were born,
lion cubs Jasira and Malaika stayed inside the lion house
with their mothers in separate enclosures.
After completing their inoculations,
the cubs took their first big step - they were allowed outside together.
I'm really happy with that.
They've been next to each other for such a long time,
and all of a sudden they can actually meet each other and play,
it's like all their Christmases in one, I should imagine.
Now the cubs are ready for their next big challenge.
It's time for them to meet their father, Kabir, for the first time.
It's a dangerous moment for the little lions.
In the wild, male lions sometimes kill the cubs of competing males.
Kabir has lived next door to the cubs for most of their lives,
so he should recognise Malaika and Jasira as his own.
But if he doesn't, or if they annoy him, he could become vicious.
We don't know how he's going to react to them.
As you can see down here now,
the cubs are fine with him between the cages
and they're not too fazed when he starts roaring and growling at us.
But it might be a little bit different,
if one of these cubs tries to jump on him and play with him.
It's an anxious time for keepers Bob and Brian.
They've spent months raising the cubs,
now they have to let nature take its course.
The only precautions we can take when they're on the outside
is to be in our vehicles and be ready to step in if - as and when.
Come on then, mate. Come on.
They don't want to go.
Are you ready then?
Come on, cubby.
No, you're supposed to go out.
At last, the whole pride is together.
Go on. Good girl.
So far, Kabir is showing no interest in the cubs,
perhaps because he has other things on his mind.
With things going to plan,
Bob can now let the pride out of the controlled confines of the compound
and into the much larger main enclosure for the first time.
This is uncharted territory for the two cubs.
They've both got to learn new smells,
not just one of them at a time.
So they'll both be learning together ultimately.
And this is a much bigger area so they can wander off
and run around and they could very well lose sight of Mum
if they want to run off.
They'll find all the best places to cuddle up when it's cold.
When it's hot, they'll find the places that are in the shade.
All things like that.
Everything seems to be going well.
But Jasira is getting a little bit too cocky for her own good.
Luckily, Kabir just tells her off.
He's a grumpy father, but a good one.
If everything carries on as it is,
I think we're gonna have a nice display this summer.
I've come down to Sea Lion Beach with head of section Mark Tye
and keeper Michelle Stevens
to help with the feeding and to find out who's pregnant.
So are you expecting some little sea lions?
Yes, we are, hopefully.
Um, we're expecting two, one from Celia and one from Jo-Jo.
OK. Where shall I go?
If you just go past those rocks there, Ben.
I'm still always amazed, Mark, at how you can recognise
all the different sea lions. Am I OK standing here?
Yeah, that's fine.
That's Buster's fish there.
I recognise Buster, the big chap.
-Who's this you're feeding now?
-This is Celia.
Right. Is she expecting?
Yes, she is. She's fairly fat now.
There's another couple of months to go before she'll be due.
-But she is looking quite big.
And who have we got over here on the right?
On the right there's Jo-Jo.
She's hopefully the other female that's expecting.
-And on the left next to her?
She's not gonna have a baby,
because two years ago after she gave birth she had a prolapse.
So the vet decided it wouldn't be a good idea
for her to become pregnant any more.
So we put her on contraceptives every year now.
I know there's always a pretty strict hierarchy
amongst the female sea lions.
Has that changed in the last year?
Well, obviously, last year we lost Lindy
who was our dominant female at the time.
Celia's had ideas of grandeur that she wants to be top female.
Unfortunately, Jo-Jo doesn't quite agree with her.
So that presumably creates its own problems.
Yes, there's a little bit of friction between the two.
Particularly at feeding times,
which is why I try to keep Celia up here on this rock.
So you can keep an eye on her?
So I can keep her away - if they start trying to eat together,
they end up pulling lumps out of each other,
which is a bit unfriendly.
-It's not good, especially when you're pregnant.
So, remind me of the gestation period for a sea lion.
The gestation period is just over 11 months.
It's about 11 months, two weeks.
So, literally, once they've given birth,
two weeks after that, they're mated again.
And it starts again?
They are literally pregnant all year round.
I know last year - cos obviously, Sea Lion Beach here,
you've had it for about a year now.
Last year was the first successful birthing on the beach, wasn't it?
Are you hoping...? Oh, be quiet, Buster!
Are you hoping that it will be successful again this year
and that they'll give birth here again?
Yes, I am. They have got used to it now.
Obviously, in the past, we had silly situations
where they gave birth in boats and on Gorilla Island,
and things like that.
So they have got used to this beach area and the pen next door.
And there's no reason why they shouldn't give birth here again.
They were quite comfortable with it last year.
-So I'm sure that will happen again.
-Do you still look forward to it?
Absolutely. It's what we're here for, to breed these animals.
It's great for us.
It's great to see these animals giving birth
and living a natural, healthy life.
You're doing the right thing if the animals are happy.
If they weren't happy, they probably wouldn't breed.
So, you know, it's great for us.
It's also nice to have new additions in the lake.
Well, Mark, thank you very much for letting me help.
You're very welcome. Thank you.
Go on, Buster.
Across the park at Pets Corner, keepers were delighted recently
when Asian short-clawed otters Rosie and Romeo became parents.
Their two otter pups emerged from the nest a couple of months ago.
Since then, keeper Rob Savin has been waiting patiently
for the pups to get in the water for the first time.
They're three months old now,
and they should be ready to take the plunge.
But surprisingly, swimming is not a talent otters are born with.
It's a skill the pups will have to learn.
Parents Rosie and Romeo have to remain vigilant
to keep them out of danger.
Potentially, if they jumped in a big pool of water very early on,
if they were uneducated swimmers, the chances are they might drown.
But the idea that Mum and Dad are around,
especially Mum, is to drag them out.
And if there's a problem, what she should do -
if they're swimming and then struggling -
she'll go and and bring them back out again, that's hopefully the idea.
Asian short-clawed otters are less aquatic
than any other breed of otters.
Nevertheless, they're powerful, graceful swimmers
and at their most agile in the water.
Their enclosure is well adapted to adult otters -
it has a stream running through it and several plunge pools -
but so far the youngsters are hanging back.
So Rob has come up with a plan
to make water a little less frightening.
He's making them a paddling pool.
Otters need to be taught...
I mean, they needed to know where their food was coming from.
They also needed to know which parent was gonna provide the food.
All animals learn from Mum and Dad, usually,
and it's partly learned behaviour,
and you've got instincts as well, things that they're born with.
Swimming, you would think with an otter, it comes quite natural,
and I suppose, when they see water,
they should know roughly what to do with it.
It's not really enough, nowhere near enough
for them to swim in properly, they're far too big.
They're sniffing, sniffing the sides,
but I don't know if they're gonna go in.
Oh, what's this?
Rosie leads by example and climbs in first.
Eventually, curiosity gets the better of the pups.
And...yeah, they're both in now. That's lovely, yeah.
It's more Mum than Dad, I don't think Dad's too bothered.
Romeo, he's not interested at all, not at the moment,
but Mum's definitely taking them in there, that's really good.
They've managed to just all fit in there briefly,
but I think it was more of a playful roll-around.
It's fantastic to watch when they're like that,
especially the little ones getting in on the act.
I've seen Romeo and Rosie playing like that, but with the little ones rolling around,
there's nothing left of that clean water now.
It's just a big bowl of mud, but it's fantastic.
They've certainly had a wash, if nothing else. They've had a bath.
In the wild, otters would find most of their food in water.
As well as being fun,
this swimming lesson will teach the pups vital survival skills.
Very intelligent animals, otters.
They're playful, very social, especially this particular species.
And when animals play, they use play as a learning process as well.
I mean, Mum's diving in there. They're not following.
They're not quite ready for that big leap into that bit yet,
but when they do, it'll be a learning process.
It'll be quite a shock to the system,
it'll probably look quite funny,
but if there's a problem, Mum should leap in and save them.
The pups liked the paddling pool,
but they're still unwilling to throw themselves in at the deep end.
We'll come back later to see if they take the plunge.
The safari park is home to more than 400 animals,
representing 50 different species drawn from every corner of the world.
They are cared for by more than 100 dedicated staff,
but few of them have ever seen these animals in their natural habitats.
Soon, however, some of them will get the chance to go to Africa.
The park is closely involved with the Tusk Trust,
a charity dedicated to conserving the wildlife and habitats of Africa.
The trust runs 25 conservation projects in 15 countries.
This year, Deputy Head Warden, Ian Turner
will take a select group of staff to see their work in Kenya.
This is a lifetime opportunity, to go out to Africa.
I mean, OK, we're working,
but you're getting to do stuff you want to do.
It's a job,
but you're going to Africa to see wildlife as it should be.
So what do you think I'll enjoy most out in Kenya, Andy?
The lucky four who will join Ian are Andy Hayton and Bev Evans,
from the East Africa Reserve,
along with Darren Beasley and Jo Hawthorne from Pets Corner.
For head of section, Andy Hayton, it will be the second trip to Kenya,
and a chance to build on his experience.
-It's not gonna be a bit scary?
Natural behaviour -
seeing what the animals out there behave like naturally.
If we see our animals exhibiting that behaviour,
we know we are going down the right road.
So anything like that is always helpful.
Darren Beasley will also be on his second visit to Kenya.
He'll be looking for the kind of animals
he is used to keeping at Pets Corner.
These are some things that hopefully you'll see.
Something that really whetted my appetite last time
was the amount of small animals.
We talk about biodiversity - the little ones and the big ones are all needed. It's crucial.
I'm hoping now, with Jo coming with us this year,
we can find the small animals - the tortoises, the mongoose,
the bugs, the beetles - and all the things that really get me going.
For keepers Bev and Jo, it will be their first chance
to see their favourite animals in the wild.
I'm definitely looking forward to seeing giraffe and zebra out there,
just to compare them to our lot, really.
As a child, I just loved elephants.
So, definitely, seeing that in the wild, that would be just amazing.
Jo's interests are rather more down to earth.
Tortoises is what I'm really interested in.
Just the chance to see one of the two species out there would be amazing.
But this isn't a sightseeing trip.
Seeing these animals in their natural environment,
exhibiting their natural behaviour,
will allow the keepers to increase their knowledge
and care even better for the animals they keep back home.
Looking at the giraffe and seeing the way they feed,
at what height, and all the different types of diet they have,
we could bring something back for ours,
and have an idea of an enrichment idea and things like that.
The keepers will also be able to share
what they learn about conservation with park visitors.
Last year, we had over 700,000 people at Longleat
and I reckon, personally, we talked to most of them in Pets Corner!
And we can pass that message on.
You can be depressed about the world and say life's hard
and everything is being extinct, it's not. There is hope out there.
I'm in the chipmunk enclosure with keeper Val McGruther,
and I gather that it's been all change, some for good, some for bad.
Yes. It's a little bit sad. Our favourite little chipmunk Garston,
he was the one that always used to come to us,
I'm afraid he sadly died back in the winter.
-He was quite an age, though, wasn't he?
-He was about seven.
For a male chipmunk, that is really good.
He seems, though, to have a worthy successor. Who's this?
We've been training some new chipmunks to come and take the food.
-He's been really good.
He's the one that comes most. He's taken over Garston's job, really.
So, when you say train them, how do you do that?
Is it just a matter of sitting in the enclosure
-and letting them get used to you?
-It is a lot.
It's a bit like training other animals, to be honest.
They like their food and they have particular things they like.
Like some of these things we have here.
Nuts, blueberries, nice little bits of fruit and stuff like that.
So, we'll sit in here and then they get used to being in here.
They get used to coming
and perhaps taking a little bit of food every now and again.
Gradually, we'll increase it so more people come in.
And then, hopefully, we'll have children coming in here again.
Which they would love. They are absolutely adorable and lovely,
although they have all disappeared.
Where are you? Come out and show us how adorable you are.
He's hiding over there.
-Oh, there he is! Look!
-He's saving it for later.
-Do they bury things like squirrels?
-Yes, they do.
Are they better at remembering where they put them?
They're about the same, I think.
What's interesting, as with squirrels,
-you'll get another one looking and seeing where he's put it.
If he gets the chance, he'll nick it.
What I was going to say - obviously, they're very adorable.
It must be very tempting to keep them as pets.
-Are they good pets?
-They don't really make good pets.
They're interesting animals to keep, rather than a pet, if you see what I mean.
You need a nice bit of space for them.
An aviary the size of this would be great.
And you need to spend time with them.
Because you won't get this if you don't spend time with them.
You need to be in with them.
Just watching here, we're just being very slow and careful.
This is amazing to see how he's cracking into that almond
without any problem at all.
They've obviously got very sharp teeth.
They have got sharp teeth,
and chewing into the nut like that is very good for their teeth,
because their teeth are constantly growing,
and it trims them a bit as they go along.
Like all rodents, they've got constant growing teeth,
so is it important, as well, to have things in the enclosure
that they can wear their teeth down on?
Yes, it is, very important.
They've got all the branches here and everything, which are good,
and hard food to eat, like nuts and a bit of biscuit in there,
hard seeds and things like that, that's all really good.
Now, he's actually taking far more than he can eat all at once.
It seems like... Is he stuffing it into a cheek pouch?
Yeah, they've got these cheek pouches on either side,
same as little hamsters have, and they will fill their cheek pouch.
Sometimes they'll eat at the same time, they'll save some,
they'll take it and bury it, as we saw earlier, for later so that...
I think I've made a friend here as well. He's great!
Well, Val, I'm very sad to hear the news about Garston,
but this little fella is an absolute delight,
and I hope that all of them continue to thrive
and give the visitors as much pleasure as they have in the past.
-Thank you very much.
-Thank you very much.
Working with Val at Pets Corner is keeper Jo Hawthorne.
Her passion is caring for some of the park's smaller and cuter inhabitants.
But now she's preparing to go to Kenya,
where she'll see some really big game in the wild.
Kenya is a world leader
in the conservation of both black and white rhino,
so Jo will definitely come across these animals during her visit.
I've read lots about them and, you know,
actually done a bit of assignment work on them
but never really actually had the time to spend with them.
To gain some experience before she meets them in the wild,
she's come to the rhino house
to see what she can learn from her colleague Kevin Nibbs.
Hopefully, he can give me insights in how they're kept in captivity,
and then of course I can go out and maybe pick up a few little pointers,
behaviouralisms, things like that, when I get out to Kenya.
So who have we got here, Kev?
In the first pen is Razina, she's five.
-Then we've got Anjani, the little male.
He's nearly seven, he'll be seven this year.
In the far pen there we've got Marashi, the oldest one,
-who's seven as well.
-She's seven, right.
At the moment she kind of leads these three youngsters,
-she's the biggest one, pushes them around.
-She's the boss.
-She kind of takes charge, yeah.
When they say the white rhino is the gentlest, they definitely are...
Yeah, they are the more sort of chilled out, relaxed.
-They only get upset over little things.
If a wild rhino does get upset, it's best to keep well out of the way,
as I found out when I was in Africa last year.
For a moment, it was touch and go.
He now wants to have a go at us.
-Are we in trouble?
That was close, it was like about a couple of inches.
After what happened last time,
Jo's keen to learn as much as she can about how rhino behave outdoors,
so Kevin has brought her to the enclosure
where bull Winston is grazing.
Winston is normally very placid, but he weighs at least two tonnes,
and in the past he has been known to throw his weight around.
Is he expecting us or...?
I think he is now, he's probably heard us coming all the way up,
-we'll jump out in a minute and chuck some hay to him.
Before we get out, we'll go through a few safety things.
Basically, we leave both doors open,
so if we do need to get in, it's really quick to jump in.
-And we won't go very far from the vehicle.
But that's basically it, and the tractor will keep an eye on us,
so we should be OK. So are you ready?
-After you, then!
-Are you ready?
Rhinos have poor eyesight,
but make up for it with an excellent sense of smell and hearing.
Amazingly, they're also very fast -
from a standing start they can accelerate within seconds
to a charging speed of up to 30mph.
So is this a safe distance, Kev?
With him, yeah, this is a very good distance,
but with the younger guys we would be maybe twice this,
just to make sure, doubly sure.
They'd be a lot quicker, I suppose.
Absolutely, they'd cover this in maybe a couple of seconds.
The sight of a bull rhino up close is an awesome experience.
It's quite daunting, cos you see him from far away,
and he's doing his thing, and he's just feeding,
but, like Kev said, until they start getting closer to the vehicle,
you become so aware that they're getting bigger as they come nearer,
and you can see the power, you know?
And you know, just the width and breadth of his chest and his legs,
you could actually see why if it broke into a trot,
it would be quite scary.
He's obviously aware we're here, but he's quite calm, isn't he?
He is, actually, yeah, very calm.
This is good for him. He loves it out here.
You can see how one could turn, I mean...
You wouldn't actually be able to do a lot, really,
if one decided he was gonna come along and...
"oof" you out of the way with his horn there.
I wouldn't want to be in front of one if he was making a run at me,
that's for sure.
-They really are like a bulldozer, aren't they?
Armed with more knowledge about their behaviour,
Jo can look forward to interacting safely with wild rhinos in Kenya.
It's good to get a few kind of pointers from Kev
to see how they act and what I can pick up on -
behavioural signs and that, so it'll be great to study them out there,
I can't wait to see them.
To keep the animals happy and interested,
the keepers are constantly coming up with new activities and games for them.
I'm back with Val McGruther to see the latest treat she's developed
for the Chinese pot-bellied pigs.
You've come up with an inventive way of keeping the pigs occupied, haven't you?
Yeah, we've got this nice ball here with a few holes in it.
We stick some pig nuts in there, these little things.
These things here? I'll just pop them in there.
-So what's the idea?
-Well, they'll roll the ball along,
the pig nuts'll come out, they'll have nice little snack
at the same time as having a bit of fun.
-Which one's this one?
-This is Bruno.
Oh, yeah, you can see from the tusks at the front.
OK, well, he's looking very keen, ready for kick-off.
Go for it, Bruno!
MATCH OF THE DAY THEME PLAYS
Well, Bruno's gone straight for it.
He has, hasn't he? Yeah, he's quite a dab hand at football.
Do you find...? Do you find that, er...
that Bruno does tend to be the more inventive of the two?
-Do they have very different characters?
-They do a bit, really.
He's the one that tends to be more like this, chasing the ball about.
Well, he looks very happy.
Blossom might be going in for a bit of a tackle. Go for it, Blossom!
-Oh, yes! And she's won, brilliant, absolutely...
-One for the ladies!
Exactly! Who said that girls can't play football?
Val, thank you very much indeed,
and we've still got lots more coming up on today's programme.
Rob sets up a spy-camera, in case the otter pups decide to take a dip.
We'll see the results.
The kids at Longleat's local school
do their bit to save African wildlife.
Well, because people are killing other animals,
so they make jewellery and different clothings of them.
I don't think that's very nice to other animals.
..the lion cubs have just met their father Kabir for the first time.
Now they must tackle another new challenge.
I've come up to the Lion House to meet head of section Brian Kent.
Morning, Brian - and deputy, Bob Trollope.
And just have a look over here, look at these young cubs.
Today Malaika and Jasira are going to be taught an important new skill.
If the keepers need to give the lions any kind of medicine,
they do so by hiding it in a piece of meat,
so now the cubs must learn to eat off a stick.
Can I help you with the...administration as such?
So there's no medication now, is there?
This is purely just some little meat chunks.
These are little placebo chunks, I suppose.
We hold it up to the bars, shall I do one and you do one?
They take it straight off the stick.
I'm amazed that they're eating meat already.
Are they still suckling as well from their mums?
You'll find that Jasira, the smaller one, she goes back occasionally,
but they are gradually sort of weaning themselves off.
Look at their claws, their claws are already enormous.
-They must be very sharp. There you go, sorry.
And their teeth, have they still got their baby teeth as such?
Yeah, they've still got their milk teeth,
and they'll keep them for the best part of a year.
As you can see, Malaika here is very greedy.
-Is she? Is she the greedier of...
-Very much like Dad.
Dad is over there. What's Dad doing, actually?
Kind of scraping away at the...
He's realised we've got some meat over here.
Because we do it to all the lions here,
just so they get used to taking it off the stick.
He's getting frustrated that he's not getting meat as well.
We can pop along later on and give him a few chunks.
And are you pleased with their progress? Oh, gosh, what's that?
Is that just a little squabble?
-Malaika being a bit greedy.
Malaika is two months older,
so she's slightly bigger and a bit more boisterous.
Hence slightly more dominant?
Slightly more dominant, and that's basically because of her size,
-she can overpower the little one.
-Look at that.
She's a little bit stroppy but, you know, it's all part of learning.
They're learning their hierarchy here.
And they're gobbling through this meat here, do they eat a lot?
It's an incredible amount. You know, as we were saying...
They're surprisingly aggressive for young pups.
You imagine what sort of damage that will do, these are designed...
The claws really are ferocious looking.
They are, but they're designed to take punishment, as you can see.
And the noises that are going on here,
is this just a sort of..."Give me that meat as soon as you can"?
It's just basically trying to warn off little Jasira here
and hurry us up by giving her another chunk.
Well, Bob and Brian, thank you very much.
What a joy, to be feeding these young cubs.
Of course, we'll keep up with their progress throughout the series.
At Pets Corner,
Rosie the Asian short-clawed otter is enjoying a swim.
Her pups are three months old,
but they have yet to pluck up the courage to join her.
Keeper Rob Savin knows it's time for them to start swimming,
so he's decided to bribe them.
We are gonna try with a bit of food.
We've had a little go already, actually.
It's not really worked, to be honest.
We've thrown a bit of egg in there, boiled egg,
and they all love boiled egg.
And they'll all eat it, including the little ones, but only Rosie -
she's the only gannet around here at the minute - she's going in!
She's getting every bit of egg!
I have actually seen her - it's a little bit of a cheat -
she's going up and she's actually giving it to them.
The little ones are screaming at her.
They're not bothering going in the water, they don't want to know.
They wait until she gets it - "I'll have that, Mum," -
so Mum goes back for more!
I've got a bit of cat biscuit
and I'm gonna try throwing that in a little bit now
and we'll have a little go with that.
And she will eat this.
I mean, cat biscuits, really, we use it as a treat food.
When you see them jumping around on land, that tail - brilliant balance.
And different animals under water,
they are very elegant.
The tail is used as a rudder and they can spin and turn and dive.
I love watching it.
But we don't see it as often as you perhaps would with other otters.
The pups still aren't ready to join their mum in the deep water.
But in their natural habitat, they usually stick to the shallows.
The Asian short-clawed otters are not so partial
to going into deeper areas of water.
They like the paddy rice fields and areas like that
where there's lots of shallow, almost marshy water.
And they'll weave in and out of the different grasses and plant life.
They'd find all sorts of different crustaceans
and even perhaps little frogs and things inside all of that.
And they use their paws quite a lot,
so they'd almost feel in from the shallower parts into the deeper mud,
and they'd use their nimble little paws.
So very agile little creatures.
Rob has one more plan.
He thinks the pups might take the plunge
if they think no-one is watching them.
So he's set up a camera to spy on them.
They're still a bit wary of us,
still a bit wary of the movement and different objects,
new objects, I think it's best we try to get them used to something
that's steady and still.
So it should be aimed at the right point, but hopefully -
I'll just set it recording now - we'll catch something.
We can walk away, they've got peace and quiet - that's the plan!
Now there's nothing Rob can do but wait and hope.
The safari park exists to protect endangered wild animals
and to spread the word about the need for wildlife conservation.
Just down the road from the park is Horningsham Primary School.
The children have all had the chance to see the animals for themselves
and it's made an impact.
So, who can tell me what we've been learning about?
Tom, what have we been learning about?
About these animals.
That's right, what else have we been doing? Lucy?
We've been learning about conservation.
Right, conservation. Who can tell me what conservation means?
-Conservation is when zoos have endangered species
and breed them so that they can put them back in the wild,
so that they will still be there for future generations.
How are other animals in other countries becoming endangered?
Well, because people are killing other animals,
so they make jewellery and different clothing.
I don't think that's very nice to other animals.
Now head teacher, Carol Andrews,
has invited Darren Beasley and Jo Hawthorn to come to the school.
They are going to talk to the kids about their upcoming adventure.
D'you know that Jo and I tomorrow are going to Africa?
Yeah, have you heard that? Africa, a long way away.
-And we're going to one country in particular, called...?
Kenya, well done!
They've got lots of animals we'd really like.
We only get to see them in Longleat, in places like safari parks.
Imagine if, in your back garden, you had a giraffe.
That would be a bit good, wouldn't it?
And I've brought some pictures Jo's got here, look.
They're quite small so I'll pass them round.
Jo will bring them round in a minute.
There's a picture of some men that look like soldiers.
They do a really good job. They mean that when you grow up,
you should still be able to see things like rhinos in the wild.
'I think in this day and age, you can't keep yourself in your village'
and just know what's around your home.
It's important we have the TV, the internet and books and things.
It's important you know what goes on.
Because what these children do here
is gonna affect what happens in Africa. These are our future.
What happens if it's really hot for nearly the whole year?
What happens to all the grass?
-It dies out.
-It dies out. What do the animals eat?
They eat nothing!
Can't they go down the supermarket and buy some dinner?
-They don't have money!
-They don't have money! Oh, no!
They're too big to get in the supermarket door.
The children aren't just interested in the animals of Africa.
They're keen to get involved with the local community
where Darren and Jo are going.
What they're gonna do is try and twin themselves
with one of the village schools out in Kenya where we're going.
They're gonna support each other and pass information.
Kids there often can't afford basic things we all take for granted.
So the children have decided to do what they can to help.
So we have a box of books here
that we are hoping that you're going to take over.
Oh, that's fantastic! That is really, really kind.
I promise you, they really will get a lot out of those.
Thank you very much. And thank you.
We have another book that Imogen's going to give you.
-This is a book the class have made.
-Oh, that's beautiful! Well done.
It's lovely. I know the children in Kenya will love this very much.
Give yourself a round of applause, because you've earned that.
Thank you. We've got to go, because we've got to pack our cases and go!
-We'll see you later.
-Bye! Thank you!
'It's really exciting.
'The children know a lot about conservation
'in this country and abroad. They've given us some fantastic books.'
The children in Kenya are gonna adore them.
They have no resources out there so it's fantastic.
And to see the faces in there,
I know it's going to be matched by the happy faces in Kenya next week.
Tomorrow, Darren and Jo are off to Kenya.
And of course, when they get back, they'll update the kids.
Back at Pets Corner,
it's time for Rob Savin to check his camera.
Has he caught the otter pups going for their first swim?
For hours the young otters played close to the bank,
but they just wouldn't get in.
Then, at last...
It's a breakthrough.
Got them on tape. They can't deny it!
We saw definitely one of the little ones go for a swim.
After all his patience and hard work, it's a proud moment for Rob.
They were chasing after, I think it was a bit of food.
But they dived straight in, it was more like a belly flop to be honest!
And it was in the shallow part of the pool,
but they came straight back out, seemed quite happy about it.
So hopefully, that's it now.
Across the park, the giraffery has also been enjoying a fruitful year.
We're up at the Giraffe House with head of section, Andy Hayton
and behind us is Jolly with her beautiful calf, Century.
The 100th calf born at Longleat, I gather?
-Yes, the 100th calf in our 40th year and Jolly's tenth baby as well.
So, Jolly really deserves that one.
And looking extremely healthy and fit.
He's a monster! He really is!
He's very tall! How old is he now?
-He's about two months old now. And he's just huge!
-He really is.
Now Andy I want to -
just over here is another of your pregnant giraffes, isn't it?
This is Becky, is that right?
This is Becky, yeah, and that's the 101st baby in there.
And how imminent is that birth?
Oh, she's due in the next week or so, so very imminent.
Last time she really messed us around.
She was late, quite considerably late.
But they can go quite a way over their...
Because she's actually had quite a few giraffes?
Yeah, she's an old hand as well.
What are the signs that she's about to give birth?
You know, what tells you it's about to happen?
She will be restless and give us little signs.
But, these animals instinctively, they won't give anything away.
Because if they give things away where they naturally come from,
they become a target.
So a lot of the time, you won't actually see real, clear-cut signs.
So it's very, very tricky.
You think something's going on but no, you won't get it.
Especially her and Jolly, they're real cagey.
New mums, you might get a bit more, because it's a new experience -
"Ow, that really hurts, what's going on?"
They jump around a bit more. But these guys...
Just absolutely calm, then...
Will you literally turn up in the morning and find a calf?
That would be nice. It's nice when you come in.
Jolly did exactly that for us - we came in and there was a calf in there stood up.
When you're watching a birth it's stressful.
It's taking too long and she's looking upset and it's distressed...
So just walking in and there's a healthy baby stood up that's drunk is great.
Fantastic. Andy, thank you very much.
We'll keep an eye out for Becky. Sadly, that's all we've got time for today.
But here's what's coming up on the next Animal Park.
We're off to Kenya with the staff from Longleat.
These brave men and their faithful hounds
risk their lives to protect endangered species.
We go out on patrol with the anti-poaching unit.
After a boisterous dust bath, it's time for baby's bottle.
And one of Longleat's largest lions gets a little too close for comfort.
Oh! I think we've got someone biting the tyre.
So don't miss the next Animal Park.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd 2006
E-mail [email protected]
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.