Episode 9 Animal Park


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS


Episode 9

With over 50 animal species at Longleat Safari Park, some need intensive care. Romeo the otter has a problem in his mouth that could be life-threatening, so he must be captured.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to Episode 9. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

-Hello!

-And welcome to Animal Park. I'm Ben Fogle.

0:00:290:00:33

And I'm Kate Humble and I've just been royally upstaged by a parrot!

0:00:330:00:37

This is Matilda, and Ben has got Sunday.

0:00:370:00:40

They are Catalina macaws and if you watch this -

0:00:400:00:43

they are incredibly dextrous with their beaks and their claws.

0:00:430:00:47

They can get through peanuts in seconds!

0:00:470:00:50

They can. Well, we've got lots more stories

0:00:500:00:52

about the animals and the house, in today's programme, including...

0:00:520:00:56

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

0:00:560:01:01

He must see the vet,

0:01:010:01:03

but he doesn't want to go.

0:01:030:01:06

The rhinos like their mud nice and gloopy,

0:01:070:01:10

but THEY don't have to worry about losing THEIR wellies!

0:01:100:01:13

You've lost your boot!

0:01:130:01:15

And Kabir is raising the roof over his cat flu injection.

0:01:170:01:22

But the little cubs don't seem to mind.

0:01:220:01:26

But first, we're going down to Pets Corner because there's a problem with one of the otters.

0:01:300:01:36

The two new pups are now four months old, and they're both fine.

0:01:360:01:41

But Romeo, their dad, has got something wrong with his mouth.

0:01:410:01:44

The keeper in charge of the otters, Darren Beasley, has called in vet Duncan Williams.

0:01:440:01:50

It's going to be difficult to get a close look in Romeo's mouth,

0:01:500:01:54

but he has been yawning, so Duncan did manage to get a glimpse of the problem.

0:01:540:01:59

Poor old Romeo's got something stuck between his back carnassial teeth,

0:01:590:02:04

which are the great big teeth that they use to crunch bones and stuff.

0:02:040:02:09

It's right stuck between,

0:02:090:02:11

you know, right across the top of his hard palate, so the poor chap can't shut his mouth properly.

0:02:110:02:16

I think it'd be pretty disastrous if it happened in the wild, because

0:02:160:02:20

maybe eventually it would loosen or free up, but it would certainly impede his eating.

0:02:200:02:27

Darren did say he did eat last night, but I find it hard

0:02:270:02:30

to comprehend how he managed to chew up his food

0:02:300:02:34

and get it into boluses that he could swallow.

0:02:340:02:38

So I think if that happened in the wild, it might be fatal.

0:02:380:02:42

So something will have to be done.

0:02:420:02:44

Romeo needs to go to the vet's surgery for a proper examination.

0:02:440:02:49

Now it's up to Darren to catch him - and that's not going to be easy.

0:02:490:02:53

They really are the most aggressive creatures I have ever come across.

0:02:530:02:58

And having worked with big animals and things in the past as well, these are a nightmare.

0:02:580:03:03

Particularly these Asian short-clawed otters, their diet is

0:03:030:03:09

basically shellfish, crabs, that kind of thing.

0:03:090:03:12

And they have these massive grinding teeth at the back, these molars.

0:03:120:03:16

And they have got several different grinding edges on them, unlike any other animal that I know.

0:03:160:03:21

And I know of two incidents,

0:03:210:03:24

where people have lost fingers - crushed - through otter bites.

0:03:240:03:29

The gloves won't be any protection from crushing injuries.

0:03:290:03:32

They're only good against cuts and scratches.

0:03:320:03:37

Hello. Face to face with my adversary.

0:03:370:03:40

Romeo has been shut indoors, while his family are all out in the run.

0:03:430:03:48

He hasn't been caught or handled since he arrived here when he was still a youngster.

0:03:480:03:53

This could get rough, and will be noisy because, to all intents and purposes, Romeo is a wild animal.

0:03:530:03:59

Can I point out now the love I have for hand-reared animals!

0:04:010:04:06

Tame animals, anyway! Tame animals, you can whistle, pick up, put in a box, and away you go to the vet.

0:04:060:04:11

Wild animals are great -

0:04:110:04:14

but they do have their drawbacks.

0:04:140:04:16

Darren is planning to go in and try to shoo him into the carry-box, but Romeo has other ideas.

0:04:160:04:22

He's out!

0:04:230:04:24

Cage! Cage!

0:04:310:04:33

OTTER SQUEALS

0:04:330:04:36

Get a key! Get a key!

0:04:360:04:39

He's got me.

0:04:390:04:41

What's the point in having a plan?!

0:04:460:04:49

Plans never work out!

0:04:490:04:51

Mother Nature and random, I tell you!

0:04:510:04:54

Basically, he did...come at me.

0:04:560:05:00

He charged, so I took the opportunity to jump on him.

0:05:000:05:05

They're designed to be very manoeuvrable!

0:05:050:05:07

They are very agile hunters and he can basically almost turn in his own skin, which is what he was doing.

0:05:070:05:13

So every time I got him around his head so he wouldn't bite me, he basically was twisting.

0:05:130:05:18

So it's a lot of screaming, a lot of shouting for him.

0:05:180:05:23

He's scared, you know. It's all right me - my heart's pacing and beating -

0:05:230:05:29

but I know what's happening. I know it's going to be good for him.

0:05:290:05:32

But he doesn't, he thinks this is his last day on the planet, bless him.

0:05:320:05:36

But I'll make sure he doesn't get out in the van. That will be exciting!

0:05:360:05:40

So we'll cover him to keep him nice and calm now.

0:05:400:05:42

And we'll take him off and make him more better.

0:05:420:05:46

Though of course, that depends on exactly what the vet discovers.

0:05:460:05:49

We'll be back when Romeo arrives at the surgery.

0:05:490:05:52

It's a big day for the lion cubs.

0:05:590:06:01

I'm up at the lion house with keeper Bob Trollope and Kabir's pride.

0:06:010:06:05

Bob, what's going to happen to the cubs today?

0:06:050:06:07

What we're going to do is actually give them a vaccine against cat flu.

0:06:070:06:12

-So this is what people do with their domestic cats.

-Yeah.

0:06:120:06:15

Where they can take them to the vet's.

0:06:150:06:17

Normally, they have to come here, or we can do this thing.

0:06:170:06:21

Right, OK. So how do you go about injecting a cub like Malaika?

0:06:210:06:24

We'll get this into the meat.

0:06:240:06:26

Hopefully, Malaika will take it off the stick and get the dose.

0:06:260:06:30

Very clever. So this is why this training of taking the meat off the sticks is so important?

0:06:300:06:35

It's very important. You know, it's much less hassle and stress than - a little bit's come out -

0:06:350:06:42

than using a dart, obviously.

0:06:420:06:44

OK, so shall I see if she takes this?

0:06:440:06:46

That's ready now. You can tell she's really eager for that. There we are.

0:06:460:06:52

Perfect! Shall we give her one without medicine as a little treat?

0:06:520:06:57

There you are, you clever girl!

0:06:570:06:58

Yummy! That's it, she's vaccinated now for the next year.

0:07:000:07:04

Perfect! OK, shall we see if her little half-sister, Jasira, is going to be quite as good?

0:07:040:07:09

Here she is. She's so playful.

0:07:090:07:11

She's been really playful this morning, hasn't she?

0:07:110:07:14

She has.

0:07:140:07:16

Right. Let's get ready.

0:07:160:07:18

Now, it doesn't matter that Jasira is a little bit younger?

0:07:180:07:22

Well, they're already covered, but what we're actually doing is trying to get everyone in sync, as such.

0:07:220:07:28

So next year, they'll all do it together.

0:07:280:07:31

Even though they have got cover.

0:07:310:07:32

-OK. Ready.

-You're keen as well!

0:07:340:07:37

Yep! There you go, girl.

0:07:370:07:39

You've got to take yours off to eat.

0:07:390:07:41

We've got to be absolutely sure that she will eat it. She's obviously tasted a little bit of...

0:07:410:07:46

the medication, which doesn't seem to upset her.

0:07:460:07:49

No. Very good.

0:07:500:07:52

-Shall we see if she wants one without?

-I'm sure she will!

0:07:520:07:55

-Jasira! Come on, darling! Here you are.

-Oh, another big bit!

0:07:550:07:59

That's it.

0:08:010:08:04

That was very easy!

0:08:040:08:06

Getting the vaccine into the cubs may have gone like a dream,

0:08:060:08:09

but it's not going to be so easy with the mums, or Dad.

0:08:090:08:13

For adults it needs to be administered as an injection -

0:08:130:08:17

and they really don't like getting their jabs.

0:08:170:08:21

We'll be back in the lion's den later on.

0:08:210:08:23

There's nothing a rhino likes better than to wallow in some nice, gloopy, mud.

0:08:260:08:31

In fact, it's an essential part of their skin-care regime.

0:08:310:08:35

But this muddy patch in the rhino enclosure hasn't happened naturally, it had to be made by the keepers.

0:08:350:08:42

And they're constantly trying to improve the design.

0:08:420:08:46

I'm out in the new area with deputy head warden Ian Turner helping build a new wallow for the rhinos.

0:08:470:08:54

Ian, you didn't move out of the way there quick enough!

0:08:540:08:58

So tell me a bit about this wallow?

0:08:580:09:00

What's the idea behind it?

0:09:000:09:02

Well, last time, we think it was too deep.

0:09:020:09:04

It turned into a pond and there was too many stones in the bottom.

0:09:040:09:08

So when they rolled in it, obviously, it was hurting the back.

0:09:080:09:11

So we've got rid of all the stones and now we'll just fill it up.

0:09:110:09:14

I've got the lads to pick up some clay from the hippo field

0:09:140:09:18

to bring up here, which you can see, look, is nice and...

0:09:180:09:23

Nice and gloopy. So are we going to try and move some of this pile over here?

0:09:230:09:27

Yeah, we just need to move it out. Once the rhinos

0:09:270:09:29

get used to coming in here, they'll spread a lot of it out themselves.

0:09:290:09:33

Is the idea that they use it a bit like a kind of rhino face pack?

0:09:330:09:37

-Yes.

-They use this stuff and put it all over their skin?

0:09:370:09:40

Yes, so they can get literally covered from head to foot.

0:09:400:09:44

It gets on the skin and it dries out in the heat.

0:09:440:09:47

And then that flakes off and takes all the dead skin off.

0:09:470:09:51

And it's like exfoliating your whole body.

0:09:510:09:53

And this is a nice clay, isn't it?

0:09:530:09:56

Yes, we are hoping, because the hippos have got such good skin, it works so well down there.

0:09:560:10:00

And as you can see, that is really

0:10:000:10:03

nice and pliable.

0:10:030:10:05

-I see.

-Imagine that.

0:10:070:10:09

And the idea is that that will then dry out, will it?

0:10:090:10:13

Dry out. And when this rubs off, it takes all the dead skin off.

0:10:130:10:16

And does the skin really good.

0:10:160:10:19

Is this something that the rhinos are likely to use all year round?

0:10:190:10:23

-Whatever the weather?

-They tend to use it more in the summer time.

0:10:230:10:26

Winter time not so much, because of the weather.

0:10:260:10:31

But once they get used to

0:10:310:10:33

a good bath like this, hopefully, it's going to improve their skin.

0:10:330:10:38

Their skin tends to go a little bit downhill in the winter time.

0:10:380:10:43

We encourage them to use it all year round to make their skin really good.

0:10:430:10:47

But it's good stuff, this, it's quite sticky, isn't it?

0:10:470:10:51

-You're wallowing already! Do you need a hand?

-That's not coming out.

0:10:510:10:54

-Give me your hand.

-My foot might come up!

-I think...

0:10:540:10:58

I think we might need a bit of time to get out of here!

0:10:580:11:02

You've lost your boot!

0:11:020:11:05

This really is industrial-strength mud, so the rhinos should love it.

0:11:050:11:10

And THEY don't have to worry about losing THEIR wellies!

0:11:100:11:13

Romeo the otter has just arrived at the surgery.

0:11:190:11:22

He's got something wedged or jammed in the roof of his mouth,

0:11:220:11:27

so the head of Pets Corner, Darren Beasley, has brought him to vet Karen Grabham.

0:11:270:11:33

He's very clever at putting his paws through, actually.

0:11:340:11:39

Right. So when did you first notice that he had a problem with his mouth?

0:11:390:11:42

-Late yesterday afternoon he wasn't shutting his jaw properly.

-OK.

0:11:420:11:46

We thought it might be a tooth abscess or something.

0:11:460:11:49

But he was eating pretty well normally, and acting pretty well normally.

0:11:490:11:54

We thought we saw a glimpse of something like a stone, or something in his mouth.

0:11:540:11:59

But he wouldn't open his mouth wide enough.

0:11:590:12:01

Otters are quite aggressive, and Romeo is not a tame animal, so the only way that Karen is

0:12:010:12:08

going to get a look in his mouth is to give him a sedative drug.

0:12:080:12:11

It's a regular anaesthetic we would use for something like a cat.

0:12:130:12:20

So, he's of a similar size, he's two-and-a-half kilos, so, you know,

0:12:200:12:24

it's kind of cat doses that we'd use for him.

0:12:240:12:28

So hopefully, that has gone into his muscle, and he's going to go to sleep fairly soon.

0:12:280:12:33

This is the first time that Romeo has ever been anaesthetised, and deputy head warden Ian Turner

0:12:330:12:40

has come along to record all the details.

0:12:400:12:42

A few minutes later, Romeo is out for the count,

0:12:440:12:47

so now we'll find out just what's happened in his mouth.

0:12:470:12:51

-Oh, goodness me!

-There it is.

-OK. All right.

0:12:560:13:01

-Do you want me to hold him like a cat?

-Yeah, that'd be great.

0:13:010:13:04

It looks like - I don't know - a walnut shell or something like that.

0:13:140:13:20

Are you a nut expert?!

0:13:200:13:22

I'm afraid I am - a bit sad, isn't it?! It looks like a piece of...

0:13:220:13:26

could be walnut. I think the dots say almond, actually.

0:13:260:13:30

It's probably an almond.

0:13:300:13:31

Of course, in the wild, they eat crabs and shellfish,

0:13:310:13:35

they're going to get bits of shell stuck up there.

0:13:350:13:38

In the wild, that would get infected and he could possibly die from it.

0:13:380:13:42

Here, we've seen it, we've dealt with it,

0:13:420:13:45

and I'm sure he's going to be absolutely fine now.

0:13:450:13:49

As long as he wakes up from this.

0:13:490:13:52

He's not done any damage to his mouth. Everything looks intact,

0:13:520:13:56

there's no broken teeth or anything, so his mouth looks pretty good.

0:13:560:14:00

Apart from he does have a bit of tartar on the teeth.

0:14:000:14:04

But that's to be expected and that would happen in the wild as well.

0:14:040:14:08

You can see that the teeth are pretty sharp, which is why Darren is being quite cautious.

0:14:080:14:13

They can take your finger off.

0:14:130:14:15

We've got records now of what's gone on.

0:14:150:14:18

It's just to keep a close contact with the animals we've got, so everything can go back on his record.

0:14:180:14:25

Show his teeth, show his feet, which you can't get normally close to.

0:14:250:14:28

But now we've got it all on digital camera.

0:14:280:14:31

But now, while they've got him under sedation, they're

0:14:320:14:35

going to take an X-ray - and it's got nothing to do with his mouth.

0:14:350:14:39

Asian short-clawed otters in captivity are susceptible to a life-threatening ailment.

0:14:390:14:46

Last year it killed Johnny, the previous male otter in Pets Corner.

0:14:460:14:50

Because he died so unexpectedly, vet Zoe Meedes did a post-mortem.

0:14:500:14:56

The general post-mortem was absolutely fine

0:14:560:15:00

until we got to his bladder and found this stone sitting in there.

0:15:000:15:05

And then, since then, having a read up on all the literature and things that are

0:15:050:15:10

available on these little otters, it's a very common problem in captive short-clawed otters.

0:15:100:15:15

Bladder stones are formed from mineral deposits in the urine.

0:15:150:15:19

They can be removed by surgery, if they're discovered at an early stage.

0:15:190:15:23

With Johnny, his bladder was full of quite a pusy-looking urine,

0:15:230:15:28

so I think, the stone sitting there for so long will have caused an infection in the bladder.

0:15:280:15:35

And that may well have ascended up to his kidneys and caused his death.

0:15:350:15:39

OK, so we're just going to have him lateral on that view.

0:15:400:15:44

Bladder stones show up clearly on X-rays.

0:15:440:15:47

So, a little later on, we'll find out if Romeo is suffering

0:15:470:15:51

from the same thing that killed poor Johnny.

0:15:510:15:55

Back in the lion house, I'm helping keeper

0:16:140:16:16

Bob Trollope to give Kabir's pride their vaccinations against cat flu.

0:16:160:16:21

Unlike the cubs, the adults must be given the drug by injection,

0:16:210:16:25

which will be delivered in a dart shot from a blow-pipe.

0:16:250:16:29

Before that can be done, each of the lions needs to be isolated in a pen, on their own.

0:16:290:16:34

It's a tricky manoeuvre.

0:16:340:16:36

If I let Malaika back in with Jasira...

0:16:360:16:39

you can open that one. Go on then.

0:16:390:16:42

Good girl!

0:16:420:16:45

Go back with Mum. That's it. Go on!

0:16:450:16:48

-Go on, this way!

-In you go!

0:16:480:16:51

This way! What we've got to do is a juggling act.

0:16:510:16:53

We've got one of the mums, we just want to get rid of...!

0:16:530:16:58

Which isn't as easy as it looks, obviously!

0:16:580:17:01

Which female is this?

0:17:010:17:02

This is Luna. This is Jasira's mum.

0:17:020:17:04

And is Luna the one that's been taking more of a maternal interest with both the cubs?

0:17:040:17:09

She has. She's an extremely good mum.

0:17:090:17:11

Yendi is a bit more laid back!

0:17:110:17:16

Very happy for Luna to do all the work!

0:17:160:17:18

We're not being terribly successful here, Brian! Jasira thinks this is more of a plaything!

0:17:180:17:23

And none of the adults seem to want to move.

0:17:230:17:26

Have you got any persuasion techniques up your sleeve?

0:17:260:17:30

Well we can use the bucket to try to get the cubs in and hopefully, the mums back.

0:17:300:17:36

Come on, you two! Come on.

0:17:360:17:41

Now we've just got to try to get Mum.

0:17:410:17:43

-OK.

-So if you see the chance - oh, Dad! - there we go.

0:17:430:17:49

Come here! Come here!

0:17:500:17:52

Come on. Good boy!

0:17:520:17:55

-Come on, fella!

-There you are. Good boy. That's it, Kate, well done.

0:17:550:17:59

So... Brian Kent is here as well, head of section.

0:18:020:18:06

So Brian, you have a licence to use this, presumably,

0:18:060:18:10

-this blowpipe?

-Yes, you must have a licence otherwise you can't use one.

-Right, OK.

0:18:100:18:15

And the drug that's in this dart is exactly the same as what was injected into the meat for the cubs?

0:18:150:18:21

-Exactly the same, yeah.

-OK. So how do you go about doing this?

0:18:210:18:26

Normally aim for a back leg, where you've got more muscle to aim for.

0:18:260:18:30

But it's getting him to turn around in the right place.

0:18:300:18:33

Absolutely. Kabir!

0:18:330:18:35

-Does this hurt?

-Um...I wouldn't have thought it would hurt at all.

0:18:350:18:40

Any more than kind of us having a flu jab?

0:18:400:18:43

Basically. You know, it's a very light dart.

0:18:430:18:46

I imagine it would be pretty quick as well.

0:18:460:18:50

Good boy. Good boy.

0:18:500:18:52

Well, he certainly felt it!

0:18:540:18:56

He weren't too happy.

0:18:580:19:00

I don't think he likes you very much at the moment, Brian!

0:19:000:19:04

Now, can you tell from looking at the dart

0:19:040:19:07

whether that has actually all gone into his system?

0:19:070:19:10

I can't see at the moment - I need to get him up.

0:19:100:19:13

But you need to see if the plunge has moved right down in the dart.

0:19:130:19:17

And presumably, you've got to get the dart out as well?

0:19:170:19:20

That's the hard bit now.

0:19:200:19:22

But what we normally do is encourage him through to the other pen.

0:19:220:19:26

As he's going through, Bob will push this door in.

0:19:260:19:30

I mean, it might look fast on camera, but he stops as he gets near the dart.

0:19:300:19:36

Oh, OK. So he effectively scrapes the dart off through the narrow gap?

0:19:360:19:41

Ah, very clever. Come on, Kabir!

0:19:410:19:43

Good boy! No, don't lie down!

0:19:430:19:45

Come on. Come on!

0:19:450:19:48

He says, I'm not going to co-operate now!

0:19:480:19:51

Oh, brilliant! Good shot, Bob! Fantastic.

0:19:510:19:54

Now, obviously, he is looking very upset.

0:19:550:20:00

And some people might wonder whether this is really necessary.

0:20:000:20:04

Is cat flu dangerous in lions?

0:20:040:20:07

Oh, it's extremely dangerous, yeah. You could lose every cat we've got.

0:20:070:20:12

-Really?

-Yes.

-Is it very infectious? If one gets it, can it spread round all of them?

0:20:120:20:16

Yeah, it could spread round.

0:20:160:20:19

That's why we do it as a precaution every year.

0:20:190:20:22

Right, OK. So we've got... Big Daddy is successfully done.

0:20:220:20:27

Just two more females to go.

0:20:270:20:30

Let's just check whether that dart has gone off.

0:20:300:20:34

That's a successful one.

0:20:340:20:36

That's a successful dart, brilliant. Well, good job, both of you.

0:20:360:20:39

I know you've got the two females to do, so we've got our work cut out a little bit this morning.

0:20:390:20:44

-Thank you both very much indeed.

-No problem.

0:20:440:20:47

Along with all the more robust animals, Longleat is also home to some very delicate creatures.

0:20:540:21:01

The butterfly house was first opened back in 1986

0:21:010:21:04

in order to show tropical species to the visitors.

0:21:040:21:09

Many years before that, there was another butterfly collection here,

0:21:090:21:13

all caught from the wild by a keen young lepidopterist

0:21:130:21:17

named Alexander Thynne - none other than the present Lord Bath.

0:21:170:21:22

I was a collector myself between the ages of

0:21:220:21:25

9 and 15, but they were strictly English species,

0:21:250:21:29

and none of these wonderful ones, which would have been

0:21:290:21:32

far more exciting to have been chasing after!

0:21:320:21:35

But it strikes me they don't run fast enough! They're easy to catch!

0:21:350:21:40

When Lord Bath was young, the normal way to display a collection

0:21:420:21:46

was to have your butterflies neatly pinned to card and properly labelled.

0:21:460:21:51

Nowadays people prefer to see their specimens on the wing.

0:21:510:21:54

Today Lord Bath has come to renew his interest, with butterfly keeper Sophie Dunn.

0:21:590:22:05

Look, they're all over your clothes! Because you've got bright colours on,

0:22:050:22:08

they love the bright colours and they come flying around!

0:22:080:22:11

I smell right!

0:22:110:22:14

Of bananas, was it?

0:22:140:22:16

-Yes, rotten bananas, they love!

-I've never seen these transparent ones.

0:22:160:22:20

Is that what you called lacewing?

0:22:200:22:22

Glass-wing.

0:22:220:22:24

Do you have any caterpillars crawling around?

0:22:240:22:27

Yes, I can show you, if you come this way with me, we have... I think it's the bamboo it's on -

0:22:270:22:32

the glass-wing chrysalis and caterpillar.

0:22:320:22:36

I spotted it this morning.

0:22:360:22:38

If I can find it now...

0:22:380:22:41

Here we are. You can see.

0:22:410:22:43

The time searching for the lost caterpillar!

0:22:430:22:46

That's the chrysalis there and the caterpillar is on top of it.

0:22:460:22:50

I think there was one here, do you see, on that leaf, it's just curling itself round?

0:22:500:22:56

Into a ball?

0:22:560:22:58

-Yes. Yeah.

-To form the chrysalis there.

0:22:580:23:00

So that chrysalis should be open in a couple of days.

0:23:000:23:03

And we have there our main species that we breed.

0:23:030:23:07

Breeding tropical butterflies is a tricky business, because

0:23:070:23:11

most of them will only reproduce if all the conditions are just right.

0:23:110:23:15

And each different species needs different conditions.

0:23:150:23:19

Derek has been in charge of the butterfly house ever since it opened.

0:23:210:23:26

Recently he's had particular success breeding the glass-wing,

0:23:260:23:30

a species that comes from South America.

0:23:300:23:33

They are plant specific. They won't breed

0:23:340:23:38

unless they have got the right plant to lay their eggs on.

0:23:380:23:42

Once you've got them to that stage, they will lay their eggs

0:23:420:23:46

and the caterpillars will rear up on that food plant.

0:23:460:23:50

So the breakthrough came when Derek was able to find exactly the right plant.

0:23:500:23:55

Well, this plant here, Cestrum, which is a night-flowering plant,

0:23:550:24:01

you come into the greenhouse of an evening and it's the most beautiful fragrance.

0:24:010:24:08

During the day, it just looks like privet!

0:24:080:24:10

It's invaluable for the caterpillars.

0:24:100:24:13

They've also had great success at Longleat breeding owl butterflies -

0:24:140:24:18

a species that will lay its eggs only on banana leaves.

0:24:180:24:22

But many of the tropical varieties are impossible to breed here,

0:24:220:24:26

and need to be brought in by specialist suppliers.

0:24:260:24:30

When you get them in from the shop, they are all as chrysalises?

0:24:320:24:36

Yes. What we do is glue them up and let them just fly away.

0:24:360:24:40

But we just put them on to these green canes with normal glue, put them into the case,

0:24:400:24:45

and every morning we water the case so that the steam comes through and keeps them warm.

0:24:450:24:50

And when it's the right temperature, they break out.

0:24:500:24:53

For example, this one here is just coming out.

0:24:530:24:56

It will be out like this one later today.

0:24:560:24:58

They are a treat to see!

0:24:580:25:00

-They are, aren't they?

-I think it does look tremendously

0:25:000:25:05

aggrandisised and beautified!

0:25:050:25:08

It's most encouraging.

0:25:080:25:10

You don't have to go to South America to see these.

0:25:100:25:13

It would be lovely, actually, to see small British butterflies as well.

0:25:130:25:18

With his interest in butterflies re-awakened,

0:25:180:25:21

Lord Bath is now considering ways to attract more of them to Longleat.

0:25:210:25:25

Not the tropical sort, but our own native species - the ones he used to hunt as a boy.

0:25:250:25:31

Plans are afoot to create a butterfly garden.

0:25:310:25:35

We'll meet Lord Bath later when he goes on a fact-finding mission,

0:25:350:25:38

and hunts down one of Britain's rarest butterflies.

0:25:380:25:42

Many of the animals at Longleat are threatened species, in danger of extinction in the wild.

0:25:500:25:55

And quite a few are part of international captive breeding programmes.

0:25:550:25:59

One of the most endangered species here are these Pere David deer.

0:25:590:26:05

I'm out in the new area with Head of Section Tim Yeo, and we've come down

0:26:050:26:09

to see the Pere David deer, which is this little herd just over my shoulder here.

0:26:090:26:15

And these are incredibly rare, aren't they, Tim?

0:26:150:26:17

They certainly were very, very rare.

0:26:170:26:20

Thankfully, due to a lot of help from man, of getting them

0:26:200:26:24

and keeping them in large parks their numbers have come back.

0:26:240:26:29

But how bad did it get?

0:26:290:26:32

It got incredibly bad. Down to, I think, probably about 20 animals.

0:26:320:26:36

-Wow.

-..World population at one stage.

0:26:360:26:39

And the 11th Duke of Bedford was very much responsible for bringing

0:26:390:26:45

a few of those animals over to his park in Woburn.

0:26:450:26:48

And they liked the habitat there and he re-established them, and now

0:26:480:26:53

-he has several hundred, probably about 300.

-Wow!

0:26:530:26:57

So where do they originate from?

0:26:570:26:58

They come from northern China.

0:26:580:27:00

And they like a very wet, boggy area.

0:27:000:27:04

So Wiltshire is perfect for them at this time of year!

0:27:040:27:07

-Wonderful habitat!

-So, when you say that they've come back

0:27:070:27:10

with a lot of help from man, they've been kept in protected areas.

0:27:100:27:13

Presumably, breeding programmes are very important?

0:27:130:27:18

That's right, Kate. They certainly are for them.

0:27:180:27:20

And this species, because of its... because they got down to

0:27:200:27:26

very, very few world population - they are very, very interbred.

0:27:260:27:30

But thankfully, so far, these that we have here

0:27:300:27:34

don't seem to have shown any bad signs from interbreeding.

0:27:340:27:40

Are there any signs - cos at this time of year it seems to be

0:27:400:27:44

classic deer-giving-birth time of year -

0:27:440:27:47

any signs that any of your females are pregnant?

0:27:470:27:51

Well, I'm very hopeful. We had one calf last year, two pregnancies,

0:27:510:27:56

one didn't survive, unfortunately.

0:27:560:27:58

One calf is there in the group.

0:27:580:28:00

I see no reason why we shouldn't have another two at least.

0:28:000:28:04

-Will you keep us posted?

-I certainly will.

0:28:040:28:06

It would be very very exciting. Tim, thank you very much indeed.

0:28:060:28:08

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

0:28:080:28:11

With a big family on the way, Trevor and Honey need a bigger nest.

0:28:110:28:16

The hunt is on for one of Britain's rarest butterflies.

0:28:170:28:21

And we'll find out what the X-ray reveals for Romeo the otter.

0:28:210:28:26

It's been a couple of years since young Trevor came to Longleat in search of love.

0:28:300:28:35

After a whirlwind romance, he and Honey settled down to start a family.

0:28:350:28:40

In no time, little Al came along, but now he's grown up and left home.

0:28:400:28:46

So, has time taken the passion out of Trevor and Honey's relationship?

0:28:460:28:50

Have they swapped the tango for a more sedate dance?

0:28:500:28:54

Apparently not.

0:28:540:28:57

I'm out in the East Africa Reserve with Head of Section Andy Hayton, and Trevor the ostrich.

0:28:570:29:03

Andy, what are we doing out today?

0:29:030:29:05

We're going to put the eggs out today in the scrape here.

0:29:050:29:08

The scrape being a nest, I suppose?

0:29:080:29:11

Yes, the ostriches can't fly, so they nest on the ground.

0:29:110:29:16

What they do naturally is to have a shallow depression, lay their eggs in there, and off they go.

0:29:160:29:22

OK, now two things - first of all, surprisingly, ostriches are quite aggressive, aren't they?

0:29:220:29:27

Which is why we've got all the cars around like this.

0:29:270:29:30

Yeah, the males can be extremely aggressive.

0:29:300:29:33

Especially when you can see him, slightly now, his beak is pink.

0:29:330:29:36

His legs are slightly pink. That's when he's in full-on breeding mode,

0:29:360:29:40

-and he's quite protective, because she's laying eggs at the moment.

-And that's...

0:29:400:29:45

That's Honey, the female, yes. And they're extremely dim!

0:29:450:29:48

-So they're really aggressive.

-Is it true about their brain being the size of...?

0:29:480:29:52

Their brain is actually smaller than the eyeball.

0:29:520:29:55

So, you've got something that big and that aggressive, and that...thick!

0:29:550:29:59

It's a really volatile combination.

0:29:590:30:02

How come the eggs are all separate, anyway?

0:30:020:30:05

-Why do they not build their own nest?

-Well what we do here is, she will lay indiscriminately.

0:30:050:30:11

She will lay eggs all over the place, all over the park. So what we do, from advice from other zoos,

0:30:110:30:18

is collect the eggs up...

0:30:180:30:20

-Can I pick one up?

-Yeah, sure.

-Wow, they're heavy.

0:30:200:30:23

So we collect the eggs where she lays them all over the place,

0:30:230:30:26

get about 10 or a dozen together, and put them down here.

0:30:260:30:29

And then she will lay where all her eggs are.

0:30:290:30:32

-And presumably these are dates that you've collected them?

-Yes, these are all dates that they were laid.

0:30:320:30:37

Do I just put them anywhere? There's no specific order?

0:30:370:30:40

She will juggle them around to how she wants them.

0:30:400:30:43

And she can sit on this many eggs, can she?

0:30:430:30:46

Oh, in a big nest, I mean, you will have a male with a harem of maybe up to half a dozen females.

0:30:460:30:52

-There could be up to 60-odd eggs in an nest.

-In a single nest?

0:30:520:30:55

But the most dominant female and the male will sit them. And she knows her own eggs - it's amazing.

0:30:550:31:01

She keeps them in the middle to give them more of a chance of incubating.

0:31:010:31:05

-Isn't that incredible?

-Amazing, yeah.

0:31:050:31:07

Now, these eggs, that is a solid shell.

0:31:070:31:09

I mean, I they as strong as they feel in my hand?

0:31:090:31:12

They say you can have a 16-stone man stand on one!

0:31:120:31:16

No! And it wouldn't break?

0:31:160:31:18

-And it wouldn't break.

-That's incredible.

0:31:180:31:20

-It's amazing.

-And what gestation period are we talking about?

0:31:200:31:24

-About 40 days.

-OK.

0:31:240:31:26

But what actually happens is, the female will sit them at night - during the day, sorry.

0:31:260:31:32

And the male takes over and he does all the work at night.

0:31:320:31:35

So Trevor will actually be...?

0:31:350:31:37

Yeah, and when the youngsters are born, or hatched, Dad will do most of the looking after of the youngsters.

0:31:370:31:44

Mum's involvement in it is pretty much done then.

0:31:440:31:47

And they will follow Dad.

0:31:470:31:49

That's incredible. How long will they take once we've left here to come in and...?

0:31:490:31:53

She will carry on laying for a while, and we normally get 16 - 20 eggs in there.

0:31:530:31:58

And then she'll start sitting.

0:31:580:32:00

And that's when incubation starts, is when she actually starts sitting on there regularly and doing her job.

0:32:000:32:07

And Andy, what are all these twigs?

0:32:070:32:10

All this kind of wood over here? What's all this about?

0:32:100:32:13

We just did this, something different, just to give them a little bit of cover.

0:32:130:32:17

Possibly make them feel a bit secure. They can see all the way round.

0:32:170:32:21

-And it's a little bit of a windbreak as well.

-Andy, thank you very much.

0:32:210:32:24

Shall we leave the area and let them get to their nest?

0:32:240:32:29

Lord Bath is planning to create a new garden at Longleat,

0:32:510:32:54

specially planted to attract British butterflies.

0:32:540:32:58

So he and Sophie Dunn, a keeper in the tropical butterfly house, have

0:32:580:33:02

come to meet Andrew George, five miles from Longleat, in order to find out more about what's involved.

0:33:020:33:09

Andrew is an enthusiast who's devoted his extensive garden to butterfly conservation.

0:33:090:33:15

It may look like an overgrown meadow - but that's just how they like it.

0:33:150:33:20

Especially one of Britain's rarest - and tiniest - species, called "the small blue".

0:33:200:33:26

They were more common, years ago, when Lord Bath was a butterfly collector.

0:33:260:33:31

In my childhood I remember catching small blues.

0:33:310:33:34

Probably near Cley Hill, I can't remember now where I caught them, but that chalk soil...

0:33:340:33:39

It could have been in the woods around, but then I haven't seen them for a long while.

0:33:390:33:44

I don't know where they've all gone.

0:33:440:33:45

The main reason that the small blue is now rare is because, like

0:33:450:33:50

so many other butterflies, it must have exactly the right conditions.

0:33:500:33:54

It can only live on one kind of plant.

0:33:540:33:57

The small blue comes in and lays its eggs only

0:33:570:34:01

on the flower heads of kidney vetch.

0:34:010:34:03

Nothing else! It's the only thing it will lay its eggs on.

0:34:030:34:08

And then the egg hatches and it burrows in to the seed head.

0:34:080:34:13

Kidney vetch used to be found widely in sheltered grassland on lime-rich soils.

0:34:130:34:19

But modern developments have reduced this habitat, and so the small blue

0:34:190:34:23

-is in big trouble.

-It lives in colonies

0:34:230:34:27

and most of the members of the colony don't leave the colony.

0:34:270:34:30

Even though they can fly way up into the air, they just stay in that one particular place.

0:34:300:34:35

Well, they know where their patch of kidney vetch is to be found!

0:34:350:34:39

That is right, yes. Because the habitat is quite rare,

0:34:390:34:43

because the places that kidney vetch like to grow

0:34:430:34:47

are quite spread apart, the butterfly has a hard job jumping from one colony to another.

0:34:470:34:53

Especially if you realise it is tiny.

0:34:530:34:55

It lives...

0:34:550:34:57

a week, maybe, and in that time it's got to have mated,

0:34:570:35:01

and then travelled somewhere else with kidney vetch.

0:35:010:35:04

Would you know where your next three colonies of kidney vetch are around here?

0:35:040:35:10

Well, I know of one. It's about four miles away.

0:35:120:35:16

There's probably others that I don't know of, but that's the only colony I know of within four miles of here.

0:35:160:35:23

This one has become - this is the largest colony in Somerset now.

0:35:240:35:28

About five or six years after it was created.

0:35:280:35:31

It may be the largest colony in Somerset,

0:35:310:35:34

but Lord Bath and Sophie haven't spotted a single small blue yet.

0:35:340:35:38

Time to get down to some serious butterfly hunting!

0:35:380:35:43

A good tip is to look for warm sheltered spots.

0:35:430:35:47

And to be able to recognise the plants that are important for butterflies.

0:35:470:35:51

If you can recognise kidney vetch for instance, there's a good chance

0:35:510:35:55

you might be in a place where the small blues are.

0:35:550:35:59

Look for the plants that the butterflies like.

0:35:590:36:02

There's a very dense patch of the kidney vetch there. See, Andrew?

0:36:090:36:13

-And there's a small blue.

-Is there?

0:36:130:36:16

No wonder they're hard to spot -

0:36:160:36:18

the small blue is less than three centimetres across.

0:36:180:36:22

They are obviously very small in comparison to ones I'm used to looking after in the gardens.

0:36:220:36:27

But I do think it's brilliant that, it's more of a challenge...

0:36:270:36:31

They just fly up to you in that contained environment,

0:36:310:36:34

whereas here, they come here for the food plants

0:36:340:36:37

and because it's such a good set-up, good environment for them.

0:36:370:36:41

But whether it's indoors or outside, the key to success is to offer the butterflies just what they need.

0:36:410:36:48

You can do the same thing in your own garden.

0:36:480:36:51

By creating these south-facing mounds where the kidney vetch can grow.

0:36:510:36:55

I'll have to look around for my south-facing mounds!

0:36:550:36:58

Plans for the Longleat butterfly garden are still at an early stage,

0:36:580:37:02

but today's visit has certainly rekindled Lord Bath's enthusiasm.

0:37:020:37:08

Oh, it is bringing back the days when I scrambled around, getting my scratches, yes!

0:37:080:37:15

I'm not getting the scratches nowadays!

0:37:150:37:17

Earlier, there was quite a commotion when Romeo the otter had to be caught in Pets Corner.

0:37:240:37:31

He's out! Get a key, get a key! He's got me!

0:37:350:37:40

He had to come to the vet's in order to have a fragment of

0:37:450:37:50

nutshell removed from where it was stuck in his mouth.

0:37:500:37:53

But now, while they've got him under anaesthetic, vet Karen Grabham is taking a couple of X-rays

0:37:530:37:59

to find out if he's suffering from bladder stones - an ailment that plagues otters in captivity.

0:37:590:38:04

X-rays!

0:38:070:38:09

When they come out, they show that Romeo...

0:38:090:38:12

is in the best of health.

0:38:120:38:15

The X-rays are good, so we can go ahead and reverse him now.

0:38:150:38:19

And get him waking up.

0:38:190:38:22

Anaesthetics can have dangerous side effects,

0:38:220:38:25

and it's always best to minimise the time spent under.

0:38:250:38:28

So Karen has a drug that should reverse the effects.

0:38:280:38:32

Come on, little lad.

0:38:330:38:35

-There we are.

-Good lad.

-We'll take him back now, we'll give him

0:38:420:38:48

a good afternoon's rest and watch him closely, and keep him warm and quiet.

0:38:480:38:53

And then hopefully,

0:38:530:38:54

he'll have a bit of food and we'll get him back with his wife and pups.

0:38:540:38:59

He's the best dad. He's a wonderful dad.

0:39:010:39:05

The next day, things are getting back to normal in the otter enclosure.

0:39:080:39:13

Darren has been trying to work out how the accident with the nutshell

0:39:130:39:16

happened, particularly because the otters aren't fed almonds.

0:39:160:39:20

That was what was stuck in the roof of his mouth. That came from one of these, obviously.

0:39:220:39:27

There's the edge - look.

0:39:270:39:29

And I think what's probably happened - talk about improbable -

0:39:290:39:34

more chances of winning the lottery, I think, than this happening!

0:39:340:39:39

Basically I would think a parrot's taken one of the nuts off of Rob to eat, they dropped it,

0:39:390:39:45

a jackdaw or something has picked it up, or a bird has dropped it, in the enclosure here.

0:39:450:39:50

And remember - these otters, they are designed for crushing bone and shell,

0:39:500:39:54

so they've got these wonderful teeth.

0:39:540:39:57

The chances of that nut being crushed to just the right size to fit

0:39:570:40:01

in between the top palate, between the teeth, and not be too big and

0:40:010:40:05

not get stuck, and not be too small and not get stuck - it was just the right size - must be billions to one!

0:40:050:40:10

But welcome to Longleat and have a nice day! It's got to happen here, hasn't it?!

0:40:100:40:15

With the odds of such a thing happening again being so small, they've decided that there's

0:40:150:40:20

no need to deprive the parrots of their nuts, even if they do leave the shells lying around.

0:40:200:40:25

When we brought him back from surgery, I put him in to rest for a few hours.

0:40:250:40:30

Within two-and-a-half hours, under two-and-a-half hours, he was up.

0:40:300:40:34

He was a bit wobbly. He had a little drink.

0:40:340:40:36

Then eventually we let him out and he ate straightaway.

0:40:360:40:39

So it must have been quite a relief to get that thing out of his mouth.

0:40:390:40:42

He could go back to eating his big dinners.

0:40:420:40:44

And today he's mixing with his partner and the babies,

0:40:440:40:49

and everything's fine, so it's a good result.

0:40:490:40:52

There you go, girl.

0:41:110:41:13

We've come up to feed the sea lions with keeper Michelle Stevens and we've got one here...

0:41:130:41:19

-Is that Celia?

-That's Celia, yeah.

0:41:190:41:21

-Particularly greedy!

-She's a quite in-your-face sea lion.

0:41:210:41:25

She likes her fish.

0:41:260:41:28

Is she just guarding over the food here?

0:41:280:41:31

She wants all of the food, yeah.

0:41:310:41:33

She likes to think she's the dominant sea lion, but she goes about it in the wrong way.

0:41:330:41:38

She's too pushy with the other sea lions.

0:41:380:41:40

It is incredibly noisy!

0:41:400:41:42

Buster making a tremendous noise.

0:41:420:41:45

Do they use these noises as a means of communication? Is this a warning?

0:41:450:41:52

Is he just saying, "Feed me!"

0:41:520:41:54

That's basically just to get our attention.

0:41:540:41:58

Her pup - Celia's pup - she'll call her mother as well.

0:41:580:42:02

It's very important just to keep in contact with each other over long distances.

0:42:020:42:06

They have really got very good hearing.

0:42:060:42:08

-They have?

-They have, yes.

-What about the smell?

0:42:080:42:13

Would they know we had this fish here if they didn't see it?

0:42:130:42:17

Yeah, I think so. It's pretty good.

0:42:170:42:19

The whiskers are the most sensitive thing on their face.

0:42:190:42:22

This is the last fish for you. Go on! There you go!

0:42:220:42:25

Sadly that's the last fish and also that's the end of the programme.

0:42:250:42:28

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

0:42:280:42:31

We'll catch up with the cubs as they face their latest challenge.

0:42:310:42:36

To earn their supper they have to take on Mum and Dad.

0:42:360:42:40

We'll find out why the chameleons like nothing better than to get caught in the rain.

0:42:400:42:45

And there are health worries for Longleat's last two tigers, Sona and Kadu.

0:42:470:42:53

So don't miss the next Animal Park.

0:42:530:42:56

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:050:43:08

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:080:43:11

With over 50 animal species at Longleat Safari Park, some need intensive care. Romeo the otter has a problem in his mouth that could be life-threatening, and so he must be captured and rushed to the vet. With a big family on the way, Trevor and Honey the ostriches need a bigger nest. And Lord Bath reveals a passion for butterflies. More tales from the park and house with Kate Humble and Ben Fogle.