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Today, we've got big plans for Monkey Jungle.
A way of keeping the monkeys happy, busy and off the cars.
It's a fun food source and a puzzle all wrapped up into one.
Join us to find out what the monkeys make of their new treat.
There's more than monkey business
going on on today's Animal Park.
I catch up with the giraffes
and discover it's not only their necks that are exceptionally long.
And I'll be calling on Nico the gorilla,
to see if there's life in the old dog yet.
Don't you even think about pinching my bum!
But first, we're going to Monkey Jungle.
A very perilous place for cars.
Of all the species in the park, the troop of over 70
Rhesus Macaque monkeys must be the most inquisitive.
You could also call them cheeky, even mischievous,
or possibly something untransmittable.
While he's patrolling Monkey Jungle,
keeper Ross Ellis has to stay on his toes.
The monkeys are probably the most active animals in the safari park.
We've always got to look for ideas to keep them occupied.
Otherwise, they'll keep ripping cars apart.
Anything that can keep them occupied, stimulated, is a plus.
Windscreen wipers is a popular one.
We get them come off all the time.
There's a monkey on top of that one there, after an aerial.
One on a wing mirror here,
just checking it out.
The monkeys are always ripping stuff off.
We're forever picking bits up.
This lot has taken Ross only about a day to collect.
So you see, the monkeys really are right little vandals.
The only way to curb their wicked ways is to distract them.
Deputy head warden Ian Turner
is always trying to come up with new things to keep them busy.
We want to enrich the monkeys' lives.
There are 70 to 80 monkeys, plus babies.
They're always playing on trees.
I'm hoping if can I get a couple of good logs for them to play on,
it's gonna be good for them.
The other idea I've had is to drill some holes in them,
so we can put food inside.
We can put the mix in there,
which may stop the seagulls from pinching it.
Then in the afternoon, we can put fruit in there.
Once we've found the logs, it should be no trouble getting them in here -
dig a hole and putting two logs in.
It should be easy.
Should be easy, but are those famous last words?
Two gorillas used to live on the island in Half Mile Lake.
Nico, the silverback male, and Samba, his mate.
They were both 46 years old, which is a very great age for a gorilla.
They had spent almost their entire lives together.
But recently, Samba passed away.
The keepers were all pretty upset.
After all, she was a big part of their lives.
But perhaps the blow fell hardest on Nico.
Since Samba died, everyone's been putting a lot of effort
into getting him through this difficult time.
I've come up to Gorilla Island to meet head of section Mark Tighe
and to see how Nico is getting on.
-How are you?
-Good. He's actually looking better than I thought.
He's, amazingly, doing really well.
I was so worried as to how he'd cope.
Initially, obviously, it was very distressing for him and us.
Slowly, but surely, he's really picked himself up and has
kind of changed into a much lighter individual, if you like.
-Really? So you've noticed changes in his character?
As you know, he had his stroppy tendencies every now and again.
He seems much calmer now.
Much more relaxed. He doesn't eat all his food in five seconds flat.
He takes time over it.
He uses the island a lot more,
spends a lot more time foraging, which he never used to do.
He used to leave that for Samba.
Let Samba do the work and he sat and ate.
He did go for all the easy pickings.
How about... You and Michelle have both worked with him
for a very long time. Particularly you.
Have you noticed his relationship,
for want of a better word, changing towards you two as well?
He went right off us initially.
-After she'd died, he was
very angry with us all.
Almost as if he thought we'd done something to her.
It took a long time, a good few months, for him to come back
and start being nice again, particularly with me.
He's become much more relaxed and much more vocal again.
So what's the plan for today?
The girls particularly have come up with a lot of new ideas
for keeping him occupied while he's outside.
Don't you even think about pinching my bum!
He still likes to have a cheeky go.
He hasn't lost his spirit completely.
The girls have come up with a lot ideas for giving him
more to do while he's outside, and also inside, in the house.
-One of them is this novel lump of wood with some holes in.
They've been filling the holes
with all sorts of different flavoured things.
Chocolate spread, peanut butter, honey.
Put them in the holes and he dips his finger in.
This is like the gorilla equivalent
of doing the crosswords.
-Keeping his brain active.
Brilliant. Well, shall we start?
I'll give you the chocolate spread, cos I think that stuff's evil.
I'll try the honey.
This doesn't look like the most low-calorie of snacks.
This is not something we give him on a regular basis.
Right. So it's a kind of a treat.
A treat thing, yeah.
Some of the other ideas, we have a small cage feeder,
which we put all his fruit and vegetables in,
in oversized pieces that he has to push out with his fingers,
which takes a long time for him to do.
This is a bit of fun for him, and a nice flavour.
I quite like the chocolate myself.
Does this go into his cage?
We can put it in there if we want to,
but we've been putting it outside for him.
And hanging it from one of the trees.
-Shall we hang this up and see what he makes of it?
All right, shall I grab it?
It's a bit hefty.
Weighs a tonne. Hold on, mate, we're gonna send you a treat out.
-Put it down a minute. Let's take these
There you go.
Well, I guess, what we need to do now
is let Nico out and see if he likes it.
Join us a little bit later to find out
whether Nico goes for peanut butter, honey or yucky chocolate spread.
-No way is he gonna go for the chocolate spread.
Keeper Ross Ellis and deputy head warden Ian Turner
have come up with a similar plan
to enrich feeding time for their troop of Rhesus Macaque monkeys.
The more time they spend eating,
the less time they'll have to vandalise the visitors' cars.
Dave found a couple of tree trunks in the forestry yard.
The idea is to turn them into a kind of climbing frame cafe.
But first, they have to be moved.
So Ian's called in the professionals.
Here's Mike Wooley and his heavy mover.
It won't be that big a job, as long as we can lift them up.
But they shouldn't be that heavy, cos they're softwood.
Mike's machine clears the small logs out of the way like matchwood.
After all, this baby can shift up to 1½ tonnes, no problem.
Now for the main mission.
To pick up Ian's tree trunks, carry them up the yard
and then put them onto the back of a flat bed lorry.
I'm hoping it weighs about a tonne-and-a-half,
which is what he can lift.
If it weighs more than that, we'll need a different machine.
It's tricky to get a grip.
But when he does, there's a problem.
Mike's machine must admit defeat.
-Too heavy. Yeah.
There's about three tonne there.
It's amazing, isn't it, what you think it is.
And that's the hollow one!
We're going to have to go to Plan B now. It was too big for the JCB.
We'll get a telly handler in now
and hopefully we don't have to go to Plan C.
This is the telehandler.
When it comes to heavy loads, it's a real monster.
Capable of lifting up to three tonnes.
But even the telehandler can't handle it.
So now the two machines are going to have a go together.
Come to keep an eye on his heavy metal
is plant hire supremo, John Miles.
And even the grounds and gardens manager is here, Tommy Parker.
But despite their combined efforts
and the fact that half the estate now seems to be involved,
the logs still aren't shifting.
Meanwhile back in Monkey Jungle,
the little delinquents are getting restless.
Bored with the cars, they've started on the buffalo.
Never easy, though. Plan C.
When we get to 26 in the alphabet, we're in trouble.
If the trunk's just too heavy,
the only thing to do is to chop a chunk off.
It's a bit of a disappointment that we're gonna lose a bit of the tree.
But we've still got another ten foot of it.
It's funny, you look at a tree, you think, "I'll just pick it up,
"shove it in the Monkey Jungle, the monkeys will be happy."
It turns out it weighs 3.5 tonne.
Or it did. Now it's a little lighter.
So, much to Ian's relief, the truncated trunk can finally be lifted onto the lorry.
The hardest part, we thought, was gonna be the drilling the holes
so I'm hoping that's gonna be the easy part.
Right, we're 50% done. That's one on the lorry.
They'll finish off this one. I'll go and unload this one.
Then we'll come back for that one.
If Ian reckons his troubles are over, he could be in for a surprise.
We'll be back later to see if
the monkeys ever do get their fantastic new climbing frame cafe.
I'm out in the East Africa Reserve with head of section Andy Hayton,
who's come up with a rather interesting plan.
Andy, what are we up to today?
This is a bit of environment enrichment
that we've been playing around with.
We're gonna rig up a camera for you to see a giraffe's tongue.
How long it is and how it actually works.
That's what this unusual contraption is. Talk me through this.
All it is, obviously, is a water bottle.
We've drilled some holes in, put the food in the bottom
and the giraffe will stick its tongue in there.
So the tongue will be able to get...?
I can't even get my hand in there.
Absolutely. Their tongue is about 18 inches long.
-And they'll use it
and they'll curl it around boughs and leaves to pull it off.
-Where are we gonna put this?
-We'll put it away up there.
Knowing your giraffes, I've brought my own little treat
to add to your cocktail, which I know are irresistible.
I'll put a few bananas in. That's probably enough.
How are we going to get this up?
I'll jump off the truck.
-I'll lower this hook down with this winch.
Then I can raise it right back up for you.
I'll wait here. I'll let you do the...
OK, so we're gonna put that on. Bev helping out there.
So how high are you going to take this water bottle now?
I'm not sure how tall this one is.
It must be about 12 foot off the ground.
It'll only be the bigger giraffe that can get this out, this bottle.
That must be high enough, surely. You're making it so hard for them.
We don't want to make life too easy.
That's really is only for the very tallest giraffes.
What we'll normally do is this will go inside the house
-at night to keep them occupied in the evenings.
-And a camel...
The camels aren't going to reach it!
Absolutely not. Bev, do you wanna pull forward?
We're gonna move away a bit now and hopefully let the giraffes come in.
Are they quite sensitive about humans?
Not too bad. They're used to us. OK, Bev. Lovely.
They're used to us being around.
Hopefully we're actually going to see their tongues go in those holes
and hoik out various bits of carrot and...
Here we go. Look, look, here we go.
We've got a tongue going in.
-It was a piece of my banana that went in there.
That is fantastic. Their tongues, remind me how long they are?
About 18 inches long. They are huge.
They can actually grip with their tongues.
So they're using them almost like fingers?
You'll also notice, if we get a good look at it, that the tongue's black,
so it avoids sunburn.
It spends so much time out of their mouth in hot African sun.
There you go, you can see it's like a bluey-black colour.
Isn't that amazing? There it goes.
-Is it sticky or almost like sandpaper, I imagine?
A lot of saliva as well to help with digestion,
because the acacia that they'll eat in the wild are thorns,
probably three or four inches long.
They're able to get the tongues... Eat everything around it.
That's right, pull them off.
We give them hawthorn occasionally here, because that's got quite big spikes on.
That mimics the nearest you're gonna get to acacia.
They treat that with a lot of respect when they eat it.
-They eat that slowly.
-That is incredible.
Did you think they'd go for it as well as they have?
I knew Imogen would.
Imogen is definitely led by her stomach more than her brain.
They're struggling for it. But that's the point. You don't want to make it easy.
That's the whole point. If we made life easy and put food out on a
plate for them and they never had to work to get it, they would be bored.
A bored animal is not a happy animal.
We have to keep them as motivated as we possibly can.
Look at that. That is great.
Andy, thank you very much for letting me help you out.
I think these giraffes are going to be occupied for quite some time.
Back up at the timber yard, Ian Turner and Ross Ellis
have finally managed to get their tree trunks moved.
But they've still got a lot to do
before the monkeys can get their mitts on them.
In the wild, Rhesus Macaque monkeys spend most of their days
foraging for fruit or hunting for bugs.
In order to make feeding more interesting here at Longleat,
the plan is to drill holes in the trunks and stuff their food inside.
Fishing it out should keep the monkeys busy for ages.
Right, Ross. What do you reckon? Is that deep enough?
She seems deep enough.
It's not the adults so much, it's the young ones.
We don't want it so deep that they can't get all the way in.
It's the young ones, really. The adults, it wouldn't matter so much.
-But the young ones.
-That's about right.
Well, I can't feel the bottom.
-20-odd to go.
With so many holes to drill,
Ross and Ian are going to be here quite a while.
The next morning, everything's ready for the trunks to be put in place.
Ian's picked the spot.
The main reason why we're doing the holes here is we've done a lot of work on the other side.
We thought for a change we'd do something over this side.
We've done it in this position, so it's in the sun.
They've got plenty of sunshine.
We're doing it in two different places.
So it's not all in one place.
They've got a bit of interaction between the two logs.
I may even put a log on top of the two to do a bit in between.
It's going good, after yesterday's disaster.
Driving the digger is heavy metal supremo, John Miles.
He and Ian both have a good idea of how deep the hole should be.
Unfortunately, it's not the same idea.
How deep do you reckon that is? Four foot?
-It's twice as deep as halfway.
Trust me, I'm a digger driver.
That way, then that way.
So the trunk is finally upright, but Ian's still not happy.
What do you reckon?
In an ideal world, I'd like it a bit round that way. If possible.
-Just tweak it round that way?
so when the visitors come down, they can see this bit,
whereas here, there's quite a few of them dotted round there.
You just hold that side, Mike.
You push it that way and I'll pull it that way, yeah?
Just straighten up a bit. That's great.
I'm really pleased with how it's looking.
If we have the other one further down and maybe a big log in between,
it'll look really good.
Yes, this has worked out really well. Really pleased with it.
Ian may be delighted,
but it's up to the monkeys to pass the final verdict.
We'll be back in Monkey Jungle at feeding time
to see if they also think their new trunks are tree-mendous.
Earlier, I joined head of section Mark Tighe on Gorilla Island,
preparing a special treat for Nico.
So, Mark, it's hanging up, ready. So now's the big test time.
Is he gonna like it? Quite often, he comes bolting out of this door.
-Does he still do that?
Let's see how he behaves today.
-Here he is.
-Ooh, here he is.
He's looking magnificent, Mark.
He's looking very healthy.
He had all of those health problems last year
and he did begin to look, well, really quite old-mannish.
But he's looking great. Look at him.
He is. He's in fantastic shape. He spotted that straight away.
He has spotted it straight away.
Not quite sure whether to go straight for it.
It's amazing, when you see him standing in that posture,
you see that classic bent-back forearms or the forward forearms
-and that power.
-He has got immense power.
He's very strong.
Luckily for us, he's become quite...
-Look at that.
He's gone straight... No, that looked like peanut butter to me.
I think he went for the peanut butter.
That's great. Oh, look at him. He looks so content.
That's quite good, cos that'll last quite a long time.
He'll spend a lot of time messing about with it.
Then he'll get bored, do something else and come back to it.
Then come back and play around with it.
-We know he's an old gorilla, he's mid 40s.
He's always had quite a lot of grey hair.
-The grey hair isn't just age, is it?
The majority of that is the silver, what's known as the silverback,
which is a mature adult male.
It's a sign of dominance.
Obviously, because there's no other males around, he's top dog.
He got the silverback.
But there is an awful lot, particularly if you notice his arms,
that is just old age grey hair.
-So the arms would normally be black?
-A lot darker.
-They are incredibly powerful animals.
-They're incredibly powerful, yeah.
Since Samba's gone, he's become much more relaxed.
Much more chilled out, much more of a gentleman.
Well, if that's a good thing
to come out of the departing of Samba, that's great.
He seems sort of content and happy
and, as you say, quite chilled out, quite relaxed with his lot.
He is. It's pleasing for us that's the way it's gone.
It could have been a lot worse.
He's taken to living on his own quite well.
We do our best to pamper him in every way we can.
Mark, thank you very much. Keep up the good work.
Keep him happy, cos he's very special. I know you think so too.
-He's still definitely going for the peanut butter over there.
So, Nico went for his tasty treat, but will the monkeys go for theirs?
After 36 hours of hard work, Ian Turner and Ross Ellis's
new tree trunk climbing frame cafe is finally ready.
It's all finished now, all ready to try.
It's gonna take a little bit of a while to feed this morning,
but the longer we take, it means the more time the monkeys have to take to get it all out.
Normally, we just scatter this all over the floor.
A lot of it goes to birds.
Hopefully we'll cut that out a bit.
But they're very inquisitive. They're already looking.
As soon as we walk away, they'll be here.
In fact, they'll probably be here before we finish.
They're gonna wonder what it is.
As soon as we've gone, they'll be straight over here to check it out.
Hopefully, they will enjoy it. Finger crossed.
I'm looking forward to seeing it in action.
Obviously, we've put a lot of effort into this.
More than we thought we should have.
But it should keep them occupied for a little while at least.
Right, step back and see what happens.
I don't think they're gonna be very long.
No, they'll be there straight away.
Normally, it takes about five minutes to eat this.
Hopefully, with this new apparatus, it'll take a bit longer.
Normally that'd be finished.
He's sat there, perched on there, taking it a bit at a time.
Normally, when we do a scatter feed,
the buffalo will pinch a bit of the food.
This way, hopefully, the buffalo won't get so much.
The monkeys are just using them as springboards.
Once the food has gone, the young ones might use it as a play thing.
You might find this turns into the juvenile kids' corner.
They'll all hang around this side more.
So was all the effort worth it?
Considering how much effort it did take to get it all here
and get it working, I'm pleased.
Yeah. I'm more than pleased. Definitely.
Only time will tell if this is going to keep the monkeys
off the cars and curb their vandalistic tendencies.
But certainly monkey meal times will never be quite the same again.
They're up there with Romeo and Juliet,
or even Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler.
But unlike those star-crossed lovers,
Trevor and Honey are still living their happy-ever-after ending.
Because, after three years together,
it looks like she hasn't lost that loving feeling,
and, frankly, my dear, he DOES give a damn.
Kate and I are out in the East Africa Reserve
with head of section Andy Hayton and Honey, the ostrich.
-She's obviously sitting on a nest here, isn't she?
How many eggs are under there?
-There's about 17-18 eggs under that at the last count.
Wow. That sounds like an amazing number.
We've done really well. It's all down to those two.
They're such dedicated parents. They're really good.
Just over here, Trevor has taken an even more active interest in us.
Is this something you want to be aware of?
We don't want to stress them out.
It's just that dedicated parent thing, Trev sees us over here,
she's vulnerable at the moment, laid there on the nest,
so Trev's here to protect her and his interests, which are his eggs.
It seems very strange that she's lying there with her head so flat.
You'd think she'd have her head up
and be looking around for potential predators.
That's an ostrich burying its head in the sand.
-That's where it came from.
She makes a low profile. You see all the long grass.
I've cut some of the grass short.
But if she was in the longish grass
and she sits like that, nobody can see her.
So she's less vulnerable.
It does look like a pile of feathers.
A really good defence mechanism is stay still.
Thanks, Andy. I know you'll keep us to date with developments as they happen.
That's all we've got time for on today's programme.
Here's what it coming up on the next Animal Park.
Could the latest technology save the life of Winston, the OAP rhino?
We find out just how much food it takes to feed the 900 hungry mouths of the safari park.
And there's a whole lotta otter going down in pet's corner with some unexpected new arrivals.
So don't miss the next Animal Park.
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