Meet Longleat Safari Park's latest arrivals, the wild warthogs: Vlad the Impaler, Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun. Plus, Ben Fogle puts out supersized cat toys for the lions.
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They can race at up to 30 miles an hour and their sharp tusks
can shred anything or anyone they don't like to pieces.
Yes, and Vlad, Genghis and Attila are new to Longleat and the keepers
are hoping they'll make a good impression.
The warthogs have arrived on Animal Park.
Also on today's show,
we know Trevor as the perfect dad,
but someone's been ruffling his feathers and he's not happy.
Don't you kick that truck.
I'll be helping to put up new toys for the lions,
proving they're just big pussy cats.
And a Far East food fad
or a fiendish plot to make the otters work harder?
But first, a few months ago
three brothers arrived at Longleat
to begin a reign of terror in the East Africa reserve.
Their names, Vlad the Impaler,
Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan.
They're warthogs, the first ones they've ever had here.
The keeper in charge of them is Andy Hayton
and he's still getting to know the brothers.
Already he's found their names are not completely silly.
When we got hold of them we did think,
Oh, yes, pigs with big teeth kind of thing.
We weren't quite that blase,
we knew they were aggressive, we had read up on them.
We've learnt very, very quickly that these guys go from flat calm
to absolutely freaking and running around at a thousand miles an hour
in the bat of an eye.
And full speed is flying and they can be three or four feet off the ground.
Pigs can't jump, these guys can.
You don't get any warning when they're going to get frightened
or going to start kicking off and running around.
You have to treat them with kid gloves, but they are pretty aggressive.
They're pretty scary.
If one of these guys hit you
it would be like being hit by a steamroller
at 40 miles an hour, you know?
I do not want one of these guys to get hold of me, they're scary.
For now, Vlad, Attila and Genghis are being
kept in a paddock by themselves
until Andy can assess just how wild and dangerous they really are.
We haven't got anything else here like them.
You say warthog to somebody, they know exactly what you mean.
You know, they're characters and three boys are something else.
When you're in there with them in the morning and you go and check them
and they come over the hill and are stood there looking at you,
there's stuff going on in their heads
and they're so ugly that they're cute.
In Africa, where they come from, warthogs are omnivorous.
You name it, they'll eat it.
In turn, they're a favourite foodstuff for lions
and because of that warthogs have evolved
an unusual posture for grazing.
They've thick pads, on their knees so they graze on their knees.
Plus, if they were to bow their head down a lot to eat,
predators would be able to take a shot at them a lot easier.
But as they go on their knees
they keep their head up so their vision's better.
Come on, boys!
They were about a year old
when they came here from Colchester zoo.
Keeper Ryan Hockley
has noticed they've calmed down a lot since they first arrived.
They're getting there, much better than they were to start with,
but it's just been a matter of them settling in
to their area and just giving them time to settle down.
I don't think they'll ever be any, sort of, physical contact,
you know, we'll never be patting them or anything like that,
I don't think.
They have their little squabbles in the day but, like I say, it's pretty
good natured, but at the end of the day, they are definitely a trio.
Ryan and Andy are still getting to know the terrible trio and later on
we'll join them to find out what Vlad, Attila and Genghis
get up to when no-one's looking.
These lions may be ferocious killers
who'd rip your throat out as soon as look at you,
but they also like nothing more than a good play.
So last year, we helped put up some giant cat toys
and it was fantastic to see how much they enjoyed the apparatus.
Unfortunately, it didn't take the lions long
to tear the lot to shreds,
though they might have lasted longer if they'd been a little bigger.
Over there are some very keen lions.
I'm out in the lion enclosure with a very unusual toy
and I've come to catch up with keeper Bob Trollope.
-A lion toy.
Mark two, cos we have done this before haven't we in years past?
And they absolutely love this sort of stimulation.
We've got a few new designs as you can see.
-OK, so here, presumably this is a swing.
-Based on a swingy type thing.
We've obviously added extras.
You wouldn't find that on your normal playground.
I've noticed the rope here is solid. That is a thick rope, isn't it?
This is thicker than we have used in the past.
-Several reasons for that.
Because lions have got sharp teeth and they do tend to eat it, so yes.
OK. So where are we going to put this enormous ball?
-We're going to hang it round this log over here.
So it can swing and they can dangle on it and pull it about.
-This is basically, genuinely to keep them busy and occupied.
And it's not just for show, is it?
No. This is... They've got each other to play with.
But we do try to stimulate them with other things
-and this, toys are...
-..Something that we can...
-Craig's helping us.
-Pass that up and over.
I think we're going to have to wrap this round a few times.
Shall we put that through there?
-Through there and pull that back tight.
If we let that down we can probably tighten that up around.
So, just remind me which pride this is.
-This is Kabir's pride.
One of the reasons we do it in this pride
is because there's a lot of youngsters.
And they do, if we go over that way a little bit.
We'll have to send this over, Craig, if you get that.
We'll have to send it round a few times
until we get it to the to the right sort of height.
So this is Kabir's pride and, of course,
there's some youngsters in with them now.
Who, last year, could barely even reach.
They were too small last year to play with
some of the toys that we had so this is
-going to be really new to them.
-You know, they played with the remains.
Because lions, as we know, are...
Now, let's see this, if we go round.
-I reckon that, will that swing?
I think they can do a lot with that.
If we go up any higher it'll be too close to it.
I think that's a pretty good level.
-Looks just right.
-Do you think?
Will those youngsters come out here first of all
and just jump on it?
Cos walking in, they were all looking at me from behind the...
They're quite keen.
You can see them.
Youngsters will definitely play with this.
I like to think Kabir will come over and investigate.
OK. Well, shall we get in?
Join us later in the programme
when we'll find out what Kabir's pride make of their new toys.
OK, take her away, Craig.
Earlier in the series
we saw what happened when Sour, the nanny goat, had triplets.
Unfortunately, she just couldn't cope with three
and so rejected the smallest one.
The kid would certainly have died if senior warden Bev Evans
hadn't intervened and for a while there it was still touch and go.
But the baby did survive,
was named Bubble and has been bottle-fed ever since.
But that was just the start of this years Pygmy goat birthing season
so Kate's gone to meet Bev and catch up with developments.
There seems, Bev, suddenly to be thousands of them.
Yes, we've got quite a lot at the moment. We've got about 21.
-We had a prosperous year on breeding, we had nine kids born.
Oh, that's fantastic because although you would think that
goats could breed easily Pygmy goats are quite difficult to breed,
-is that right?
-They can be.
Obviously, they conceive quite well,
but they do have, the breed does have quite a high still born
and immortality rate with the youngsters,
so it can be quite a difficult birth for them cos they are so small.
And all of them doing well?
All the parents doing the things that they should do?
Kind of. We do have two hand reared females.
-Basically, two of our girls had triplets.
One didn't have enough milk so we took one of the females off
and the other one abandoned one of the little ones.
Oh, really? So thought that, because quite often with sheep
they'll take a third away and give it to another mother.
-So why did you hand rear?
Why didn't you give it to one of the other adults?
We didn't have one really who could take one on.
-They all had enough of their own.
So we were able to have to hand rear from powdered milk instead.
So which two need feeding
and how on Earth do you manage to feed them and not all the others?
-There are two as you can see that...
..the two keenest. This is Dora.
And this is Bubble.
Bubble was the one who was kind of abandoned by her mum Sour.
We don't really know why,
she just was, so we had to intervene quite dramatically.
Well, now I heard that really you were key in saving Bubble's life.
I mean she wasn't going to make it.
Yes, Andy and I kept an eye on her
throughout the day, but she went downhill.
She got a little bit cold and generally she was
on death's door to be perfectly blunt.
But we just kept rubbing her with a towel, things like that,
syringed some colostrum which we milked off Sour,
and just tried to keep her spirits up.
It didn't take too long, a few hours, until she was stood up on her own.
Shall we try giving them some food now and see what they want to do?
I haven't hand fed a goat before.
-Lambs, yes, goats, no.
-This is Bubble.
Bubble has a less milk - she's a bit smaller.
OK, so is there a knack to it?
If you just head it towards her mouth and then just lift up slightly,
she, kind of, does the rest but she's incredibly strong for her size.
-Look at her.
-As you can see.
Crikey, it must be quite hard being a mother goat, actually.
They really do, sort of, push to get the milk out don't they?
Yeah, and as you see
it doesn't take very long for them to actually drink most of the milk.
They're absolutely adorable.
It must be very rewarding for you to get them to this stage,
get them to the stage where they can almost go off
and be independent.
They've done very well. We haven't had any problems with them at all,
so it's been really, really good.
You're getting all over your head.
That's it. Crikey.
Absolutely done and dusted, Bubble.
You can keep sucking on that,
but I don't think you're going to find any more.
Well, Bev, they're a complete credit to you. Very, very well done.
You're not going to give up, are you, little one?
And we look forward to seeing her out and grazing on the grass
very, very soon. Well done you two.
Aren't you brilliant? Yes.
Vlad the Impaler, Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan
are the first ever warthogs to grace the grounds of the park.
In the early days, they charged around like monsters,
but in recent weeks they seem to have calmed down a bit.
The keepers are still getting to know them and Andy Hayton is keen
to find out what they co
when no-one's looking, after dark in the warthog house.
Can you turn that infrared lamp on, mate.
This is the camera
that's wired up to a hard drive infrared camera so we should
be able to see when they come in, how many come in,
where they lie down.
The more we learn about the animals we look after,
the better we can do for them.
Some mornings you come in and this place is absolutely trashed
so, yeah, I think there are a few parties now and again. Must be.
In the wild, warthogs sleep in burrows.
Usually, it's one they've taken over from whoever actually dug it,
often some poor aardvark.
But for Vlad, Attila and Genghis does sundown mean party time?
Early next morning,
the brothers are outside in their paddock as usual
while Andy and keeper Ryan Hockley rendezvous at the house
to see what the spy camera has recorded.
There's only one at the moment,
but I think this is about ten o'clock.
We put their food actually in the pen next door
so they may have come in and eaten.
We hadn't seen that and this is when
they're coming in and settling down for the night.
You tell in the morning, if the bed's been laid in or not
because they're normally, I think, we've heard they
actually huddle together to keep warm.
So that will be quite interesting if we can see this,
see if they do do it at night.
Spinning on an hour it looks like bedtime.
This guy down here is really pulling it around.
-It's almost like they're nestling.
Nice to see all three of them in there.
-So that we know that nobody gets pushed out or anything.
There settling down there.
See them going backwards a lot into these corners.
It's almost like they're backing into a...
A burrow. Yeah, yeah.
They're eating a lot of straw.
Really filling up on the straw.
But if they eat their bedding how are they going to keep warm?
They'll huddle together like this to keep warm,
because they find it hard to regulate their body temperature.
But there is only two here.
-Unless the other one is tucked right down in the corner
or they're laid on top of him. I don't know where he is.
Possibly one of them is out there, staying awake, standing guard.
-Yeah. Sort of like a sentry almost.
-Lots of animals will do it.
One will stay awake watching the rest of the group sleep
and so maybe these guys do it too.
It's always fascinating, really, to see your animals at night.
Things you've worked with for donkeys years during the day,
they seem completely different at night.
It's a very strange thing.
It's hard to put your finger on it, but it's quite weird.
They look quite cute when they're asleep.
Like most things.
I wouldn't like to go and wake them up.
We knew they were coming in because, like I said,
the bed has been disturbed
and food disappears.
But it's nice to see animals, when we're not here it's their place
in the middle of the night and very rarely do we see
what's going on here then so it's quite intriguing.
With Vlad, Attila and Genghis looking peaceful
you almost wonder if they got the names wrong.
How about Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail?
Or maybe not.
Earlier on, I helped keeper Bob Trollope
put out some cat toys for the lions and now it's time to release them.
-So, Bob, we've got all of the rope out there.
It's all looking good. So are we ready to let the lions out?
Yeah, I'll just give Craig a shout.
Can you let them out now, Craig, please.
And any idea which... here they come.
Which one might come first?
So who is that?
-That is Jazeera.
And then you got the small ones.
-Last year's youngsters.
So they like the swing, look, straight away.
Straight away. That's it.
Wow, look at the power of that.
So they're not nervous about new things, are they?
No, there's curiosity
and straight away one of them gets on the top and starts chewing.
And it's almost like it's coordinated,
that a few have gone up to the top and the rest are down at the bottom.
And using their mouths and claws,
are they feeling it or are they playing with it still?
That's, everything that they would use if that with a prey animal.
-Here they go for the middle one.
-Who's that playing now?
-That is Jazeera again.
She seems to be the one that investigates them first. Then...
And there's a lot of weight on that so obviously...
She's weighing in the region of about 150lbs and that's taking that easily.
Look at those teeth going into it and the claws.
Hopefully they haven't spotted the ball yet.
They haven't, it's my favourite.
But as soon as they do, well,
you see a lot of them want to go up the top and play.
Is that partly because,
there's smell from us when we were putting them up?
Yeah, we've been clambering all over the top of them and there's,
actually there's vegetable oil soaked into the rope as well.
-So that will be wafting around as well.
And they put that on there to actually keep the rope supple.
-So it's easier to work.
Well, it's such a fantastic sight
just seeing them all playing like little household cats.
Yeah, and that will keep them going for hours and hours and hours
-and it's only when they chew through the rope that...
You know, they become defunct.
And that's the big debate, you know,
how long are these realistically going to last.
What will be the first thing to give way?
Probably that one that Jazzie's playing on.
But the thing is, you know, you've got to use rope that is degradable.
If they're biting it then they'll get bits off them.
If that was nylon rope then that could do all sorts of damage.
-Now we've got going over to the ball, who is that?
So Luna's going over to test out.
-Oh, it's moving.
-Not really quite sure what to make of that.
She might need a bit of backup.
I was going to say, all the others are busy with the swing.
Look, look, look! That's so cool.
That's so cool!
Look, then we've got a little bit more confidence
with the ball with Luna although she would like some backup perhaps.
-I think, as soon as they realise there's another toy...
Then they'll play with that as well.
They get hours of enjoyment with that swing.
It's almost as if they're trying to take them down.
Look on top of the tree stump there,
they're tearing at the rope that we tied around the top.
It doesn't take that long. They remember from last time
that if I chew this then that falls off and we can run around with it.
-And they loved running around with the rope.
That's not a worry for you because it's all safe, it's biodegradable.
It's all safe, yeah. That will break down,
and any little bits that are left on the ground will rot and, you know,
that's ultimately what we want. If you were using nylon,
that would stay there for years and years and years, you know,
but this all rots down to nothing.
Well, Bob, thank you for letting me help you,
and I think we have some very, very contented lions.
Up in the East Africa reserve, there's a new project under way.
Andy Hayton came up with a great plan to build a water hole
for all the animals to enjoy,
and he persuaded construction worker John Myles to help out.
But there's one major problem that neither of them anticipated.
He's over seven foot tall, can run over 40 miles per hour
and, at over 100 kilos, could trample you to death in seconds.
And we know him as Trevor.
Like most ostriches, Trevor would fight to the death
to protect his territory,
so when John started invading Trevor's patch,
it really ruffled his feathers...
and Andy's seen the tensions rise.
Every time John arrives, it's absolute mayhem.
Trev can be extremely aggressive. We just all ignore him.
John can't possibly ignore Trev when Trev starts.
Trev can spot John a mile off.
John could be walking along a perimeter fence,
and Trevor will spot him and run up there and try and get him.
Now Trev has fixed his beady eye on John,
it's made his work down at the water hole almost impossible.
Whether it's me or the truck I don't know,
but...he certainly doesn't like it when we arrive...
-arrive, actually -
not any of the other guys, it's only me, really.
When he's sort of throwing his wobbly, it can be quite scary,
cos when you get close to him, he is quite a big bird.
Unfortunately for John,
today he has to head into Trevor's territory for a site survey.
Since ostriches have eyeballs measuring a full two inches across,
it's no surprise that within seconds, Trevor's spotted his prey.
'First his little war dance to warn us off that...
-'..we're on his patch - I think that's what it is.'
"Don't you kick that truck!"
"Trev, we can talk about this."
I think it makes us all love Trev just actually a little bit more,
cos he really winds John up.
It doesn't take long for Trevor to show just who's lord of this manor.
But with John seen off for another day,
will this water hole ever get finished?
Well, that depends on Trevor.
I'm up at Pet's Corner with keeper Rob Savin and, of course,
the otter family, who are looking extremely hungry.
-Have you been starving them?
-I don't think we've been starving them.
They always look like they're starving.
They like to make people believe that they've never been fed before,
-a bit like my family cat.
-We've got Romeo and Rosie right here.
They're the brave ones, they're coming right up.
They're not too bothered about all the equipment,
they're just looking at our selection of goodies here.
I'm going to lift this up, cos it's rather impressive, Rob.
It looks like some sort of rather elaborate Japanese dinner.
Yes, I'm sure they don't mind what extravagance we've gone to here,
they just want the bit in the middle,
but we've got a couple here already...
These king prawns we're gonna stuff into these bamboo tubes here.
-And the idea is, because the otters are so excellent
at getting things out of holes and gaps,
we're just trying to use their noses and get their paws into here,
and the trickier it is for them to get these out of the middle,
the better. So they can smell it but can't quite get to it -
-gives them enrichment.
-You're making them work for their food.
-It's a real treat for them.
-OK. I have a horrible feeling...
They're desperate to go for it, so if you want to...
I knew you were going to make me do some. Is there a technique to this?
Fold it out a little bit and stuff it in there.
OK. In it goes. So I mean...
Obviously, otters aren't going to get
beautifully presented king prawns in bamboo tubes in the wild.
-So what does this mimic?
It mimics them getting things out... They would eat a lot of shelled food.
-So they'd eat crayfish, they'd eat crabs, they'd eat...
They'd also eat things like frogs and all sorts of weird and bizarre stuff.
They're not particularly big fish eaters, but some of their food,
they prefer shallow, marshy grasses, logs and rocks
-where they can get their paws in...
-Can I just point out...
the prawn's too big for the bamboo.
I'd stuff that one the other way round.
Maybe I'll have better luck,
but if you want to throw one in to see if they'll catch directly.
-So throw it onto the rocks?
-See if one will take it, actually.
-See if mum or dad there will just catch it.
-There we go.
-Oh, not too bad.
-Not too bad. There we go.
They'll probably both try, there might be bickering.
-They might share it. No.
-The paws are straight in there.
-Here we are, Romeo.
-Romeo's given up to Rosie there,
he's gonna try it there.
You can see the paw's in, and it can make it very, very tricky.
It's not always the easiest thing to get,
so it will keep them busy for a long time.
It might take them a while, but they'll find a way to get it out...
It looks like Rosie has been successful.
-It didn't taken her too long.
-Romeo is being a bit thick.
Come on, let's see if any of the young ones will do this.
-See? It wasn't me.
-No, it wasn't you.
I'll tell you what, we'll give them an easy one. We'll bung that in.
I'm not sure the other ones... We've got a few more interested.
They've realised that food's coming in, so let's chuck them a few more
-and see how they go.
-Now, as a family,
would they hunt together? Would they...
Yeah, they basically work as a group.
These otters are one of the few social otters in the world.
Most of the otters are solitary. But these ones will work as a team,
and... I mean, I've seen programmes
with them chasing off crocodiles as a unit, you know.
-This croc's trying to have a go at them,
and as a unit, they're protecting the whole family by working together.
This thing gives up and runs away, d'you know what I mean?
-They always work as a team.
Come and see these. Come on.
Well, I think it's been a huge success, Rob.
Certainly with the more experienced otters,
they're the ones that hang about.
The young ones would learn from the older ones, presumably?
They'd get the idea eventually,
and certainly our two oldest children are already getting a lot more brave
and a lot more adventurous as it is.
Well, we'll chuck these last two in. Here you go, guys.
Enjoy those lovely prawns, and...
-Rob, thank you very much indeed.
-You're very welcome. Thank you.
A fascinating view of how dextrous an otter can be. Thank you.
Kate and I have come out to the new area
with deputy head of section Kevin Nibbs
to see how the Bactrian camels are doing.
Judging by this... Not too disturbed
by this particularly cold weather we've got right now.
No, not at all, not at all.
Usually, you see him with a big chuggy jacket on.
-This is the summer coat, presumably?
they've lost all their hair now sort of for summer.
I was just going to say, this is not a summer coat.
No, exactly. I mean, we know that they're tough animals.
In the wild, they live in really difficult conditions, don't they?
You can find them in the Gobi desert where it gets really cold at night,
-minus 40 sometimes.
They can withstand really cold temperatures.
-Presumably that's with their coats.
-With the coat.
So how are they coping now with summer coats
-in quite cold and very wet weather?
-It's not very nice for them.
Occasionally, if it's really wet,
we'll put them indoors for the evening.
It's the wet they don't like. They don't like getting wet,
cos they don't dry out very well. It's like a big soggy towel on them.
-They're wet and miserable.
-The cold winds are not a problem
cos they deal with much chillier conditions?
No, and they've got the third eyelid as well to block anything
-blowing into their eyes.
-You need third eyelids.
We're being sprayed by straw from Khan here.
Well, Kev, I hope that they manage to survive
this very inclement summer we're having.
-Thank you very much indeed.
-I don't know if we are.
Or we're going to get eaten by camels - one or the other.
Sadly, that's all we've got time for on today's programme,
but here's what's coming up on the next Animal Park.
'I go picking for probably
'the world's most dangerous tortoise food.'
We find out if Andy Hayton's African watering hole
is a hit with the giraffes.
Plus there's a life and death drama when babies are born
on Meerkat Mountain.
So don't miss the next Animal Park.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Kate Humble and Ben Fogle look behind the scenes at Longleat Safari Park. Meet Longleat's latest arrivals, the wild warthogs: Vlad the Impaler, Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun. Plus Ben puts out super-sized toys for the lions and Kate offers up tricky, tasty tubes to the otters.