Episode 8 Animal Park


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Episode 8

In a special programme from Kenya, keepers help inoculate endangered Grevy's zebra against an outbreak of deadly anthrax, and head into the bush on the trail of two white rhino.


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

-I'm Kate Humble.

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We're up at Wallaby Wood with the 26 Bennett wallabies. I say 26 but those are the ones you can actually see.

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Spring is in the air and they've started to breed.

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You can probably just make out some joeys in their pouches down there.

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We've got lots of other stories coming up on today's programme.

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Male lions Mafui and Kabir are neighbours,

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but if they met, it would be murder.

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We'll learn how to keep the peace.

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Calm down!

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I'll be going bananas with the boisterous Bactrian Camels.

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No, don't... It's not for you. Just wait.

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And we're off to Kenya

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where conservationists are battling to inoculate these endangered zebra

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against an outbreak of deadly anthrax.

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

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Kabir, the male Barbary lion, arrived at the park in 2005.

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He's one of less than 100 Barbary lions left in the world.

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Thankfully, he settled in quickly.

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He sired two female cubs.

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At first he was a bit of a grumpy father.

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But now the whole family are getting on splendidly together.

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There is one lion at Longleat that Kabir will never meet -

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12-year-old male, Mafui.

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Male lions will not tolerate other males,

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and so Mafui and Kabir are deadly rivals.

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Though they share accommodation, the keepers must keep them apart.

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We're outside the lion enclosures with head of section Brian Kent and keeper Bob Trollope.

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We've got quite a task on our hands, I gather.

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-We do.

-What have we got to do today?

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We've got to put one pride in and let one pride out.

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OK. That sounds relatively simple.

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We've got one pride of lions out who've got to be in, and one pride in who've got to be out.

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-But they're all in the same section.

-Ah.

-Ah.

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So how on earth do we go about this?

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-Well, we just go in there and drive one lot into a paddock.

-Right.

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Get them into the house and then let the other lot out.

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You make it sound beautifully simple, but I have a feeling it might be more complicated.

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While Ben and Brian head to the lion house to meet Mafui...

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..I'm off with Bob to meet Kabir,

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who's holding court in the lion enclosure.

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There he is, just there.

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Just there. He's looking so handsome.

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There's his protege.

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There's his pride. Look at them.

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How do the cubs react to being rounded up and moved into the house?

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They're absolutely brilliant.

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You normally find that, as soon as we open the slider,

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Kabir is there. He's pretty good at that.

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Cos it was hours before.

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It was hours, yeah.

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He's a bit of a wuss now, and as soon as he sees the house is open, he wants to go in.

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-It's a very cold day.

-Yeah. That triggers a response from the females

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because they see him going in, think they're missing out, so they come in.

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-Obviously cubs don't want to be very far from Mum.

-So they follow in.

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Is it just simply not possible to mix the two prides?

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-No, it would be carnage.

-Really?

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-Kabir would want to kill Mafui.

-Right.

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And Mafui would want to kill Kabir.

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Presumably in here it's Mafui's pride, is it?

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Just the three of them, yeah.

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Brian, just how important is this, to keep the two males separate?

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What would happen if they saw one another?

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If they could see each other through the caging, we'd have problems.

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They would go at each other through the cage.

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-They'd try and attack one another?

-They would try to get to each other. What we've done is obviously...

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You've put that whole partition in.

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So they can't actually see at all.

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Is this so that in the winter time when it's a bit chilly like today,

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both prides can come in at night and you can house them in the same area and keep an eye on them?

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Yeah, that's what it was for.

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You don't want to let the other ones out too long in the cold.

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We've got the ability to keep them in for as long as we want.

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Absolutely.

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Here he is. He's looking quite keen to come in.

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-He really is a magnificent looking male, isn't he?

-He is.

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-Here's the others coming in.

-Here they come. What's the next stage?

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-Just let Brian know.

-OK.

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-Lion two, Brian.

-That sounds like Bob and Kate.

-Come in.

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Yeah, the lions are in the compound.

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Fantastic.

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OK, thank you.

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That's phase one successfully completed,

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but the keepers still have to coax Kabir and his pride into the lion house

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before Mafui comes out. We'll be there to help.

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Now, we're off to Kenya to visit the TUSK Trust.

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

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They run 25 conservation projects in 15 countries.

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As a donor, Longleat Safari Park has enjoyed a close working relationship with the trust in recent years.

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This collaboration means TUSK has invited safari park staff to develop

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their professional expertise by visiting the conservancies it supports in Kenya.

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This year, Deputy Head Warden Ian Turner has brought four Longleat keepers

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on the trip of a lifetime to the Lewa conservancy.

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Ranging across 250 sq kms of land on the slopes of Mount Kenya,

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Lewa is dedicated to preserving Africa's endangered wildlife.

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Many of the animals living at Lewa are under threat, but none are more endangered than the Grevy's zebra.

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Recognisable by their thin stripes and large ears,

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Grevy's used to be found across East Africa.

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But because of hunting and destruction of habitat, there are less than 2,500 left in the world.

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Of those precious few, about 400 live here at Lewa.

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This year, Kenya has been ravaged by a severe drought which has affected the whole of East Africa.

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There's been no significant rainfall here for over nine months.

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Now the dry conditions have brought on an urgent problem for Head of Security Richard Moller.

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There's been an outbreak of anthrax in an area 45 miles north of Lewa, a place called Ngarani.

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There's quite a good population of Grevy's zebra there.

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The November rains failed totally in this area and especially up north.

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It's these extreme climatic conditions

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that bring out these sort of diseases. Anthrax is one of them.

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Anthrax has hit the headlines in the West as a biological weapon,

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but in Africa it occurs in its natural form.

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It's a bacteria that lives in the soil.

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It's rarely fatal to humans, but when it breaks out in hoofed mammals, it can quickly kill.

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We know of 66 deaths so far.

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That's a pretty significant number of animals.

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The disease could easily spread to Lewa, so the park management

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decided to vaccinate as many of Lewa's Grevy's as possible.

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It's a massive job.

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You're talking about an operation that's cost about 120,000.

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To include aerial darting from a helicopter.

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On Lewa we're up to, I think, 250-odd at the moment

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out of a total of 400.

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We've just got this one small group left to do.

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But if we can do a minimum of 60%, then at least we're hopefully ahead of the game.

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Bev Evans looks after zebra at Longleat,

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but hers are a subspecies called Grant's zebra.

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She's come a long way to see Grevy's for the first time.

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Now she has the chance to help Richard complete this critical vaccination project.

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Normally we do dart in a pen, quite a small pen,

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so it's reasonably easy to dart the animal, and also to get the dart back.

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Out here, they could go anywhere.

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It must be quite hard to find out which animals you've already darted

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and also to get the animals.

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We've already got some rigged-up darts in here.

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Important that they're all chilled.

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-We've still got quite a few, but probably best we rig up a couple more darts.

-Sure, OK.

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-You've got two compartments.

-Right.

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You can press this one with compressed air.

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The plan is that compressed air pushes that plunger forward

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-and then the drug, or vaccine in this case, is administered to the animal.

-Yeah, sure.

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Right, Bev, I think we can pack up and head out.

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Over 250 animals have been darted so far, and Richard is an old hand at the process.

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But still, it's not easy.

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Once you've darted one or two out of a group, the rest obviously realise

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there's something amiss here and become more schitzy. That's why we haven't done the whole population.

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With one fifth of the world's Grevy's living at Lewa,

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it's vital for the future of the species that the vaccination programme works.

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We'll come back later to see how Bev and Richard get on.

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At Pets Corner, Darren Beasley and Jo Hawthorne look after some of the park's smaller and slower residents,

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including over 40 tortoises.

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They've been excited about their trip to Kenya for weeks.

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These are some of the things you'll hopefully see.

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Something that really whetted my appetite was the amount of small animals.

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The little ones and the big ones are all needed.

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It's so crucial and I'm hoping, with Jo gonna come with us this year,

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

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and all the things that really get me going.

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Now at the Lewa conservancy, Darren and Jo are hoping to study tortoises in the wild.

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But Lewa's a big place, and tortoises are hard to find.

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After days of searching, Darren and Jo have heard about a tortoise sighting,

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so they've come to investigate.

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We heard on the radio, you might have found something for us.

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Jo and I have just got fever-pitch excitement here

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because we just heard on the old walkie-talkies that he might have found us a tortoise.

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This is a big place! You're looking for a needle in a haystack.

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We would so love, for many, many reasons, to find a tortoise.

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If it is the sort of tortoise we think it is, it's a big result all round.

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Tortoises are shy, well camouflaged and very difficult to spot, but one has recently been seen in this area.

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Surely it can't have gone far.

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Oh! Look!

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Oh, my goodness!

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-We're going to need bigger scales.

-That is a beauty.

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That is a leopard tortoise.

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Oh, my goodness.

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-Isn't she beautiful?

-I'll take some pictures.

-Well done. Thank you.

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-Well done.

-She's huge!

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Goodness gracious me.

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This is dream upon dreams. This is exactly what we're looking for. It's called a leopard tortoise.

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We've got the little dots.

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As they get really old, some can live a huge amount of years

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if they're not preyed on. This can go just one colour - brown.

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It's got the little dots in here,

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a bit like a leopard coat.

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The camouflage on these is incredible.

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In this grass, this colour, you're not going to see them.

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Obviously when they need to get away

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to hide away from predators, they've got the perfect camouflage shell.

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The leopard tortoise is found in grassland right across Africa.

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Eating a diet of dry grass and the occasional fruit,

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they can weigh up to 35kg and grow up to 700mm across.

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OK, Jo,

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first one. Goodness gracious.

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-550.

-OK.

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Accurate measurements will tell Darren about how life in the wild affects the tortoise's condition.

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I'm just going to measure her V at the back.

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-OK.

-To give us an idea. I know it is a girl.

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-Yeah. 100mm.

-OK.

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She's a big girl.

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There's no shell damage, probably because of her size,

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but when they're very young these are ideal prey animals. Everything eats them.

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Even hyena with their really strong jaws, will bite into them and bust these.

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They're like tanks, aren't they?

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She's got a lovely shell, really nice. It's not only a defence but a solar panel as well.

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In the this really hot African heat, 100 degrees out here, it's so warm,

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she generates all her energy

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by eating her food, then absorbing the sunshine through here,

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so it's defence and a very advanced solar panel.

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There's no damage here.

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We know with our tortoises, the boy tortoises can be really rough.

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When they try to chat up the girls, they come up and bash them.

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You get a lot of shell damage.

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Here, she'll be lucky if she stumbles across another male once a year if she's lucky.

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So quite amazing.

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The last vital job is to get a good snap for Darren's extensive collection of tortoise photos.

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Bizarrely, wherever I travel in the world, if I find tortoises, I use my foot as a scale measure

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because you end up with all these lovely photographs - tape measures, weights and things -

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but when you see the pictures on the computer, it means nothing.

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My foot stopped growing years ago so I always slip off a trainer.

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Rather sad for the poor wild tortoise, but it's a good measure,

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so you'll see most of my tortoise shots at home have got Darren's foot inside.

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Darren's special interest is how animals like this leopard tortoise fit into the overall ecosystem.

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It's really crucial that everybody in the world

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understands as well that we're in Kenya, elephants, rhinos,

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all that stuff, but the crucial word we use these days is biodiversity. Everybody plays a role out here.

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These guys will make the tracks, eat fallen fruit and spread seeds.

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If you look after the little ones, the big ones follow suit.

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It's crucial that the whole scheme, the whole web of life is cared for.

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She can go back and find some more nice things to munch on.

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-Live a long life. Thank you very much.

-You're welcome.

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-Absolutely fantastic.

-Thank you.

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You've made us both very happy.

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Back at Longleat, Kabir and his pride are in the paddock, waiting to come into the lion house.

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Mafui and his pride are inside, waiting to be allowed out into the open.

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Do we have to do this strange juggling with these guys now?

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-What we need to do is let Kabir and the others in.

-Right.

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Before we can let Mafui and the two girls out.

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-OK. How do we do that?

-If we go down here.

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Back down to this end.

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Obviously you've got that partition in, but presumably there's a sense that they know one another is there.

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-They obviously know each other's there.

-There they are, in fact.

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-Come on.

-Brian, how are we doing out there?

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Not too bad. Just waiting for one more at the moment.

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Here he comes. Two.

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There should be one other female and two young cubs.

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-Calm down.

-Have you got 'em?

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Yeah, I hope so.

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Shall I put the padlock back on?

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Blimey! These are absolutely beautiful, the little cubs.

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-They're getting on really well, aren't they?

-They're doing fine.

-They look fantastically healthy.

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-You're happy that these guys are safely in now?

-They're safely locked in, out of the way.

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So Mafui will disappear down the back. We won't see him, and next time he'll appear outside, yes?

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-He should be straight out in the paddock.

-OK. Are there secret passageways in here?

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We've got a tunnel on the back, a transit tunnel, that we can move any lion past any other lion.

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-Without any contact?

-That's what it was built for.

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Oh, there we go. That's one of the girls that went first.

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That was Amy, now Lulu.

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-And Mafui.

-And Mafui.

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So that's safely outside.

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Yep, they should be on their way.

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-There they are.

-Look, here they come.

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There it is. If you want to push that shut, Kate, then that's it.

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Well done.

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Wow! I feel exhausted.

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That was quite a complicated manoeuvre.

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And you do that every day?

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-Every day, yeah.

-Cor is all I can say!

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I'm not sure we were that helpful, but thank you very much for letting us see them. Thank you.

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Back in Kenya, Bev Evans is helping Lewa's Head of Security Richard Moller

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with a critical vaccination programme.

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They're inoculating the highly endangered Grevy's zebra against an outbreak of deadly anthrax.

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So, Bev, this group up here, it's our last group.

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We know it's the last group.

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Because it's a group that's got several foals.

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They don't move far from here, so we've left this group till last.

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Are you darting the foals as well?

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No, definitely not. We don't want to stress them out too much.

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-Just the fully-grown animals.

-OK.

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Finding the group is one thing, but getting close to them is another.

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-See, they already know.

-Yeah, they're getting nervous?

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They already know what's up here.

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The zebra group head into an area of scrub,

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making it difficult for Richard to get a clean shot.

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-Do you think that hit the spot?

-No.

-No.

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-That was a clean miss.

-Yes.

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The zebra are now clearly avoiding the Jeep.

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We're certainly not in thick bush, but a lot of these whistling thorn,

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if the dart just touches them it will knock that rubber cover off

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and then we'll lose the vaccine. So we'll just stick with them.

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Hopefully they'll move into more open ground.

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Even someone as experienced as Richard can't force wild animals

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to cooperate, but with the future of the species in the balance, he'll keep on trying

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There's just this last group left.

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You can hear the wind and what-have-you...

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The odds are stacking against us a bit now.

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But there's only one thing for it - to keep plugging on.

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We'll come back later on to see if Richard and Bev can accomplish their mission.

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Back at Longleat, many of the animals are acclimatised to human beings and not shy at all.

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Some of them even come forward to be given their medicine.

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This might be what you call a crush of Bactrian camels.

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Hello, girls and boys.

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I'm up at the new area with keeper Kevin Nibbs.

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-They're all looking very keen, Kev.

-They are.

0:21:390:21:43

-They're not lining up for bananas?

-They are.

0:21:430:21:46

-Only because we need to give them some medication.

-Right.

0:21:460:21:49

A few here are quite arthritic. They're getting on in years.

0:21:490:21:53

What we do is put some of this powder for their arthritis in a banana, then put it in their mouth.

0:21:530:21:59

So it's basically like trying to persuade a child to take medicine, you have to disguise it.

0:21:590:22:04

-Yeah.

-It's like doing a cookery show, this.

0:22:040:22:08

You split this one open and put a scoop of this in?

0:22:080:22:11

One scoop in there and try to rub it around a bit.

0:22:110:22:14

-So it's nicely all mixed up with the banana.

-Yep.

0:22:140:22:17

Crikey, this gives a new meaning to banana split, doesn't it?

0:22:170:22:20

I suppose, as you say, you're absolutely sure that each one is getting the required dose.

0:22:200:22:26

-Exactly, yeah. Exactly.

-OK. What do you think of that?

0:22:260:22:29

-Will that do the trick?

-That's good. Give that to Babs because she's greedy. That will go down in one.

0:22:290:22:35

Do we need to take all them at once because they can get quite sort of...

0:22:350:22:40

well, on cue, pushy, can't they?

0:22:400:22:43

Wait, just wait. It's coming, it's coming.

0:22:430:22:45

Yeah, if we take them all together

0:22:450:22:47

we can give it to the ones that need it.

0:22:470:22:49

We've got a few left over for the camels that don't need it.

0:22:490:22:52

Because I know with them... they're big animals.

0:22:520:22:55

-Yeah.

-They could be quite dangerous, I suppose.

-Definitely, yes.

0:22:550:23:01

They've got a big kick on them, very big feet.

0:23:010:23:03

They can bite and spit as well. We've got a gate between us for our safety.

0:23:030:23:08

We can get up close. When they open their mouths, we can look at their tongues,

0:23:080:23:12

make sure there's no injuries, make sure their teeth are there.

0:23:120:23:15

So it's just a nice way to get close to them, but safely.

0:23:150:23:19

But safely. Right, I think that is all four banana splits done. Right.

0:23:190:23:26

I've got my two. You've got your two.

0:23:260:23:28

So let's go over.

0:23:280:23:30

Reisha here, the big white one. She needs two of those.

0:23:300:23:33

-This is Reisha?

-Yeah, Babs needs two as well.

-Ah, ah!

0:23:330:23:37

-So they have two each?

-Yep.

0:23:370:23:39

-We'll give the others some later on.

-No, no, it's not for you. Just wait!

0:23:390:23:43

It looks like...

0:23:430:23:45

hard to tell with all that slobber, you've got terrible table manners,

0:23:450:23:49

but it looks like they haven't actually got teeth as such.

0:23:490:23:53

They've got a half palate on the top of their mouths and below is the teeth.

0:23:530:23:57

So they've got teeth at the bottom. So is it like a sheep?

0:23:570:24:00

They've got a palate at the top.

0:24:000:24:02

-Very much.

-Here you are. There's your other one. Ready? Yummy!

0:24:020:24:06

-"Thanks, Kate." Not like she cares!

-It doesn't last long.

-It doesn't.

0:24:060:24:10

It's obviously an effective way of doing it. Babs is the brown one here.

0:24:100:24:14

Hello, Babs.

0:24:140:24:16

Oi, oi, oi! This is the male, is that right?

0:24:170:24:20

Yep. That's a love bite.

0:24:200:24:22

I'm quite pleased I'm not getting any love from him!

0:24:230:24:26

No, no, no. Babs, there you are.

0:24:260:24:30

They're quite a challenge, aren't they, Kev?

0:24:300:24:32

It's good fun, very good fun.

0:24:320:24:34

They're great, great characters.

0:24:340:24:36

They're all looking a little bit post-winter.

0:24:360:24:40

They grow fantastic coats in winter, don't they?

0:24:400:24:42

Yeah. Their coats are really thick.

0:24:420:24:45

It keeps them so warm. They can live in temperatures of minus 40 in the wild.

0:24:450:24:49

-Wow.

-We don't get quite that cold, but we get damp and damp causes arthritis with these.

0:24:490:24:55

So the cold, they're more than able to cope with.

0:24:550:24:58

-It's just that slightly wet Wiltshire weather.

-That's it, yep.

0:24:580:25:02

They're all dosed up. Can we give some bananas to the others so we don't get attacked by them?

0:25:020:25:08

Right. Whose turn is it now?

0:25:080:25:12

Kev, I hope the treatment does the trick and they're all scampering around when the spring weather comes.

0:25:120:25:18

You've had yours, but you haven't. There you are.

0:25:180:25:21

Thanks, Kev, very much. There you go.

0:25:210:25:24

Mm. You see, you're nice and polite.

0:25:240:25:26

Stop chucking your weight around.

0:25:260:25:30

It's not only the animals that make the park special.

0:25:330:25:38

Today, Ben is in his element - playing about with engines on the Longleat line.

0:25:380:25:44

I'm out on the steam trains with railway manager John Hayton.

0:25:440:25:47

-Hi, John.

-Hello.

-Tell me a bit about this steam train.

0:25:470:25:51

-It's named after you, isn't it?

-Oh, yes.

0:25:510:25:53

This is the John Hayton.

0:25:530:25:55

How did that come about?

0:25:550:25:57

Well, I'd been here 30 years

0:25:570:26:00

and came off my retirement.

0:26:000:26:03

We had a new steam loco coming,

0:26:030:26:06

so I wanted to know what to name it.

0:26:060:26:09

Back came the reply, "You."

0:26:090:26:12

-So there we go.

-It's quite an honour to be bestowed on you.

0:26:120:26:16

Yeah, it is, really.

0:26:160:26:18

Yeah, not many people have one.

0:26:180:26:20

How many steam trains are they here at Longleat?

0:26:200:26:22

-Just the one.

-Just the one.

0:26:220:26:24

We had another, but I sold it and bought this.

0:26:240:26:26

This is much bigger. We've got many people coming now. We need a much stronger loco, which this is.

0:26:260:26:32

Absolutely. Do you get out in it very often?

0:26:320:26:35

Not as often as I'd like, no.

0:26:350:26:38

I've got other chaps who drive it, they get all the pleasure.

0:26:380:26:41

I push all the paperwork about.

0:26:410:26:44

So today, coming out like this, is an extra pleasure for you?

0:26:440:26:48

It's a holiday!

0:26:480:26:50

John, thank you very much.

0:26:500:26:53

Don't go away, here's what's still to come in today's programme.

0:26:530:26:58

Can Bev and Richard get close enough to the Grevy's to administer the vital vaccine?

0:27:010:27:07

We go into the bush on the trail of two white rhino.

0:27:090:27:15

And we catch up with the otter pups, who've just learned how to swim.

0:27:150:27:20

Back in Kenya, Bev Evans is helping Lewa's Richard Moller

0:27:230:27:28

wrap up the final stage of a vital conservation operation.

0:27:280:27:32

Anthrax has broken out 45 miles to the north of Lewa,

0:27:340:27:37

killing 66 rare Grevy's zebra.

0:27:370:27:41

Lewa is home to about 400 Grevy's, a fifth of the world's population,

0:27:410:27:47

so as many as possible must be inoculated in case the disease breaks out here.

0:27:470:27:51

This is the very last group, but so far, these zebra don't want to take their medicine.

0:27:510:27:58

-Do you think that hit the spot?

-No.

-No.

0:27:580:28:02

-Clean miss.

-Yes.

0:28:020:28:03

Fortunately for Richard, the group has now moved into an open area.

0:28:030:28:08

Finally he should be able to get a clear shot.

0:28:080:28:11

What the hell spooked them there?

0:28:130:28:16

Because the wind is high, he needs a perfectly still target, but the zebras won't cooperate.

0:28:160:28:23

Oh!

0:28:230:28:25

I'm going to lose it.

0:28:250:28:26

The dart drops short again.

0:28:260:28:29

With this wind, the rifle is only accurate to 40m.

0:28:290:28:34

At last, one zebra comes into range.

0:28:340:28:38

-So are you happy with that shot?

-The objective here is to get

0:28:430:28:47

-as many animals vaccinated as possible.

-Sure.

0:28:470:28:50

Really, you want it on the rump or the shoulder.

0:28:500:28:53

-That wasn't...first prize but second prize.

-Excellent.

0:28:530:28:58

After the drug has been delivered, the dart doesn't take long to fall out.

0:28:580:29:03

One by one, the rest of Richard's darts find their mark.

0:29:070:29:11

That group's finished now, so we'll basically draw a line under the Lewa phase anyway.

0:29:160:29:23

It's been a massive undertaking to dart so many wild Grevy's,

0:29:240:29:29

but it's vital for their survival as a species.

0:29:290:29:32

We have to do something.

0:29:320:29:34

An endangered animal, we can't sit back and not do anything.

0:29:340:29:39

The fact that we've done at least 60%,

0:29:390:29:44

it's a major step in the right direction.

0:29:440:29:46

Yeah, I feel very privileged to be sat watching this as it happens.

0:29:460:29:52

Such a big thing to do here at Lewa.

0:29:520:29:55

And such an important thing as well.

0:29:550:29:57

Last year, five Longleat keepers came to Kenya to witness a remarkable conservation operation.

0:30:050:30:12

Two white rhino were translocated from Lewa to Kigio,

0:30:120:30:16

another reserve supported by TUSK 200km away,

0:30:160:30:20

where rhino hadn't been seen for more than 20 years.

0:30:200:30:24

The male and female were transported by road in separate crates.

0:30:260:30:31

During the journey, they each knocked their horns off.

0:30:310:30:34

Rhino horn is made of matted hair and the horns will grow back,

0:30:340:30:39

but it was a tricky start for Kigio's new couple, who it's hoped will form the nucleus of a breeding herd.

0:30:390:30:46

Now deputy head warden Ian Turner, and Jo Hawthorn from Pets Corner,

0:30:490:30:54

have come back to Kigio to see how the translocated rhinos are settling in.

0:30:540:31:01

I can't actually wait to see them.

0:31:010:31:03

Seeing them in their natural habitat is better than anything else.

0:31:030:31:06

But Ian and Jo will have to find the rhino first.

0:31:060:31:11

To do that, they're being trained by guide Patrick Lengilili in rhino-tracking techniques.

0:31:110:31:18

Here we go.

0:31:180:31:20

-Oh.

-Got some tracks here.

0:31:200:31:21

-They're walking that way.

-OK.

0:31:210:31:24

-You can tell because this is the front toe here.

-Right.

0:31:240:31:28

They should be now down that way.

0:31:280:31:32

Otherwise sometimes we can look for their droppings. There are some droppings over there.

0:31:320:31:35

All right. Yeah.

0:31:350:31:37

If you're an experienced tracker like Patrick, it's amazing how much you can tell from a lump of dung.

0:31:370:31:43

How do we know whether this is white or black rhino?

0:31:440:31:48

It's easy. Normally for the black one, there is lots of twigs

0:31:480:31:52

because they eat leaves and trees and things like that.

0:31:520:31:55

This one you can tell is the white rhino because...

0:31:550:31:58

-It's just grass.

-Just grass.

0:31:580:32:00

Nothing like twigs here.

0:32:000:32:02

We start from their water point where they drink water.

0:32:020:32:06

-OK.

-We start tracking there, then you follow from there.

0:32:060:32:09

Right. How far could you be going? How far would you be talking?

0:32:090:32:14

Oh, you could be talking even like three or four kilometres.

0:32:140:32:17

Oh, right.

0:32:170:32:19

The other things what we can tell at Longleat is if you've got the large one,

0:32:190:32:24

it's usually the females, because when the male does it, he stamps his feet and spreads it.

0:32:240:32:29

That's right, yeah. So I'm sure now...

0:32:290:32:32

-Just got to keep our eyes open.

-Just keep going.

0:32:320:32:34

-Just keep going and at least follow the tracks.

-OK.

0:32:340:32:38

-You lead on.

-Yeah.

-We'll follow.

0:32:380:32:40

Rhino are most active at night, and as the day heats up, they'll find shade and rest.

0:32:430:32:49

Then they will be even more hidden and even harder to locate.

0:32:490:32:53

Patrick knows his thing and there's lots of signs that they've been around, so he seems confident.

0:32:530:32:59

And he's the expert.

0:32:590:33:02

The team have already been out looking for over an hour,

0:33:020:33:06

and the rhino have 3,500 acres of reserve to hide in.

0:33:060:33:10

It could be a long, hot day for Ian and Jo.

0:33:100:33:14

Back at Pet's Corner, keeper Rob Savin

0:33:190:33:22

is heading over to the otter pool to check on the new family.

0:33:220:33:26

Rosie and Romeo recently had two little pups.

0:33:270:33:30

Otter pups can't swim when they're born. They have to learn how.

0:33:310:33:37

But not long ago, the pups plucked up their courage and took to the water for the first time.

0:33:370:33:42

I've been eager to meet them, so I went down to help Rob give them a little treat.

0:33:450:33:51

-These are the new pups, are they?

-Yeah, these are the pups of the Asian short-clawed otters.

0:33:520:33:57

We've got Rosie's mum, and down the bottom there is Dad.

0:33:570:34:00

Hard to tell the pups as they're close to the size of their parents.

0:34:000:34:05

I can't get over how big they are.

0:34:050:34:07

-This sort of thing is helping.

-What are you throwing there?

0:34:070:34:10

Prawns is their favourite.

0:34:100:34:12

-Presumably that's why they're making all of this noise.

-Yeah.

0:34:120:34:16

That squeaking that they were doing, was that, "Give us the prawns!"?

0:34:160:34:21

Pretty much, but they are one of the most vocal otters.

0:34:210:34:24

Asian short-clawed otters are one of the most vocal otters in the world.

0:34:240:34:28

So remind me how old the pups are now.

0:34:280:34:32

About six months now.

0:34:320:34:34

There's no problem with them hanging around with Mum and Dad?

0:34:340:34:38

Not at all. This is one of the few otter types in the world

0:34:380:34:42

that will actually stay with their parents.

0:34:420:34:45

They can stay with them for a very long time.

0:34:450:34:47

They're very family orientated.

0:34:470:34:49

Most other otters are solitary. They wander off, and that would be that.

0:34:490:34:53

Even the parents wouldn't stay together, but they could go well beyond a year.

0:34:530:34:58

I've known some groups numbering 12 parents and then 12 little ones.

0:34:580:35:03

-Really?

-That's even been known in the wild.

0:35:030:35:05

So obviously they had two pups.

0:35:050:35:07

What's the maximum number they could give birth to?

0:35:070:35:11

They generally say they can have between one and seven.

0:35:110:35:14

But two or three is normal, very normal.

0:35:140:35:18

We would have been glad to have had one

0:35:180:35:21

because it's the first time since the '70s we've had baby otters.

0:35:210:35:25

-Really? Here at Longleat?

-Yeah.

0:35:250:35:27

We've had pairs that have got on, everything's been perfect

0:35:270:35:31

apart from the fact that for some reason they just won't breed.

0:35:310:35:35

So will all four stay here?

0:35:350:35:36

That's them for good now?

0:35:360:35:38

Pretty much. It all depends really on what happens as to whether we have any more.

0:35:380:35:43

We've got a nice enclosure for them.

0:35:430:35:46

I still think there's a limit to how many we can keep here.

0:35:460:35:49

But what you can always do sometimes is, in the zoo community,

0:35:490:35:56

if there's any zoos which are looking for male or female otters,

0:35:560:36:02

it's good to share them if you do want to move them out,

0:36:020:36:05

because it's very good for genetic diversity.

0:36:050:36:09

Of course, to share all the blood.

0:36:090:36:11

Yeah, and to keep good bloodlines as well.

0:36:110:36:14

If we do get to a point where we do need to move any on,

0:36:140:36:17

there's always plenty of places that will have them.

0:36:170:36:20

-Have they got names yet?

-No.

0:36:200:36:22

What we're hoping will happen is a local school is going to come in and name them for us.

0:36:220:36:27

-Good idea.

-I hope they come up with some good names.

0:36:270:36:30

-We've already thought of a few.

-I'm sure.

-Nicknames at the minute.

0:36:300:36:34

-Smelly is one of them.

-It is a bit whiffy around here.

0:36:340:36:38

-One of the smelliest animals, I'm afraid.

-Really?

0:36:380:36:41

-But they're lovely, delightful.

-They really are.

0:36:410:36:44

We'll keep you updated on the progress of these two young pups.

0:36:440:36:48

In Kenya, Ian Turner and Jo Hawthorne are out in the bush

0:36:570:37:01

at Kigio Wildlife Reserve with guide Patrick Lengilili.

0:37:010:37:06

They are on the trail of the two white rhino that arrived here a year ago.

0:37:060:37:12

Tracks show that the rhino are in the area,

0:37:120:37:15

but the team have searched for hours without a result.

0:37:150:37:19

Then Patrick spots something.

0:37:230:37:26

-There you go. You see?

-Right, yeah.

0:37:280:37:30

Just under there. You see?

0:37:300:37:32

-That's the female.

-And that's the male.

0:37:360:37:39

-That's the male.

-That's the male.

0:37:390:37:41

You can see the ears going.

0:37:410:37:42

Yeah.

0:37:420:37:44

Imagine, there's two big rhinos there, and we still had a job to spot them. Just camouflaged.

0:37:440:37:50

'Rhinos have very poor eyesight but rely on their excellent hearing and sense of smell.'

0:37:500:37:57

They will be now...smelling.

0:37:570:37:58

Would they smell us really good from there?

0:37:580:38:02

-Yeah.

-They would, I'm sure they will smell us.

0:38:020:38:04

So we'd better go this way.

0:38:040:38:06

OK.

0:38:060:38:09

'Patrick leads Ian and Jo downwind to a safe distance from the animals.'

0:38:090:38:15

-White gloves, Patrick.

-Yeah.

0:38:150:38:17

If we sit could in the shade here.

0:38:170:38:19

I'm quite surprised, Patrick, that we managed to get so close to them.

0:38:190:38:25

Yeah, exactly.

0:38:250:38:27

They must be relaxed because they're settling down,

0:38:270:38:30

they're not frightened.

0:38:300:38:31

-Quite calm.

-Yeah, not frightened.

0:38:310:38:33

The ones at Longleat, when we let them out in the morning, they graze all morning

0:38:330:38:38

and get to midday, and settle down and sleep for a couple of hours.

0:38:380:38:41

At night time, they get back up and graze again ready to go home.

0:38:410:38:46

These ones do the same.

0:38:460:38:47

Same thing. They do the same thing.

0:38:470:38:49

They lost both their horns when you loaded them up.

0:38:490:38:54

-They seem to be looking really nice now.

-Yes, exactly.

0:38:540:38:57

If you look at the skin, they have at least grown,

0:38:570:39:01

so they're doing very well now.

0:39:010:39:04

-The horns are hollow, yeah?

-No, no, like a fingernail.

0:39:040:39:07

-Oh, OK. Right.

-Matted hair.

-Right.

0:39:070:39:11

'Since their arrival, this pair have been inseparable.'

0:39:120:39:18

They're always together.

0:39:180:39:20

When they lie down, they lie down together.

0:39:200:39:22

They drink water together, caress together, so they obviously do everything together.

0:39:220:39:27

They've settled in so well, it's hoped that in the future there will be baby rhinos at Kigio.

0:39:270:39:34

But for Ian and Jo, tracking down these adults has been a huge treat.

0:39:340:39:38

It's been a brilliant day.

0:39:380:39:40

We weren't sure we would find the rhinos. We were never that...

0:39:400:39:44

Went to areas, found the tracks, followed the tracks, then Patrick, old eagle eyes, spotted them.

0:39:440:39:50

I'm amazed at how close we've got.

0:39:500:39:53

I never thought for a minute that we would get so close.

0:39:530:39:57

It's amazing. For the size of them, that they could be so camouflaged in an area like this.

0:39:570:40:03

Kate and I have joined head of section Mark down by the lake in the Safari Park

0:40:190:40:23

to help feed the pink-backed pelicans.

0:40:230:40:25

Can we just throw fish to them?

0:40:250:40:27

-Yes, just grab some fish.

-They'll just catch them?

0:40:270:40:30

Yeah. They've got a pretty big mouth so it's quite difficult to miss.

0:40:300:40:34

The bill is almost like a net, isn't it?

0:40:340:40:37

That's right, Kate. It does act like a net.

0:40:370:40:40

How they'd fish in the wild would be to surround a shoal of fish,

0:40:400:40:45

dive their head into the water, and their pouch is extremely elastic

0:40:450:40:50

and it'll stretch and allow itself to fill with fish and water.

0:40:500:40:54

So if it's got all this water in it, doesn't that mean that they'd end up

0:40:540:40:58

drinking half the sea or half the lake in this case?

0:40:580:41:01

No, they pull their pouch against their neck,

0:41:010:41:04

squeeze the water out the sides and just keep the fish in.

0:41:040:41:07

-So they sort of sieve the fish?

-Yeah, absolutely.

0:41:070:41:10

When they're fishing in shoals, will they work together as a team,

0:41:100:41:14

or do they fish individually?

0:41:140:41:16

The pink-backs fish individually.

0:41:160:41:18

The whites will fish as a team.

0:41:180:41:21

-Yeah.

-But the pinks are more of a solitary individual feeder.

0:41:210:41:24

-They're agile, aren't they?

-I'm amazed there's lots of different sizes of fish.

0:41:240:41:29

Is that the maximum size?

0:41:290:41:31

No, absolutely not.

0:41:310:41:34

These just happen to be quite small.

0:41:340:41:36

They could probably swallow a mackerel twice that size easily.

0:41:360:41:39

What sort of appetite do they have?

0:41:390:41:42

-Will they eat a lot of these per day?

-No, for a large bird they don't eat very much at all.

0:41:420:41:47

Only about three-quarters of a pound each, which is not a huge amount.

0:41:470:41:51

It's not that much, is it? Looking at them, they're dispersing now...

0:41:510:41:55

Come back and show off!

0:41:550:41:56

You've got some that have very distinctly brown feathers

0:41:560:41:59

as opposed to the slightly beige, pinky-white feathers.

0:41:590:42:03

Are those the young ones?

0:42:030:42:05

Yeah, there's three really brown ones, the three we hand-reared at the end of last year.

0:42:050:42:09

-Any chance there might be some more this year?

-Well, fingers crossed.

0:42:090:42:14

We're hoping there will be.

0:42:140:42:15

-That would be fantastic if there were.

-Mark, thank you very much.

0:42:150:42:19

We'll finish feeding the pelicans, but that's all we've time for on today's programme.

0:42:190:42:24

Here's what's coming up on the next Animal Park.

0:42:240:42:26

Romeo the otter has a problem in his mouth that could be life-threatening.

0:42:260:42:31

He must see the vet, but he doesn't want to go.

0:42:310:42:36

The rhinos like their mud nice and gloopy, but they don't have to worry about losing their wellies.

0:42:380:42:44

You've lost your boot!

0:42:440:42:46

And Kabir is raising hell over his cat flu injection.

0:42:470:42:51

But the little cubs don't seem to mind.

0:42:510:42:54

That's all coming up in the next Animal Park.

0:42:540:42:58

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd, 2006

0:43:070:43:10

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:100:43:13

In a special programme from Kenya, keepers help inoculate endangered Grevy's zebra against an outbreak of deadly anthrax and head into the bush on the trail of two white rhino. At Longleat, the otter pups may have finally learned how to swim. More tales from Longleat Safari Park and House with Ben Fogle and Kate Humble.