Episode 12 Animal Park


Episode 12

Kate Humble and Ben Fogle look behind the scenes at Longleat Safari Park. A couple of rhinos go on a date, Kate makes some tortoises feel more at home and Ben gives an owl an MOT.


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Transcript


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This is Winston who at 38 years old

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is one of the oldest rhino in the country.

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Although it looks like he's enjoying the quiet life

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the keepers have plans to make him a father for the very first time.

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Yes, apparently, it's never too late for a rhino to find love.

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The keepers have set up a date for him

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and we'll find out whether romance is in the air on today's programme.

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Today, on Animal Park, we're going

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deep in the African bush to get close to a pair of wild rhinos.

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One false move and they'll charge.

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While back at Longleat, their rhinos are getting pretty frisky.

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This might make a few cars move.

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And how do you measure a cat

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with paws the size of a frisbee apart from very carefully?

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Wow! Look at those teeth.

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Most animals have a one-track mind.

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Apart from just eating

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they generally put a great deal of effort into making babies.

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And no-one spends more time thinking about reproduction than Ian Turner,

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the deputy head warden.

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He's desperate to have a baby.

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To be precise a beautiful, bouncing baby rhino.

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After all it's now been almost four years since Ian went to South Africa

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to fetch their three new rhinos Anjanu, the male,

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and Rosina and Marashi, the females.

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They're gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous, really good. Better than I thought.

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At the time they were too young to start breeding

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but Ian had his eyes on the prize right from the start.

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In two years we should have two young uns. There's nothing to say we shouldn't.

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Twelve months later Ian hadn't lost his focus.

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I'm hoping down the line we're going to have two baby rhinos.

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And another year on he was starting to sound like a broken record.

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Hopefully the young ones will start mating this year,

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they've got to the right age and two years down

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the line there's no reason why we shouldn't have baby rhinos.

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The three youngsters are now old enough to be sexually mature

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but so far...nothing.

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So recently the keepers have been arranging

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to put just Anjanu and Rosina out together, like on a romantic date

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away from the others and, this morning, Ian's excited.

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They haven't actually done anything yet

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but at least they are now getting to know each other a little better.

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# How deep is your love? How deep is your love... #

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They're showing encouraging signs.

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They're playing about and he's getting interested.

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I'll be surprised if there's not mating this year and disappointed.

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This is all good signs, they're sword fighting

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and putting the head on the back and mounting, sort of.

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That's all good stuff we wanna see.

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But there's one particular behaviour that usually

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indicates things are about to get steamy.

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It's when they've finished their sword fighting

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and one of them decides he's going to run off.

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-The other will start chasing. Here they go.

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Now there's over three tonnes of rampant rhino

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charging around the park at 30mph.

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This could be dangerous.

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This'll make a few cars move.

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# Je t'aime Je t'aime

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# Oui, je t'aime... #

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But a moment later something goes wrong.

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Anjanu and Rosina have abruptly gone off the boil

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and suddenly got interested in a nice patch of grass.

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Could it be that they're still just too young?

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Luckily this pair isn't the only couple Ian's got hope for.

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There's also the other young female, Marashi,

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and the park's older male, Winston.

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He is somewhat elderly

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but the vet has checked him out and reckons he's up to the job.

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So Ian can still dream.

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My biggest wish for something to happen on the park this year

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would be for Winston to mate with one of the females

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and Anjanu to mate with the other one. That'd be my wish list.

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If I really went berserk they could have twins

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and we'd look after them all.

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That's a bit of wishful thinking, that is.

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In the 31 years I've been here I don't think we've ever had twins.

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We've had lots of baby rhinos born.

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They are cute when they're born.

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It's no wonder Ian's so broody after what happened

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on his trip to Kenya last year. He had the chance to get

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really close to a couple of orphaned baby black rhino.

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Ian was over the moon.

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Thank you very much.

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You can see how boisterous they can get.

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When they want food and it's finished, that's

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when it starts getting a bit out of hand but absolutely gorgeous.

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So after that experience Ian redoubled his efforts

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to have one of his very own.

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Now he's got keeper, Kevin Nibbs, taking samples of Marashi's dung

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in order to figure out when she'll be most likely to conceive.

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They test for all the female hormones

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and when we get the results back we'll plot it on a graph.

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So what we're looking for is for each peak to be 30-35 days

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which is when the rhinos come into season,

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it takes 35 days to come into the next season.

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At the moment we can see that it is about...

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That one was about six weeks.

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That's a little bit...a little bit too long, really.

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What we need to do is try and make an average of her cycles

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at the moment and then we'll go from that average.

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Then we'll put the bull out with her around that sort of time.

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Once they've established the pattern,

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they'll arrange a romantic rendezvous with Winston.

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However, in rhino years, Marashi's a teenager

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while Winston, let's face it, got his bus pass some time ago.

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So will their little tryst be a hot date or a damp squib?

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We'll find out later on.

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Recently Longleat House hasn't been looking its best.

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When the roof began to develop several leaks it was clear that

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the time had come to sort it out. The trouble is - that roof is huge.

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It's almost the size of a football pitch.

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This isn't a film set, although it looks like one.

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We're actually on the roof of Longleat House where this massive

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restoration project is under way.

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It's believed that this is the largest scaffolding structure

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ever erected on a residential building here in the UK.

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In fact, there's enough piping to reach

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the summit of Everest three times.

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We're going to be meeting some of the people who are

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undertaking this enormous task.

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So I'm off to meet one of the stonemasons.

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And if you follow me... We've got a very tall cameraman

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so just duck down, good, good. Come this way with me.

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I'm going to meet James Knot who is working with the lead.

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Is it all right to step on here, James?

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I feel really bad stepping on your work.

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Come down here and meet you.

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This must be one of the biggest jobs you've ever undertaken, isn't it?

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It's one of the biggest jobs our company's ever undertaken, yeah.

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-Really?

-For a full 12 months, yeah.

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Wow. I mean, as far as the lead is concerned,

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it sounds like an obvious question but what does it actually do?

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-Why use lead?

-It's quite a durable material, it's long-lasting.

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This'll last about 100 years.

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-Really?

-So it's very durable and hard wearing.

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-This is the waterproofing for the roof, is it?

-Yes, it is.

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Can I see how skilful your job is by having a go at it?

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So, basically, you're taking the lead over.

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I literally just wallop, do I, with that?

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Yeah, you're taking it over very slowly from the bottom over the row.

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You're trying to curve it over the row.

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If I wallop it like that.

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-Yeah, that's it.

-It's not easy.

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You must have very big biceps.

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Well, I'm not sure I'm going to be a huge amount of help but I'm

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going to carry on bashing here. See how Ben's getting on.

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Like that?

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As well as the leading there's a huge amount of stonework to be done

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and that falls to one of the stonemasons, Sean Clarke. Hi, Sean.

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-Hi, Ben.

-So what's your role, what are you working on now?

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Currently I'm working on replacing one of the hounds

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-that overlook the courtyard here.

-Where are you working on it?

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Just round the other side of the roof, so if we go there.

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-I'll follow you.

-OK, thank you.

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So presumably these are old and new?

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That's correct, yes.

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This has been started from scratch by yourself, has it?

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Yes, yes. One block of stone to this now.

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One block of stone... so what's it actually made from?

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This is a type of bath stone.

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Just how tough is it, can you do that with hand tools?

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Yeah, definitely, it's not that hard.

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-You're still working on this, are you?

-Yes, I am.

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-Can I have a little watch of you at work?

-Sure.

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How long does it take to get from your one solid slab to this point?

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-That's 10 days work.

-10 days work?

-Yeah.

-How many hours a day?

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Nine hours a day.

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So there's another...

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day, maybe a little bit longer.

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I kind of feel cheeky even asking but is there any chance

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-that I can try?

-Feel free. Yeah.

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Maybe I won't try on the leg or anything. Where? On this side here?

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-Yeah.

-So, literally...

-Hold it here.

-Hold it here.

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-Then just whack the mallet?

-Yeah.

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-Do you trust me?

-Yeah, sure, no worries.

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OK...

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Oh, yeah, there we go.

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Literally that's what you'll do for nine hours a day, carving away...

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Yeah.

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..until you get the shape.

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-It's quite satisfying isn't it?

-Yeah, it's all right, isn't it?

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-It beats working for a living.

-Yeah.

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I might hang up my presenter's gloves. Thank you very much.

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You're welcome.

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The safari park's African connections run deep

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because, of course, that's where so many of the animals come from

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and, in the past, many of the keepers

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have had the opportunity to travel south to that vast, wild continent.

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This year it's the turn

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of Bev Allen, Michelle Stevens, Ryan Hockley and Keith Harris.

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They've flown into the Mkomazi game reserve in Tanzania

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to learn more about their animals and to help with conservation projects.

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In our last programme we followed the action as Keith and Ryan joined in an

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operation to help return a whole pack of African hunting dogs to the wild.

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Now we're going to catch up with Bev

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and she's going on a wildlife hunt but the animal she's after doesn't

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have big teeth, isn't likely to charge and couldn't outrun anything.

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Bev is looking for one of Tanzania's rarest creatures,

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the Pancake tortoise.

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Back home she helps look after four Pancake tortoises.

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It's a threatened species which has some unusual habits.

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Out here Bev's hoping to discover detailed information about

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their native environment in order to improve their Longleat environment.

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This is quite an ideal area where I'd think you'd find

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a Pancake tortoise cos you've got these rocks where they'd

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hide underneath in the crevices.

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There's lots of different plants as well. Loads of grasses.

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It's very warm actually here and if you feel the rocks they're actually

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quite warm as well so, of course, Pancake tortoises they need the heat

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to survive and keep them going cos the sun will actually

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shine down on their shell, warms them up and off they go.

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So I'd imagine you would sort of see them on the stones just warming up

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and, of course, when it gets too hot, they can go into

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the little holes, the little crevices here

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and get away from the sunlight

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and also to get away from predators cos it's quite open around

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so you'd probably get predators coming up

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that may attack them, so they can usually go in and lock themselves

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into their crevices where they'd be nice and safe.

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They expand their shell and with their claws they

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hold on inside the crevices so nothing can pull them out.

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As a threatened species, Pancake tortoises are very rare

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but they have been spotted amongst these rocks before

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so it's worth having a good look.

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In our enclosure at Pets' Corner it's quite a small enclosure, we're

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hoping to make it a bit bigger, and also the greenery,

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the different like grasses and plants I think it would be

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a really good idea if we could get some more greenery

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for them which would be brilliant.

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What I'd like to do now is take some

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photos to take back to Pets' Corner and show Darren and Joe the pictures

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so we can hopefully get some ideas for our enclosure.

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Of course, one of the advantages of a digital camera

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is you can send photos by email.

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So, in fact, the pictures could be back at Pets' Corner long before Bev.

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Unfortunately, there's no sign of any tortoises out here today.

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On the other hand, there's no sign of anything else.

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I was bit worried putting my hands in the crevices

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and around the plants cos I hear

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there's a lot of snakes around and scorpions which are very nasty.

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I'll keep coming out and hopefully I might find one. Fingers crossed.

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We'll catch up with Bev later to see if she gets lucky

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on the great tortoise hunt.

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Back in Pets' Corner it's a lot easier to find the wildlife.

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This is Harriet, the barn owl and I'm with keeper Val McGruther

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to give her an MOT, a once over, isn't it?

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That's right. We're gonna weigh her, have a little look

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at her and see that she's looking OK.

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A little while ago she was actually sitting on eggs

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which proved to be infertile so there was no young in there at all.

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We're just keeping a general check on her, really,

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making sure she's back to normal.

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What's the first thing you'll do when you're giving her a check?

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-What do you look for?

-As with lots of animals you look

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at their eyes, to see if they're nice and bright which hers are.

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We're looking at her... Oh!

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..wing feathers.

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A perfect display right on cue.

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Yeah, lovely wing feathers, all nice and smart.

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She's cleaned herself up now, she's had a bath.

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Talons, of course, got to be nice and sharp.

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They look incredibly sharp, which is why you wear that glove.

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Exactly, yeah.

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Although she's quite happy sat on a hand, it would still make

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pin pricks in your hand.

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So, how old do you think Harriet is, do you know?

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Yeah, she's 10.

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She's 10 and what is the life expectancy of an owl?

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-Well, in the wild it would only be like two to three, average.

-Right.

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-In captivity it can be 20-25 years.

-Is it that much more?

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-A huge difference. A lot of that is due to people, unfortunately.

-Right.

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The first year we lose a lot, anyway, natural causes.

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-Whoa! Sorry, Ben.

-Don't worry.

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There we go, flapping in the face there. Yeah,

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but the rest of it is down to us and the way we live today, really.

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-Right.

-You know, roads...

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-a lot of barn owls get killed on the roads.

-Do they?

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They're quartering backwards and forwards, looking for food.

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Of course and food being mice and little rodents, presumably.

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Small rodents would be their favourite.

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95% of their diet would be small rodents.

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-OK.

-Having said that, they will eat other things

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-if that's not available.

-What next?

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Right, if you would like to put this T-stand on...

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-This is for the weighing?

-Yeah, we put the stand on first.

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OK. We'll pop this on...

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-That's it. Then press the button.

-And press the button.

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Oh, I understand so we get the weight of this.

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Otherwise you'd er...

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That's it, it's come up to nought now. It's on grammes, isn't it?

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Yeah. Can I take this off?

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-No, no, leave that on. That's what she goes on.

-OK.

-There we go.

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Why do we need to weigh her?

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Just to check that she's eating properly

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and also because she's had eggs in her just checking that

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she hasn't got one retained in her.

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And you'd be able to identify that if she'd...

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With the weight, yeah. If she had the weight.

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Also, you'd go on behaviour.

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You know if she was being very lethargic,

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not eating, all this sort of thing.

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There's lot of ways of telling but weighing is one.

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-So we've got there 300 and...

-..79 grammes.

-379 grammes.

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So you're happy with that weight?

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Yes, I am. While barn owls tend to be a little lighter, she...

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she sort of averages 380 to 400, so that's not bad at all.

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And there is the possibility then that she could

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lay more eggs and eventually...

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It is possible, she has laid eggs in the past

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but none of them have been fertile.

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-Right.

-She does live here will Ollie, he's around here somewhere.

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Ollie's just hiding up in the corner there.

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-Unfortunately she's not terribly fond of him.

-Oh, really.

-Yes.

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OK. But happy with her once over?

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-Yes I think so, she's looking very perky and everything.

-She is.

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Well back to normal now, so I think that's really good.

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She looks beautiful. Val thank you very much.

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-You're very welcome.

-Thank you, Harriet.

0:18:240:18:26

It's been over two decades since they last had a baby rhino at Longleat

0:18:340:18:39

and deputy head warden, Ian Turner, is getting broody.

0:18:390:18:43

While he's been doing everything possible

0:18:450:18:47

to get his four white rhino to breed,

0:18:470:18:49

down at Paignton Zoo in Devon

0:18:490:18:51

they've had a bit more luck with their black rhino.

0:18:510:18:54

Recently 12 year-old female, Sita, had a little daughter, Zuri.

0:18:540:18:59

Today Ian's taken a trip down to Paignton to meet their

0:18:590:19:03

curator of mammals, Neil Bemmant, to see if he can pick up a few tips.

0:19:030:19:08

Zuri's was the first rhino birth in Britain

0:19:100:19:12

to be covered by a live webcam.

0:19:120:19:16

Obviously it allowed us, and several of us, to stand in an adjacent

0:19:160:19:20

building to see what was going on without having to be in there,

0:19:200:19:23

maybe putting Sita off with our presence.

0:19:230:19:26

But things started to go wrong after the birth.

0:19:260:19:31

Four hours later the baby still hadn't been

0:19:310:19:33

able to get up and suckle from mum.

0:19:330:19:35

For keepers, Lucy McKenna and Louise Manning,

0:19:350:19:38

it was an emotional rollercoaster.

0:19:380:19:41

It really was agonising, wasn't it?

0:19:410:19:44

One minute we were all happy and the baby was born and everyone

0:19:440:19:47

was cheering and celebrating and the next minute, "Oh no."

0:19:470:19:50

We were starting to think then, everybody was getting worried.

0:19:500:19:53

Everyone looking at each other, "What shall we do?"

0:19:530:19:56

You could see her really struggling but her legs kept

0:19:560:19:59

slipping away from her all the time.

0:19:590:20:01

The keepers had no choice but to go in and help the baby to stand.

0:20:010:20:07

Luckily after that shaky start,

0:20:070:20:10

everything went well for mother and daughter.

0:20:100:20:12

Now Zuri is three months old.

0:20:140:20:18

You can see she's absolutely gorgeous.

0:20:180:20:21

All that stress and worry floats to the back of your mind, doesn't it?

0:20:210:20:24

Yeah. She's really sturdy and seems to be

0:20:240:20:26

going from strength to strength.

0:20:260:20:29

Ian's supposed to be here on a fact finding mission

0:20:300:20:32

but that doesn't mean he can't spend time,

0:20:320:20:35

like everyone else, just doting on the little angel.

0:20:350:20:40

They're a massive animal but they can be quite friendly.

0:20:490:20:52

They were saying the baby ones, even though they're that size, they're

0:20:520:20:56

really, really cute but they're just an absolutely marvellous animal.

0:20:560:21:00

I mean these just puts it onto the reasons why we want baby rhinos.

0:21:000:21:04

When you look at that little one, that's everyone's dream to have a

0:21:040:21:08

baby rhino and hopefully that's what Longleat will get in 16 months time.

0:21:080:21:12

Of course, that all depends on

0:21:120:21:14

something special happening back at Longleat and now all the indications

0:21:140:21:20

are that the young, Marashi, should soon be in the mood for love.

0:21:200:21:23

The question is, will dear old Winston be able to cope

0:21:230:21:27

with a tonne and a half of red hot rhino!

0:21:270:21:31

Keeper Michelle Stevens doesn't usually have much

0:21:410:21:44

to do with the rhinos at Longleat.

0:21:440:21:46

She works with the animals that live in and around the lake but, today,

0:21:460:21:51

Michelle is at the other end of the world deep in the wilds of Africa.

0:21:510:21:56

And, within the Mkomazi game reserve there's a special rhino sanctuary

0:21:560:22:01

that covers 45 square kilometres of dense bush.

0:22:010:22:05

Now Michelle has been given a rare opportunity to join the rangers

0:22:050:22:10

as they go on one of their regular monitoring patrols.

0:22:100:22:13

She's come to meet operations manager, Elisaria.

0:22:130:22:17

We have eight black rhino, six adults and two calves.

0:22:170:22:25

The sanctuary is enclosed by 31 miles of electrified wire

0:22:250:22:29

strung between 10,000 fence posts.

0:22:290:22:33

That might seem a little over the top for just eight animals but these

0:22:330:22:37

rhino are incredibly precious.

0:22:370:22:40

In 1970 there was 65,000 black rhino in Africa.

0:22:400:22:45

By 1992 over 95% of the population had been killed by poachers

0:22:450:22:52

just to support the illegal trade in rhino horn.

0:22:520:22:54

On the black market the horns of a single rhino

0:22:540:22:58

can fetch many times the yearly wage of the average Tanzanian.

0:22:580:23:02

Of course, the black rhino isn't exactly defenceless.

0:23:040:23:07

They can weigh up to a tonne and a half,

0:23:070:23:10

can run at 35 miles per hour and are fiercely territorial and aggressive.

0:23:100:23:15

So, before she can go out looking for one

0:23:150:23:18

Michelle needs to learn what to do if she gets charged.

0:23:180:23:22

Always rhinos go straight through.

0:23:220:23:25

OK, that's good to know.

0:23:250:23:27

What you have to do is change direction.

0:23:270:23:31

For training purposes, ranger Samu is being the territorial male.

0:23:310:23:37

He's a scary rhino.

0:23:440:23:46

Hopefully we won't have to do that.

0:23:460:23:49

-Thank you anyway, just in case.

-OK.

0:23:490:23:52

With the training complete,

0:23:550:23:57

Michelle and Elisaria can begin tracking.

0:23:570:24:00

The rhino could be anywhere in the dense bush

0:24:000:24:03

so they must look for the smallest clues.

0:24:030:24:05

Is there anything in here that the rhinos like to eat,

0:24:050:24:09

-any particular plant that you know they'd eat?

-Yes.

0:24:090:24:14

They eat this one. Definitely.

0:24:140:24:17

They're bashed by a rhino.

0:24:170:24:19

How long does it take you to learn all of these signs?

0:24:190:24:23

If you follow the rhino and you see what they like to eat

0:24:230:24:28

and after eat you can come and see how it's looking.

0:24:280:24:33

How it looks then you learn for next time, yeah.

0:24:330:24:35

Then you learn for next time, yeah.

0:24:350:24:38

Heading ever deeper into the bush, they discover another clue.

0:24:400:24:44

This is amazing, this is like the first rhino print I've ever seen.

0:24:470:24:51

-Yeah.

-They look quite fresh, are they fresh?

0:24:510:24:53

-Yes, it's fresh.

-Is that two sets?

0:24:530:24:56

It's two. Two.

0:24:560:24:58

And, you know, the nail track is different for female.

0:24:580:25:03

-So what do you think this is?

-This is two females.

-That's brilliant.

0:25:030:25:07

OK, so now we've spotted these tracks, where do we go from here?

0:25:070:25:10

Where do you think is the best place where we can hopefully find them?

0:25:100:25:14

I know a small valley here they like very much

0:25:140:25:17

-so I hope we can find them there.

-Is that where we're heading, is it?

0:25:170:25:21

-Yeah.

-OK.

-They hide in there. So let us walk.

0:25:210:25:24

We'll be back out in the bush later when Michelle finally gets close

0:25:240:25:29

to a pair of very nervous black rhino.

0:25:290:25:33

Earlier we were with Bev Allen as she went in search of one of

0:25:380:25:41

Tanzania's rarest residents, the Pancake tortoise.

0:25:410:25:45

Although she hasn't found any yet, she has discovered a lot about

0:25:450:25:50

the environment they live in and that could help the keepers

0:25:500:25:53

back at Longleat to better look after their Pancake tortoises.

0:25:530:25:57

I'm up at Pets' Corner with keeper, Jo Hawthorn

0:25:570:26:00

and these magnificent tortoises.

0:26:000:26:03

They are very beautiful but they are quite flat, Jo.

0:26:030:26:06

They're absolutely stunning, aren't they?

0:26:080:26:11

So, why are you in there and the tortoises out here?

0:26:110:26:14

Right, OK, if you turn around now and look at these pictures.

0:26:140:26:18

Oh, wow, this is beautiful.

0:26:180:26:20

She sent me an email and she's been out there where these are

0:26:200:26:23

-from and this is the home of these Pancake tortoises.

-Oh, fantastic.

0:26:230:26:27

-So I've blown them up...

-Right, so you're recreating it all here.

0:26:270:26:31

-Oh my goodness, that's fantastic.

-I'm must finishing putting this up.

0:26:310:26:35

This is actually a copy in the background here.

0:26:350:26:38

We've got our own here at Longleat but obviously not quite the same.

0:26:380:26:43

-It's gonna look fantastic.

-It just makes such a difference, you know.

0:26:430:26:46

Hopefully they'll feel more at home now.

0:26:460:26:49

It's raining and cold here in England...

0:26:490:26:51

-But they're having this lovely, African backdrop.

-Yeah.

0:26:510:26:54

Presumably it's quite important when you're keeping

0:26:540:26:57

exotic animals like this to have as natural environment as possible.

0:26:570:27:01

Definitely, yeah, definitely. You want them to act

0:27:010:27:04

and breed naturally. Everything that you can do, it's not just kind of

0:27:040:27:09

the temperature, it's things that would be in their surrounding.

0:27:090:27:13

You know, plants it just helps...

0:27:130:27:14

Gives the right atmosphere.

0:27:140:27:16

And the visitors as well, so it's really important.

0:27:160:27:19

What about plants and things,

0:27:190:27:20

what sort of vegetation would they have around?

0:27:200:27:23

Mainly... not so dissimilar to some

0:27:230:27:25

of our Mediterranean tortoises, lots of weedy grass, grass mainly.

0:27:250:27:29

-So these things that you've got down here.

-Yeah.

0:27:290:27:32

Shall I give you that. These are kind of things that would be in the area?

0:27:320:27:37

They are, that's right. We've got a red baron here.

0:27:370:27:40

-Right.

-That grows really tall, very bushy, obviously

0:27:400:27:44

can do without lots of water. This is the kind of thing

0:27:440:27:47

you'd actually find up in these kind of altitudes.

0:27:470:27:50

Are these are long lived?

0:27:500:27:52

Tortoises can live 50 or even 100 years, can't they?

0:27:520:27:55

That's right. I mean the predation rate of these,

0:27:550:27:58

when they're very small, they're literally like a 50p piece.

0:27:580:28:01

-Right.

-You know, is very high.

-Yeah.

0:28:010:28:05

-Certainly, I mean, these'll go on for about 25 years.

-Right.

0:28:050:28:10

Nothing like as long as your other ones.

0:28:100:28:12

We're nearly there now, how's that looking? Yep, good OK.

0:28:120:28:16

I'll give you Yuri back.

0:28:160:28:19

-OK.

-Let you come out.

0:28:190:28:21

-There you go.

-There we go.

0:28:210:28:23

-Shall I put her on there?

-There you are, sweetheart.

0:28:230:28:25

There you go, girl.

0:28:250:28:26

Right, so I'm just gonna come out and have a look. Oh, final touch.

0:28:260:28:30

-Are you ready?

-Yes.

0:28:350:28:37

Oh, fantastic.

0:28:370:28:41

Jo, it looks brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Look at that.

0:28:410:28:44

-Doesn't it look good?

-It's like a little corner of Africa.

0:28:440:28:47

I'm so pleased, really pleased.

0:28:470:28:49

-Fantastic.

-It looks fantastic.

-It really does.

0:28:490:28:52

-Well done, Jo, thank you very much.

-Thanks.

0:28:520:28:55

Back in Tanzania, Bev Allen is still hoping to find a real life

0:28:580:29:02

pancake tortoise in the wild.

0:29:020:29:05

She's had no luck so far but now,

0:29:050:29:08

on a drive through the bush, she's spotted something else.

0:29:080:29:12

I've found a tortoise, our first tortoise in Tanzania,

0:29:120:29:16

a Leopard tortoise I do believe.

0:29:160:29:19

It's in really good condition, actually, which is brilliant.

0:29:190:29:23

I think it could be a female.

0:29:230:29:25

The shell underneath usually has a bit more of a dip.

0:29:250:29:28

This is quite straight.

0:29:280:29:30

Usually the females are bigger than the males as well.

0:29:310:29:34

We don't have any Leopard tortoises at Longleat,

0:29:340:29:37

we have Pancake tortoises

0:29:370:29:39

which I was hoping to see one at least here because

0:29:390:29:43

they do come from around here.

0:29:430:29:44

It's just brilliant to see one of these.

0:29:440:29:46

But at least I've been a tortoise now which is great.

0:29:460:29:49

I've never seen a tortoise in the wild,

0:29:490:29:52

only in captivity back at Pets' Corner.

0:29:520:29:55

This is brilliant, especially when we were just driving along

0:29:550:29:59

and there it was walking along the road.

0:29:590:30:01

It's brilliant. It's quite a big one actually.

0:30:010:30:04

It's hard to actually tell the age of a tortoise.

0:30:040:30:06

I mean, the shell's in very good condition.

0:30:060:30:09

Some people say like counting the rings on the shell, you know,

0:30:090:30:12

you can tell the age but it's not an accurate way of telling, really.

0:30:120:30:18

And, of course, this is a perfect area for tortoises

0:30:180:30:21

to run around and get away from predators in the bushes as well.

0:30:210:30:25

And, as you can see cos it's very warm, quite active as well.

0:30:250:30:29

Back in Wiltshire, old Winston is about to have his first date alone

0:30:430:30:48

with young Marashi. It's up to keeper Kevin Nibbs to play Cupid.

0:30:480:30:54

He's been monitoring the state of Marashi's hormones

0:30:540:30:57

and reckons if she's going to get pregnant, today's the day.

0:30:570:31:00

Kevin's let her out in the yard first

0:31:000:31:03

while Winston's still inside and she does seem very interested.

0:31:030:31:07

We've just introduced Marashi to Winston through the bars so that

0:31:070:31:11

they know who's coming out really more than anything.

0:31:110:31:14

She's in high spirits. She's making lots of vocalisations which is good.

0:31:140:31:18

They're letting each other know that they're there.

0:31:180:31:21

She's a bit anxious, cos she's out here on her own.

0:31:210:31:23

Normally she comes out with Rosina, the other female,

0:31:230:31:26

but today we need to do it one-on-one,

0:31:260:31:29

so she's out here on her own for now.

0:31:290:31:30

She's probably a little bit anxious

0:31:300:31:32

and she's wondering what's going on, really.

0:31:320:31:35

It looks like Marashi is ready for love but what about Winston?

0:31:350:31:41

At 38 years old, he's a real rhino pensioner

0:31:410:31:45

though the vet has declared him fit for duty.

0:31:450:31:48

Though in terms of behaviour, anything could happen.

0:31:480:31:52

If Winston really was aggressive towards Marashi,

0:31:520:31:55

he could do a lot of damage. He's a big, massive rhino.

0:31:550:31:58

He weighs two and a half tons and she's maybe a ton and a half,

0:31:580:32:02

so he could really do a lot of damage to her.

0:32:020:32:04

He could knock her down. We don't really want that to happen.

0:32:040:32:07

If we had to split the rhinos up from fighting we'd have a couple

0:32:070:32:10

of fire extinguishers to let off so the noise

0:32:100:32:13

would distract the rhinos and then we'd move our tractors

0:32:130:32:16

in between them as a barrier and that should defuse the situation.

0:32:160:32:19

The tractors are escorting them down to the park,

0:32:220:32:24

ready for their big date.

0:32:240:32:27

They've kept the other rhinos in

0:32:270:32:28

so the couple can have a little privacy.

0:32:280:32:31

Now to find out - will Marashi fall for the older type

0:32:310:32:36

and will this turn out to be Winston's finest hour?

0:32:360:32:40

That's her on the right.

0:32:420:32:44

She's flirting. Oh, but this isn't good.

0:32:440:32:47

In rhino romance

0:32:470:32:49

the boy is supposed to start playing rough and acting like the tough guy.

0:32:490:32:54

So maybe Winston just isn't that interested.

0:32:540:32:58

Though Marashi's not going to leave him alone.

0:32:580:33:01

-# What can I do to make you love me?

-What can I do to make you love me?

0:33:010:33:07

-# What can I do to make you care?

-What can I do to make you care?

0:33:070:33:13

# What can I say to make you feel this

0:33:130:33:17

# What can I do to make you love me?

0:33:170:33:20

-# What can I do to get you there?

-What can I do to make you care? #

0:33:200:33:25

With Winston, he's not a big rough old bloke that we think he is,

0:33:250:33:30

he's quite a gentle old soul

0:33:300:33:31

and I think he's going to take his time with this.

0:33:310:33:34

I think we're putting pressure on the rhinos ourselves.

0:33:340:33:38

We know we want baby rhinos,

0:33:380:33:39

but they'll produce them when they're good and ready really.

0:33:390:33:43

We can't influence that very much.

0:33:430:33:45

Back in his office,

0:33:450:33:47

Ian Turner has been reviewing some of the footage of the other couple

0:33:470:33:50

to see if they're any closer to the desired goal.

0:33:500:33:54

But no joy yet.

0:33:540:33:56

Ian's trying to be patient.

0:33:560:33:58

After all it's still early days.

0:33:580:34:01

They're just coming to the right age

0:34:010:34:03

so hopefully, 15, 16 months down the line,

0:34:030:34:08

there will be the patter of large tiny feet.

0:34:080:34:12

So for now we'll just have to keep our fingers crossed and wait.

0:34:120:34:16

Hopefully it won't be too long before Ian's dreams come true.

0:34:160:34:21

How on earth do you measure a tiger?

0:34:300:34:33

That's been the challenge for the keepers since these

0:34:330:34:36

three youngsters arrived at Longleat.

0:34:360:34:38

Coming up to two years old they're growing fast and can put on

0:34:380:34:42

up to three kilograms a month.

0:34:420:34:44

That's the same weight as your average domestic cat.

0:34:440:34:47

It's essential that their growth is monitored to spot any abnormalities,

0:34:470:34:52

but since these are the most dangerous cats in the world,

0:34:520:34:55

just how is this done?

0:34:550:34:57

Well, I'm about to find out.

0:34:570:35:00

I've come up to the tiger house

0:35:000:35:01

to help out with a rather worrying task.

0:35:010:35:05

Tiger measuring.

0:35:050:35:06

Keeper Bob Trollope is here.

0:35:060:35:08

-Morning, Bob.

-Morning, Ben.

-Is this for real?

0:35:080:35:11

We're actually going to measure a tiger somehow today?

0:35:110:35:13

Well, attempt to. As you can see it's not something that you

0:35:130:35:17

can go in with and get proper measurements, that's for sure.

0:35:170:35:21

What do you want to do then? You want to basically...

0:35:210:35:24

Basically just get her to stand up and see how far she can stretch and

0:35:240:35:28

then we'll just see what measurements we can get.

0:35:280:35:31

-So who have we got here?

-This is Sundari, one of our new ones,

0:35:310:35:36

which is one of the livelier ones, as you can see!

0:35:360:35:39

She's amazing, isn't she?

0:35:390:35:41

And literally you're going to entice her up using some of that meat?

0:35:410:35:45

-I'll keep her up here, Ben.

-OK.

0:35:450:35:47

If you see if her paws come up against there,

0:35:470:35:50

if you're very careful, you can get a rough measure.

0:35:500:35:53

A rough measurement. OK. Let's see how we go, I won't go too close.

0:35:530:35:57

Come on, my darling.

0:35:570:35:58

We've got...

0:35:580:36:00

OK, I estimate about 17 centimetres for one of her paws,

0:36:000:36:07

but that's only a rough estimate. Can I have a quick go?

0:36:070:36:10

-Yeah.

-Do you mind me? I'll do a swap.

0:36:100:36:13

OK. There you go.

0:36:130:36:15

-Just hold it out.

-Yeah.

0:36:150:36:17

Wow, look at those teeth!

0:36:170:36:19

If you're tall enough Ben, if we can dangle it from here.

0:36:190:36:22

See if she'll go right up to the top.

0:36:220:36:25

Up there. Sundari, look.

0:36:250:36:26

Look, up here. It's up here, Sundari.

0:36:260:36:29

Maybe she has to follow it up.

0:36:290:36:31

Look, here we go. Up we go.

0:36:310:36:33

-That's it.

-Wow, so basically we know that she can stretch

0:36:330:36:38

right up to the top of this cage.

0:36:380:36:40

And you think of it, that wasn't a full stretch.

0:36:400:36:42

Do you want to occupy her with that and I'll...

0:36:420:36:44

-You can measure the cage.

-I'll measure the cage from top to bottom.

0:36:440:36:48

Hup, hup. Good girl.

0:36:480:36:50

Yeah, you have that bit.

0:36:500:36:52

We've got 207 centimetres or so.

0:36:520:36:57

Although she's already over two metres long, since she's just a cub,

0:36:570:37:02

Sundari still has a way to go.

0:37:020:37:05

Fully-grown tigers like Kadoo can reach over three metres.

0:37:050:37:10

Look at these claws as well.

0:37:100:37:12

In fact, shall we see if you can estimate a claw size.

0:37:120:37:16

I've got it here. I've got it here.

0:37:160:37:18

-Let's see if we can get a claw.

-Here you go.

0:37:180:37:22

Now that's...well, just the actual sheath of the claw,

0:37:220:37:27

that is four centimetres.

0:37:270:37:29

Four centimetres, wow.

0:37:290:37:31

You wouldn't like to be on the receiving end of that?

0:37:310:37:34

-No. Definitely not.

-Bob, thank you for letting me help you

0:37:340:37:37

with one of the most unusual tasks I've ever done. Here you go.

0:37:370:37:41

Wow. I tell you what, it's not every day you get to measure a tiger!

0:37:420:37:48

Back in Tanzania,

0:37:520:37:54

Michelle and Elisaria have picked up the trail off two black rhinos.

0:37:540:37:59

A sighting by one of the rangers has helped them narrow down the search

0:37:590:38:03

and they're now getting very close.

0:38:030:38:06

To keep the rhino safe

0:38:070:38:09

it's vital for the rangers to make a regular visual check on all of them.

0:38:090:38:14

Because the bush in this region is so dense

0:38:140:38:17

the only way to do that is to track them down

0:38:170:38:19

and get really close and that can be very dangerous.

0:38:190:38:24

Tracks. There are fresh tracks.

0:38:240:38:29

With the rhinos just a few metres away,

0:38:320:38:35

two expert trackers scout ahead.

0:38:350:38:38

What we're going to do is wait here a second until we get the OK

0:38:380:38:42

to go up through because obviously it's a dangerous situation.

0:38:420:38:46

It's really exciting to know there's a rhino over there,

0:38:460:38:50

tantalisingly close.

0:38:500:38:52

Suddenly the rhino are spooked and charge off into the bush.

0:38:590:39:03

We just missed them.

0:39:070:39:08

They ran away but this is the fresh, where they sleep there.

0:39:080:39:14

This is fresh.

0:39:140:39:16

Even though we didn't quite get to see them,

0:39:190:39:23

knowing that we're this close is pretty cool

0:39:230:39:29

and in this thick bush it's really difficult to see them anyway.

0:39:290:39:33

So yes, the whole experience of just going after them

0:39:340:39:38

and tracking them is just a once-in-a-lifetime thing.

0:39:380:39:41

What we want to do is to see them every day but it's very difficult.

0:39:410:39:46

-Almost impossible, isn't it?

-But we try the best we can.

0:39:460:39:50

At Longleat our animals are so easy to find

0:39:500:39:53

but to go out and track them

0:39:530:39:57

and to have that reward when you do finally see some, or like now,

0:39:570:40:02

the rhino was here literally not even five minutes ago,

0:40:020:40:05

that's pretty special, an amazing experience.

0:40:050:40:07

I feel really privileged to be able to do this.

0:40:070:40:09

It's something you do every day, it's something I've never had

0:40:090:40:13

the chance to do before, probably won't again,

0:40:130:40:15

so it's really, really special. I'll treasure it.

0:40:150:40:18

When you think that now in all the vast wilderness of Africa

0:40:200:40:24

there are less than 3,500 black rhino,

0:40:240:40:28

to have got within just a few metres of one

0:40:280:40:30

is actually pretty good going.

0:40:300:40:33

Back at Longleat, their rhinos may have failed on the romantic front

0:40:390:40:44

but it's a different story with the ostriches.

0:40:440:40:47

In fact they're up there with Romeo and Juliet,

0:40:500:40:54

or Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler.

0:40:540:40:56

But unlike those star-crossed lovers, Trevor and Honey are

0:40:560:41:01

still living their happy-ever-after ending,

0:41:010:41:04

even after three years together.

0:41:040:41:06

It looks like she hasn't lost that loving feeling

0:41:060:41:09

and frankly my dear, he DOES give a damn.

0:41:090:41:14

Kate and I are out in the East Africa reserve

0:41:140:41:16

with head of section Andy Hayton and Honey, the ostrich.

0:41:160:41:20

Now Andy, she's obviously sitting on a nest here, isn't she?

0:41:200:41:23

-Yeah.

-Any idea how many eggs there are under her?

0:41:230:41:26

About 17 or 18 eggs under there at the last count.

0:41:260:41:29

Wow! That sounds like an amazing number.

0:41:290:41:31

We've done really well and it's all down to those two.

0:41:310:41:34

They're just such dedicated parents.

0:41:340:41:37

-They're really good.

-Andy, we've got just over here Trevor has taken

0:41:370:41:40

even more active interest in us. Is this something you want to be

0:41:400:41:44

aware of now cos we don't want to stress them out, do we?

0:41:440:41:47

Yeah. It's just that dedicated parents thing. Trev sees us

0:41:470:41:50

over here, she's vulnerable at the moment, laid there on the nest,

0:41:500:41:54

so Trev's here to protect her and his interests, which are his eggs.

0:41:540:41:58

It seems very strange Andy, that she's lying there

0:41:580:42:01

with her head so flat. You'd think she'd have her head up

0:42:010:42:04

and be looking around for potential predators.

0:42:040:42:07

That's an ostrich burying its head in the sand. That's where it came from.

0:42:070:42:10

-Wow, of course!

-She makes a low profile.

0:42:100:42:13

If you were actually, you see all the long grass, I've cut

0:42:130:42:16

some of the grass short but if she was in the longish grass,

0:42:160:42:19

she sits like that, nobody can see her.

0:42:190:42:22

She's less vulnerable basically. It looks like a pile of feathers.

0:42:220:42:25

A really good defence mechanism is stay still.

0:42:250:42:28

Thanks, Andy. I know you'll keep us up to date with any developments

0:42:280:42:31

as they happen but that's all we've got time for on today's programme.

0:42:310:42:35

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

0:42:350:42:37

What will the monkeys think when we stuff all their fruit trifles

0:42:390:42:43

into a tree trunk?

0:42:430:42:45

Up in wolf wood, Frieda is pregnant

0:42:450:42:48

but will her pups be born safe indoors or out in a flooded den?

0:42:480:42:54

And back in Africa

0:42:540:42:56

an orphaned hyena must be drugged in order to return her to the wild.

0:42:560:42:59

But then something goes very wrong.

0:42:590:43:04

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:190:43:23

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:230:43:26

Love is in the air at Longleat Safari Park, or so Deputy Head Warden Ian Turner hopes, as a couple of rhinos with a combined weight of three-and-a-half tons go on a date.

Meanwhile, Kate Humble makes some tortoises feel more at home and Ben Fogle gives an owl an MOT.


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