Episode 1 Animal Park


Episode 1

Kate Humble and Ben Fogle look behind the scenes at Longleat Safari Park. A newborn pygmy goat is rejected by its mother so the keepers work round the clock to save its life.


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Transcript


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Every new birth is a nerve-wracking moment for the keepers.

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We're up at the giraffery, but it's not the endangered giraffes that are expecting.

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It's an animal completely on the other end of the scale.

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Yes, the pygmy goats are due to give birth at any moment.

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The keepers are standing by and we'll be following their story on today's Animal Park.

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Coming up on today's Animal Park...

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An abandoned baby goat is in dire straights.

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Can one of the keepers save its life?

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They might be the most ferocious animals at Longleat,

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but will the tigers be tough enough to go for a dip?

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And titanic disaster is on the cards...

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-Don't panic!

-..as Ben takes control of one of the park's brand-new boats.

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Try and keep it straight.

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Last winter, and for a second year in a row,

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Jonjo, the champion pygmy goat,

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had a busy fortnight up in the East Africa reserve.

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The Longleat herd is predominantly female

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and they don't have their own billy.

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And that's why Jonjo came hotfoot from his home in the Welsh Valleys.

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He's a jobbing stud and he soon got down to business.

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But that was five months ago and now senior warden Bev Evans

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has some predictable, though still exciting, news.

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Well, currently our five female goats are heavily pregnant, due this week.

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And it's their second time.

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We had births last year and, hopefully, our five girls

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will be very successful this year

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and we should have quite a few kids, hopefully. This is Sour.

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Sour's one of our friendliest goats and probably noisiest, actually.

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She did incredibly well last year.

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She had our twins. So, hopefully, she'll do just as well this year.

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Our girls are looking incredibly big.

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I would say, but obviously I can't say for certain,

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that a lot of them are carrying twins, they are that big, very round.

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Also their udders are beginning to drop, which is a sign that they are very imminent.

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We're keeping an extra special eye on them at the moment.

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And well they might, because Bev and the team remember only too well what happened last year.

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For most of the herd, it was the first time they'd ever been pregnant

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and, when they began to give birth, things started to go wrong.

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Sour did all right, but most of the other nannies' kids were still-born.

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Lily had the worst time of all.

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She was in such distress that the vet, Duncan Williams,

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had to be called to carry out an emergency Caesarian.

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Bev was there, along with head of section Andy Hayton.

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For the sake of the babies, the operation was done just under a local anaesthetic.

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Just feeling in there for the uterus.

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Grab the inside of the uterus.

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It took just moments to get the first kid out.

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There were no signs of life.

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Swinging the baby is to clear fluid from the lungs.

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Massaging is to try and get their system going.

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In fact, there were two.

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Lily was carrying twins.

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But there was never any hope.

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By the time he started to do the stitches, Duncan had discovered what happened.

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Unfortunately, the placenta was detached already,

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so the kids had died in uterus,

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probably some time during the night.

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At least Lily did make a full recovery.

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But when birthing time was over, the final count for the whole herd was pretty grim.

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Out of nine kids carried to term, there were three still alive.

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So, of course, this year, right now, tensions are running high.

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As Bev settles them into the barn for the night, it's anyone's guess what

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she'll find later on and who will be the first.

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If I had to put my money on it, I'd either go for Sour or for Prawn.

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They're looking like their stomachs are starting to change shape,

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and their back-end's very puffy. Their udders are down.

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Also they sometimes start bleating, not to me, but to themselves and that's a sign that,

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you know, there's possible movement and the kids are about to come.

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So, yes, we'll just have to wait and see.

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We'll be back later, when the very first babies arrive

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and let's just hope that this year goes a little better than last.

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Many of the park's residents are fond of a refreshing swim,

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from the hippos basking in Half Mile Lake

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to the sea lions making a splash.

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But there are some animals you might not to expect

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to see taking a little dip, the tigers.

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These shots are of the old gang, Shandi, Sona and Kadu.

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Sadly, Shandi and Sona have now died

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and much loved Kadu is an old lady and prefers to spend her time indoors.

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But there are three new tigers at the park

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and the keepers are keen to see whether they'll enjoy a swim.

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Before they can be realised from the tiger house,

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I've been asked to drive up some rather large machinery to help prepare the pool.

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I'm out in the tiger enclosure, obviously, without tigers.

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Well, I hope so, but with keeper Bob Trollope.

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And it's a big day here because the pond is going to be filled up...

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-It is.

-..for the tigers.

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-You've already made a start.

-Yep.

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So we've got to get this next tank-load in.

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-Yep.

-How do we go about doing that?

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Just take the pipe off of here, OK?

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And just chuck it in there. Mind you don't get wet though, Kate.

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Oh, yeah! This is the comedy bit, isn't it? OK, so just...

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-Just chuck it in there.

-Oh, look at that.

-And that's it.

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-Brilliant. Now, obviously, fairly new tigers.

-Yeah.

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Never seen this pond filled before.

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Why is it important for them to have water in the enclosure?

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Well, tigers will actively seek out water to cool down on a lovely, hot summer's day.

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Just like this one, yeah.

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And they will go there and lay in it just to keep cool.

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Oh, really? Cos you think cats, you know, domestic cats seem to actively avoid being anywhere near water.

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-Yeah, they do.

-Tigers are completely different?

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Completely different. And lions.

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We've had ponds in the lion sections and they don't go anywhere near them, apart from to drink.

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-Really?

-The tigers will use this for all sorts of things.

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In the past we've had them sort of laying there for hours on end.

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-They drink from it.

-Can they swim?

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Is it something they can actually physically do?

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Tigers are extremely good swimmers and if they need to get across

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a river or a lake as such, they can swim very well.

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Do you think it will be Soundari who will be the first over here,

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the first to check it out and see what she thinks?

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Primarily, I think Soundari will be the one.

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So we're going to do is take the tractor out of the way, let the tigers out,

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and join us later to see what they make of their new swimming pool.

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There's been some breaking news back up in the goat house.

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Sour, the nanny, has given birth to three little kids.

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But there's a problem.

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Pygmy goats only have two teats,

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which makes it hard for them to care for three babies.

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So the mother will often reject and abandon one of them.

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Already, it looks like Sour's decided to ignore the smallest kid.

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It may seem hard, but it's the natural way.

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Bev Evans, who looks after the goats,

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is giving Sour one last chance to recognise her most-needy baby.

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Sadly, she just doesn't want to know, so now it's up to Bev to try and save its life.

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She's brought the kid into the staff room, where it's warmer.

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Of course, nobody ever wants to take a baby from its mother,

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but this is a matter of life and death.

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The kid is a little girl and her body temperature is dangerously low.

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We're just taking over Sour's job and stimulating her and getting her cleaned up, get her dry.

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And we're just trying to see how she's going to do really.

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It's been a little bit touch and go.

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It's hard to say if she's gonna survive or not.

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She won't survive long without milk

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and the best place to get that is from Mum.

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So head of section Andy Hayton is trying to get some from Sour.

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So this will give the baby the best head start you can possibly wish for.

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Good stuff. Lovely.

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Let's try and put it all into you.

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This special first milk is called colostrum.

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It's full of antibodies to help protect newborn babies from disease

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and infection in the first few days of their precarious lives.

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But if she's to survive, she'll need a lot more milk than this.

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-She swallowed that.

-Swallowed did she?

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Yeah, just now.

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She's too weak to take any more milk right now.

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In fact, she doesn't look too good.

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Sour's only had twins before,

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she's never had triplets.

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So she's probably quite occupied

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with giving birth to the second one and then the third.

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And by that time,

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this little one had got a bit cold

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and wasn't really bleating as much and wasn't really standing as much.

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So once the other two were up and about

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Sour's attention kind of turned to them.

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Is that better?

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She's perked up a little bit and then she's gone a bit sleepy again,

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so just keep carrying on with this,

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just trying to give her a bit more energy really.

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As I said, she's still very weak.

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Clearly, she's fading fast.

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-Maybe we'll give her a bit more of that kickstart in a minute.

-Mm. She's trying.

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-Is she taking it?

-OK.

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As a last resort, Andy's trying an emergency treatment,

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a kind of pick me up medicine that's used by farmers on struggling newborn lambs.

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It's like a vitamin, mineral type of supplement-type thing

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and it just gives them a real boost.

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It's kind of kill or cure almost.

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But it's not looking good.

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She's not as perky as she was.

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It's almost sometimes like they just quit.

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It's what happens.

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She's not gone yet.

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She's not gone yet, no.

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But Andy and Bev know there's really not much hope

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and it may only be a matter of time.

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Later on, we'll find out what happens to the poor little kid.

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Amongst his many adventures and courageous exploits,

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you may remember that our Ben once rowed across the Atlantic

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along with Olympic oarsman James Cracknell.

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For someone to take on such a serious piece of water in such a tiny craft,

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they'd have to be pretty keen on boating.

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So when Ben heard that Longleat has got two new tour boats,

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we couldn't keep him away, though this time

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he has agreed to keep his clothes on.

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I love messy around in boats.

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And today, there's a real treat in store for me,

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because I'm going to learn to drive a boat

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in a lake filled with hippos, sea lions and an island with gorillas.

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Now, up here is head of boats... Morning, Bill.

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-Hello, Ben, my friend.

-How are you?

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-Fine.

-You're going to teach me how to drive the Lady Lenka.

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-This is one of the new boats here on Half Mile Lake, isn't it?

-I'll do my best.

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I am itching to get out on the water. Shall we?

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What's the first thing we have to do?

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Well, I'd like to show you the controls of the boat, for a start.

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-OK.

-Up for forward.

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-Yup.

-Down for reverse. Wheel for port and starboard.

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Throttle for however many revs you want.

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We're clear of everything. Do you want to take over?

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-If you trust me, absolutely.

-Right.

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Obviously, just want to avoid this island, but this is where Nico lives.

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Yes, Nico's on here. Try and keep it straight.

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Push the throttle down to just give it a bit more power.

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No, keep it down. Don't take it off.

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You've taken all the revs off. We've got no power at all.

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Oh dear! I'm not doing very well!

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No, you're doing OK. Watch your back cos you've got to keep

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30 feet away from the island.

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So many things to think about.

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The radio going. I'm worried about... Ooh! Is that OK?

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-Is it still turning to the right?

-Yeah.

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I want to turn it the other way now. Now I've got it in...

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The boat only goes in the direction you turn the wheel,

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whether it's forward or backwards.

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So much to think about.

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Next thing here, you've got Jo-Jo standing up on the tree there.

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We call it a "tree lion" at Longleat.

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A tree lion!

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Now, I want you to concentrate a bit here. Here is the tricky part.

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With any vessel, the most challenging manoeuvre is landing the boat.

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Just take a few revs off. Take it down one notch there.

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That's it. Lovely.

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I imagine this is the hardest part, the...

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Very hard and you don't do anything other than follow precisely what I tell you, please.

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Start your turn as if you're going down the cut down there.

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Keep turning, but keep going in that direction first.

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Come further down, or you'll land too high up the quay.

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Push some revs on it, you're not going round fast enough. That's it.

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Watch it. OK?

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-Yup, good.

-It's fine.

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-It's quite nerve-wracking.

-Yeah.

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-OK.

-More.

-More revs?

-More revs, yeah. All right, take the revs off.

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-Put it into reverse now.

-Put it into reverse?

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Yeah, that has the same effect. Hold it in reverse.

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Wheel right over. Now forward gear.

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Hard over to me in forward gear. Forward gear! You're out of gear.

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Don't have it out of gear, or you're going to go...

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Don't panic. Just go slowly.

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-Hard over to you?

-Yep. Take it out of gear.

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Take the revs off. Now right up the quay.

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BEEPING

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Oh, you've stopped the engine. Oh dear.

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-You took the revs right off.

-I took the revs right off.

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-Keep the wheel hard to the left.

-Hard to the left.

-Just keep going.

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Little bit of forward motion.

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Now then, I want you to put the wheel hard over to the left...

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-Hard over to the left, yeah.

-..and put it into reverse.

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-Into reverse?

-Just very gently.

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-Yup.

-That's it, that's it. Hold it.

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-Out of gear.

-Out of gear.

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That's it. Take the revs off.

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You've landed the boat.

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That's it. Leave it like that.

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Now, what you've done, you've brought it to the point that

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-when she's tied the boat up, we can open this gate...

-Right.

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And we're right opposite the entrance. Just like that.

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-Dah-dah!

-Now, not everybody can do what you've just done.

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They sometimes bang the quay.

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So how do you rate me, then, out of ten as a...?

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-I'd give that a nine out of ten instantly...

-Nine out of ten!

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For your first go at landing it.

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So I could have a job here one day?

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-Oh, absolutely. Oh, yeah.

-Fantastic.

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Bill, thank you very much. Thank you.

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There's hope for me yet, even if I do have to wipe my brow.

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That was pretty scary.

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It's been one hour since the newborn kid

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was brought inside to the staff room.

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She had to be rescued after being rejected by her mother, the nanny goat called Sour.

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Bev Evans is trying to keep the baby alive with body massage and tiny feeds of mother's milk,

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but clearly the kid's life is hanging in the balance.

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Right now, Bev's desperately trying to keep the baby warm.

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Brought in a hot-water bottle

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just to try and warm it up from all angles really

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and it's starting to perk up a little bit.

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Starting to lift its head, but only like in fits and starts.

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It's not really jumping for joy yet.

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This kid was rejected because Mum, Sour,

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couldn't look after three babies at once.

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But now head of section Andy Hayton

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has spotted a problem with one of Sour's other kids,

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so has called in vet Paul Higgs to take a look.

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Five hours after being born, one of them still can't stand up properly.

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Now, there is no strength in it whatsoever.

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Whenever he was putting weight on it,

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his back legs were both just splaying.

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Yeah. He's quite weak.

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I think his main problem is his toes aren't...

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If you put his toes flat,

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he can't actually stand on the bottoms of his feet at the moment,

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cos his tendons are all contracted down.

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The problem was caused by having three babies in the womb.

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They were squashed together with no room to stretch,

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so the tendons in his back legs haven't developed properly.

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Generally, they come right within 24 hours. Otherwise, we could...

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If he's still not right tomorrow afternoon

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then we can stick a splint on them, that's the other thing.

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But considering it's both of them,

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we don't want to be splinting both his legs

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and usually they just come right all by themselves.

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While the vet's been in the barn,

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Bev's been waiting in the staff room with the poor little kid.

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She was fading away, but now there's been a minor miracle.

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About an hour ago she was still wrapped up in a towel,

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hardly lifting her head.

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Then I just took the towel off her and she just stood straight up,

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had a wee and she's been like this ever since.

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Yeah, with little young ones like lambs and kids,

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they've got very little energy when they come out, very little reserves,

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so if they get cold, they rapidly use those up.

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And once they've warmed up, they tend to come back to life quite quickly.

0:19:440:19:48

She's quite good. If you stick your finger in her mouth,

0:19:490:19:52

she sucks really nice and strong now,

0:19:520:19:54

so she should be quite happy to go on to the bottle now,

0:19:540:19:57

-rather than just squirting it into her mouth.

-That's good.

0:19:570:20:00

-And she's got loads of energy.

-Good.

0:20:000:20:02

She looks as good as the other two now, doesn't she?

0:20:020:20:05

Yeah, she does, yeah. Bless her.

0:20:050:20:07

It's turned out pretty well, as you can see.

0:20:070:20:10

Bit of a shock actually taking off the towel

0:20:100:20:13

and she just stood straight up.

0:20:130:20:15

So from nearly at death's door to up and about and quite lively.

0:20:150:20:19

Yeah, really pleased.

0:20:190:20:21

A long day, but, yeah, a very good day, in the end.

0:20:210:20:25

So far, so good.

0:20:250:20:27

But now Bev and Andy will have to raise her by hand,

0:20:270:20:30

bottle feeding her day and night.

0:20:300:20:33

With four other pregnant nannies due to give birth any day now,

0:20:330:20:37

they could be in for a busy time.

0:20:370:20:39

I'm out in the tiger enclosure with keeper Bob Trollope and just over my shoulder is Soundari.

0:20:480:20:54

The tigers have been let out. We were here earlier filling their pond.

0:20:540:20:58

She is supposed to be taking an interest in the pond,

0:20:580:21:01

but she seems to be taking more interest in us in this Land Rover.

0:21:010:21:04

She does. She's a mischievous little thing, as you know, Kate.

0:21:040:21:08

-I'll just keep an eye on her a minute...

-Yeah.

0:21:080:21:10

Cos she's a bit of a so and so.

0:21:100:21:13

So we might need to make a little dash for it if she starts biting our tyres.

0:21:130:21:20

What we did was put some meat around the edge of the pond once it was filled up with water.

0:21:200:21:25

There's a nice, big, very hard, plastic ball in there for them to play with.

0:21:250:21:30

So really she should be finding that irresistible.

0:21:300:21:33

As the tigers are so new to the park,

0:21:330:21:36

the keepers are still learning what they do and don't like.

0:21:360:21:40

They do like to stalk the cars,

0:21:400:21:42

but there's a chance they may not like the water.

0:21:420:21:46

But it's not long before Soundari's curiosity means that she just has to try it out.

0:21:460:21:51

She's spotted the ball in the pond...

0:21:510:21:53

-Oh, let's see.

-And, hopefully...

0:21:530:21:56

Oh, there she goes. Quite quick.

0:21:560:21:58

She's suddenly realised there was something different in the park.

0:21:580:22:03

Straight into the water.

0:22:030:22:05

Not fazed by the water at all.

0:22:050:22:07

Oh, that's lovely!

0:22:070:22:09

No fear of the water at all.

0:22:090:22:11

Look at her!

0:22:200:22:22

She suddenly looks very kittenish.

0:22:220:22:24

Oh, this is lovely to see this!

0:22:240:22:28

I bet Kadu would be very, very proud of her.

0:22:280:22:30

Cos Kadu was always really the first one in the water.

0:22:300:22:35

Yeah, she was and she's...

0:22:350:22:37

-This is a mini Kadu, without a doubt.

-Yeah.

0:22:370:22:40

When she was younger, it was exactly the same.

0:22:400:22:42

She was mischievous, always investigating new things and enjoying it.

0:22:420:22:47

Oh, it's fantastic!

0:22:470:22:49

The other two are intrigued.

0:22:490:22:52

They're sat up watching,

0:22:520:22:56

but they're not brave enough to come across.

0:22:560:22:58

I think she might be in here for most of the day, Bob.

0:22:580:23:01

She looks like a very, very happy cat.

0:23:010:23:05

Well, Bob, thank you very much indeed.

0:23:050:23:07

We are going to leave this extremely happy tiger playing in her paddling pool.

0:23:070:23:11

And we'll leave you with a happy sight of her.

0:23:110:23:14

When Sour the nanny goat gave birth to three kids,

0:23:290:23:32

no-one really thought the tiny, weak one was going to survive.

0:23:320:23:36

But now, one week later, she is the comeback kid.

0:23:360:23:40

Pretty amazing comeback of all comebacks,

0:23:490:23:53

I think, this one, isn't it?

0:23:530:23:54

There were points were we actually thought it was dead.

0:23:540:23:57

So it's nice when things like this happen.

0:23:570:24:00

She came home with me on the first night

0:24:000:24:03

and she stayed at my house probably a good five or six days,

0:24:030:24:08

because she was just so incredibly weak.

0:24:080:24:10

She's special in lots of ways.

0:24:100:24:14

She's called Bubble, because she sits after she's had her milk

0:24:140:24:18

and blows big bubbles out the side of her mouth.

0:24:180:24:21

So, yeah, a special character.

0:24:210:24:22

You may have noticed that Bubble isn't the only new kid on the block.

0:24:250:24:29

In fact, since Sour gave birth,

0:24:290:24:31

four of the other nanny goats also had theirs.

0:24:310:24:34

There are baby goats everywhere.

0:24:340:24:37

Male, male...

0:24:390:24:41

male.

0:24:410:24:44

Five, yeah.

0:24:470:24:48

Five males, four females.

0:24:480:24:49

Bubble still needs to be bottle fed

0:24:520:24:54

and now she's not the only one Bev's got to take special care of.

0:24:540:24:58

I couldn't believe it, two sets of triplets.

0:24:580:25:00

Oh my God! That was just a shock.

0:25:000:25:02

Obviously, we've got two which we're hand-rearing on the bottle, as you can see.

0:25:020:25:07

Very healthy and hungry.

0:25:070:25:09

All together and all playing around in the sunshine, doing really well.

0:25:090:25:13

The pygmy goats may be smaller than most of the other residents

0:25:220:25:25

of the East African reserve,

0:25:250:25:27

but at round-up time, they can be a lot more trouble.

0:25:270:25:30

Come on, goats!

0:25:410:25:42

We'll be checking back on the pygmy goats and all their kids later in the series.

0:25:420:25:47

From the newest kids on the block to some of the oldest.

0:25:540:25:57

These pelicans have lived at the park for decades

0:25:590:26:02

and are one of the world's largest flying birds.

0:26:020:26:04

Their enormous wingspan can reach over 2.5 metres,

0:26:040:26:10

allowing them to swoop down gracefully to catch their prey and,

0:26:100:26:14

being such large animals, they can certainly build up quite an appetite,

0:26:140:26:18

as Kate and I are about to find out.

0:26:180:26:20

We're up with keeper Michelle Stevens to feed the pink-back pelicans.

0:26:240:26:28

Michelle, we've got a big bucket of mackerel. What do we need to do?

0:26:280:26:31

Just feed them individually.

0:26:310:26:33

-Just throw it?

-Yeah, just throw it. Make sure everyone gets a piece.

0:26:330:26:36

-There you are. Oh, my goodness!

-They can be quite...

0:26:360:26:39

Look at their beaks!

0:26:390:26:41

They're absolutely enormous!

0:26:410:26:44

Absolutely enormous.

0:26:440:26:45

Now, just being this close to them,

0:26:450:26:47

-just looking at this one at the back here, that's eating...

-Yeah.

0:26:470:26:51

It looks different from the others. Is it a juvenile?

0:26:510:26:54

-It's a different species altogether.

-Oh, really?

0:26:540:26:57

Yeah. It's a spot-billed pelican.

0:26:570:26:58

I thought you only had pink-backed pelicans.

0:26:580:27:01

No, we have 12 pink-backs and one individual spot-billed.

0:27:010:27:04

Taking your hand with it!

0:27:040:27:06

So how come you ended up with one of an entirely different species?

0:27:060:27:10

Not quite sure. We just acquired four in the 1960s some time

0:27:100:27:13

and he is just the remaining one that we have left really.

0:27:130:27:17

So he could be, what, 40, 50 years old?

0:27:170:27:20

40-plus. Yeah.

0:27:200:27:22

And that's common for pelicans to live to that long, is it?

0:27:220:27:25

They could live to about 40 or 50.

0:27:250:27:26

We don't really know much about the spot-billed pelican.

0:27:260:27:30

There aren't many in captivity. They're quite rare in the wild.

0:27:300:27:33

Where would you see them in the wild?

0:27:330:27:35

They're native to the Philippines, that area.

0:27:350:27:37

So mixing with Africa pelicans, but seems to be very happy with them.

0:27:370:27:43

Yeah, yeah. Pretty much, yeah.

0:27:430:27:45

We have tried to get a female for him, but no success, unfortunately.

0:27:450:27:49

-Ooh!

-He's quite fond of the other females.

0:27:490:27:51

-We don't let him breed though!

-In 50 years of this park, he must have seen some things and some changes.

0:27:510:27:56

-He could tell a few tales.

-Michelle, thank you very much.

0:27:560:28:00

Sadly, that's all we've got time for.

0:28:000:28:01

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

0:28:010:28:04

How do you stop over 70 monkeys vandalising visitors' cars?

0:28:060:28:11

That's the mission for deputy head warden Ian Turner, and some very heavy machinery.

0:28:110:28:16

I catch up with the giraffes and discover it's not only their necks that are exceptionally long.

0:28:180:28:23

'And I'll be calling on Nico the gorilla

0:28:240:28:27

'to see if there's life in the old dog yet.'

0:28:270:28:29

Don't you even think about pinching my bum!

0:28:290:28:33

So don't miss the next Animal Park.

0:28:330:28:36

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:28:400:28:44

Email [email protected]

0:28:440:28:47

A newborn pygmy goat is rejected by its mother so the Longleat keepers work round the clock to try and save its life. Meanwhile, Kate Humble introduces some bath toys to three ferocious tigers, and Ben Fogle takes one of the park's boats for a spin on the lake.


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