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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This is Winston who at 38 years old
is one of the oldest rhino in the country.
Although it looks like he's enjoying the quiet life
the keepers have plans to make him a father for the very first time.
Yes, apparently, it's never too late for a rhino to find love.
The keepers have set up a date for him
and we'll find out whether romance is in the air on today's programme.
Today, on Animal Park, we're going
deep in the African bush to get close to a pair of wild rhinos.
One false move and they'll charge.
While back at Longleat, their rhinos are getting pretty frisky.
This might make a few cars move.
And how do you measure a cat
with paws the size of a frisbee apart from very carefully?
Wow! Look at those teeth.
Most animals have a one-track mind.
Apart from just eating
they generally put a great deal of effort into making babies.
And no-one spends more time thinking about reproduction than Ian Turner,
the deputy head warden.
He's desperate to have a baby.
To be precise a beautiful, bouncing baby rhino.
After all it's now been almost four years since Ian went to South Africa
to fetch their three new rhinos Anjanu, the male,
and Rosina and Marashi, the females.
They're gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous, really good. Better than I thought.
At the time they were too young to start breeding
but Ian had his eyes on the prize right from the start.
In two years we should have two young uns. There's nothing to say we shouldn't.
Twelve months later Ian hadn't lost his focus.
I'm hoping down the line we're going to have two baby rhinos.
And another year on he was starting to sound like a broken record.
Hopefully the young ones will start mating this year,
they've got to the right age and two years down
the line there's no reason why we shouldn't have baby rhinos.
The three youngsters are now old enough to be sexually mature
but so far...nothing.
So recently the keepers have been arranging
to put just Anjanu and Rosina out together, like on a romantic date
away from the others and, this morning, Ian's excited.
They haven't actually done anything yet
but at least they are now getting to know each other a little better.
# How deep is your love? How deep is your love... #
They're showing encouraging signs.
They're playing about and he's getting interested.
I'll be surprised if there's not mating this year and disappointed.
This is all good signs, they're sword fighting
and putting the head on the back and mounting, sort of.
That's all good stuff we wanna see.
But there's one particular behaviour that usually
indicates things are about to get steamy.
It's when they've finished their sword fighting
and one of them decides he's going to run off.
-The other will start chasing. Here they go.
Now there's over three tonnes of rampant rhino
charging around the park at 30mph.
This could be dangerous.
This'll make a few cars move.
# Je t'aime Je t'aime
# Oui, je t'aime... #
But a moment later something goes wrong.
Anjanu and Rosina have abruptly gone off the boil
and suddenly got interested in a nice patch of grass.
Could it be that they're still just too young?
Luckily this pair isn't the only couple Ian's got hope for.
There's also the other young female, Marashi,
and the park's older male, Winston.
He is somewhat elderly
but the vet has checked him out and reckons he's up to the job.
So Ian can still dream.
My biggest wish for something to happen on the park this year
would be for Winston to mate with one of the females
and Anjanu to mate with the other one. That'd be my wish list.
If I really went berserk they could have twins
and we'd look after them all.
That's a bit of wishful thinking, that is.
In the 31 years I've been here I don't think we've ever had twins.
We've had lots of baby rhinos born.
They are cute when they're born.
It's no wonder Ian's so broody after what happened
on his trip to Kenya last year. He had the chance to get
really close to a couple of orphaned baby black rhino.
Ian was over the moon.
Thank you very much.
You can see how boisterous they can get.
When they want food and it's finished, that's
when it starts getting a bit out of hand but absolutely gorgeous.
So after that experience Ian redoubled his efforts
to have one of his very own.
Now he's got keeper, Kevin Nibbs, taking samples of Marashi's dung
in order to figure out when she'll be most likely to conceive.
They test for all the female hormones
and when we get the results back we'll plot it on a graph.
So what we're looking for is for each peak to be 30-35 days
which is when the rhinos come into season,
it takes 35 days to come into the next season.
At the moment we can see that it is about...
That one was about six weeks.
That's a little bit...a little bit too long, really.
What we need to do is try and make an average of her cycles
at the moment and then we'll go from that average.
Then we'll put the bull out with her around that sort of time.
Once they've established the pattern,
they'll arrange a romantic rendezvous with Winston.
However, in rhino years, Marashi's a teenager
while Winston, let's face it, got his bus pass some time ago.
So will their little tryst be a hot date or a damp squib?
We'll find out later on.
Recently Longleat House hasn't been looking its best.
When the roof began to develop several leaks it was clear that
the time had come to sort it out. The trouble is - that roof is huge.
It's almost the size of a football pitch.
This isn't a film set, although it looks like one.
We're actually on the roof of Longleat House where this massive
restoration project is under way.
It's believed that this is the largest scaffolding structure
ever erected on a residential building here in the UK.
In fact, there's enough piping to reach
the summit of Everest three times.
We're going to be meeting some of the people who are
undertaking this enormous task.
So I'm off to meet one of the stonemasons.
And if you follow me... We've got a very tall cameraman
so just duck down, good, good. Come this way with me.
I'm going to meet James Knot who is working with the lead.
Is it all right to step on here, James?
I feel really bad stepping on your work.
Come down here and meet you.
This must be one of the biggest jobs you've ever undertaken, isn't it?
It's one of the biggest jobs our company's ever undertaken, yeah.
-For a full 12 months, yeah.
Wow. I mean, as far as the lead is concerned,
it sounds like an obvious question but what does it actually do?
-Why use lead?
-It's quite a durable material, it's long-lasting.
This'll last about 100 years.
-So it's very durable and hard wearing.
-This is the waterproofing for the roof, is it?
-Yes, it is.
Can I see how skilful your job is by having a go at it?
So, basically, you're taking the lead over.
I literally just wallop, do I, with that?
Yeah, you're taking it over very slowly from the bottom over the row.
You're trying to curve it over the row.
If I wallop it like that.
-Yeah, that's it.
-It's not easy.
You must have very big biceps.
Well, I'm not sure I'm going to be a huge amount of help but I'm
going to carry on bashing here. See how Ben's getting on.
As well as the leading there's a huge amount of stonework to be done
and that falls to one of the stonemasons, Sean Clarke. Hi, Sean.
-So what's your role, what are you working on now?
Currently I'm working on replacing one of the hounds
-that overlook the courtyard here.
-Where are you working on it?
Just round the other side of the roof, so if we go there.
-I'll follow you.
-OK, thank you.
So presumably these are old and new?
That's correct, yes.
This has been started from scratch by yourself, has it?
Yes, yes. One block of stone to this now.
One block of stone... so what's it actually made from?
This is a type of bath stone.
Just how tough is it, can you do that with hand tools?
Yeah, definitely, it's not that hard.
-You're still working on this, are you?
-Yes, I am.
-Can I have a little watch of you at work?
How long does it take to get from your one solid slab to this point?
-That's 10 days work.
-10 days work?
-How many hours a day?
Nine hours a day.
So there's another...
day, maybe a little bit longer.
I kind of feel cheeky even asking but is there any chance
-that I can try?
-Feel free. Yeah.
Maybe I won't try on the leg or anything. Where? On this side here?
-Hold it here.
-Hold it here.
-Then just whack the mallet?
-Do you trust me?
-Yeah, sure, no worries.
Oh, yeah, there we go.
Literally that's what you'll do for nine hours a day, carving away...
..until you get the shape.
-It's quite satisfying isn't it?
-Yeah, it's all right, isn't it?
-It beats working for a living.
I might hang up my presenter's gloves. Thank you very much.
The safari park's African connections run deep
because, of course, that's where so many of the animals come from
and, in the past, many of the keepers
have had the opportunity to travel south to that vast, wild continent.
This year it's the turn
of Bev Allen, Michelle Stevens, Ryan Hockley and Keith Harris.
They've flown into the Mkomazi game reserve in Tanzania
to learn more about their animals and to help with conservation projects.
In our last programme we followed the action as Keith and Ryan joined in an
operation to help return a whole pack of African hunting dogs to the wild.
Now we're going to catch up with Bev
and she's going on a wildlife hunt but the animal she's after doesn't
have big teeth, isn't likely to charge and couldn't outrun anything.
Bev is looking for one of Tanzania's rarest creatures,
the Pancake tortoise.
Back home she helps look after four Pancake tortoises.
It's a threatened species which has some unusual habits.
Out here Bev's hoping to discover detailed information about
their native environment in order to improve their Longleat environment.
This is quite an ideal area where I'd think you'd find
a Pancake tortoise cos you've got these rocks where they'd
hide underneath in the crevices.
There's lots of different plants as well. Loads of grasses.
It's very warm actually here and if you feel the rocks they're actually
quite warm as well so, of course, Pancake tortoises they need the heat
to survive and keep them going cos the sun will actually
shine down on their shell, warms them up and off they go.
So I'd imagine you would sort of see them on the stones just warming up
and, of course, when it gets too hot, they can go into
the little holes, the little crevices here
and get away from the sunlight
and also to get away from predators cos it's quite open around
so you'd probably get predators coming up
that may attack them, so they can usually go in and lock themselves
into their crevices where they'd be nice and safe.
They expand their shell and with their claws they
hold on inside the crevices so nothing can pull them out.
As a threatened species, Pancake tortoises are very rare
but they have been spotted amongst these rocks before
so it's worth having a good look.
In our enclosure at Pets' Corner it's quite a small enclosure, we're
hoping to make it a bit bigger, and also the greenery,
the different like grasses and plants I think it would be
a really good idea if we could get some more greenery
for them which would be brilliant.
What I'd like to do now is take some
photos to take back to Pets' Corner and show Darren and Joe the pictures
so we can hopefully get some ideas for our enclosure.
Of course, one of the advantages of a digital camera
is you can send photos by email.
So, in fact, the pictures could be back at Pets' Corner long before Bev.
Unfortunately, there's no sign of any tortoises out here today.
On the other hand, there's no sign of anything else.
I was bit worried putting my hands in the crevices
and around the plants cos I hear
there's a lot of snakes around and scorpions which are very nasty.
I'll keep coming out and hopefully I might find one. Fingers crossed.
We'll catch up with Bev later to see if she gets lucky
on the great tortoise hunt.
Back in Pets' Corner it's a lot easier to find the wildlife.
This is Harriet, the barn owl and I'm with keeper Val McGruther
to give her an MOT, a once over, isn't it?
That's right. We're gonna weigh her, have a little look
at her and see that she's looking OK.
A little while ago she was actually sitting on eggs
which proved to be infertile so there was no young in there at all.
We're just keeping a general check on her, really,
making sure she's back to normal.
What's the first thing you'll do when you're giving her a check?
-What do you look for?
-As with lots of animals you look
at their eyes, to see if they're nice and bright which hers are.
We're looking at her... Oh!
A perfect display right on cue.
Yeah, lovely wing feathers, all nice and smart.
She's cleaned herself up now, she's had a bath.
Talons, of course, got to be nice and sharp.
They look incredibly sharp, which is why you wear that glove.
Although she's quite happy sat on a hand, it would still make
pin pricks in your hand.
So, how old do you think Harriet is, do you know?
Yeah, she's 10.
She's 10 and what is the life expectancy of an owl?
-Well, in the wild it would only be like two to three, average.
-In captivity it can be 20-25 years.
-Is it that much more?
-A huge difference. A lot of that is due to people, unfortunately.
The first year we lose a lot, anyway, natural causes.
-Whoa! Sorry, Ben.
There we go, flapping in the face there. Yeah,
but the rest of it is down to us and the way we live today, really.
-You know, roads...
-a lot of barn owls get killed on the roads.
They're quartering backwards and forwards, looking for food.
Of course and food being mice and little rodents, presumably.
Small rodents would be their favourite.
95% of their diet would be small rodents.
-Having said that, they will eat other things
-if that's not available.
Right, if you would like to put this T-stand on...
-This is for the weighing?
-Yeah, we put the stand on first.
OK. We'll pop this on...
-That's it. Then press the button.
-And press the button.
Oh, I understand so we get the weight of this.
Otherwise you'd er...
That's it, it's come up to nought now. It's on grammes, isn't it?
Yeah. Can I take this off?
-No, no, leave that on. That's what she goes on.
-There we go.
Why do we need to weigh her?
Just to check that she's eating properly
and also because she's had eggs in her just checking that
she hasn't got one retained in her.
And you'd be able to identify that if she'd...
With the weight, yeah. If she had the weight.
Also, you'd go on behaviour.
You know if she was being very lethargic,
not eating, all this sort of thing.
There's lot of ways of telling but weighing is one.
-So we've got there 300 and...
So you're happy with that weight?
Yes, I am. While barn owls tend to be a little lighter, she...
she sort of averages 380 to 400, so that's not bad at all.
And there is the possibility then that she could
lay more eggs and eventually...
It is possible, she has laid eggs in the past
but none of them have been fertile.
-She does live here will Ollie, he's around here somewhere.
Ollie's just hiding up in the corner there.
-Unfortunately she's not terribly fond of him.
OK. But happy with her once over?
-Yes I think so, she's looking very perky and everything.
Well back to normal now, so I think that's really good.
She looks beautiful. Val thank you very much.
-You're very welcome.
-Thank you, Harriet.
It's been over two decades since they last had a baby rhino at Longleat
and deputy head warden, Ian Turner, is getting broody.
While he's been doing everything possible
to get his four white rhino to breed,
down at Paignton Zoo in Devon
they've had a bit more luck with their black rhino.
Recently 12 year-old female, Sita, had a little daughter, Zuri.
Today Ian's taken a trip down to Paignton to meet their
curator of mammals, Neil Bemmant, to see if he can pick up a few tips.
Zuri's was the first rhino birth in Britain
to be covered by a live webcam.
Obviously it allowed us, and several of us, to stand in an adjacent
building to see what was going on without having to be in there,
maybe putting Sita off with our presence.
But things started to go wrong after the birth.
Four hours later the baby still hadn't been
able to get up and suckle from mum.
For keepers, Lucy McKenna and Louise Manning,
it was an emotional rollercoaster.
It really was agonising, wasn't it?
One minute we were all happy and the baby was born and everyone
was cheering and celebrating and the next minute, "Oh no."
We were starting to think then, everybody was getting worried.
Everyone looking at each other, "What shall we do?"
You could see her really struggling but her legs kept
slipping away from her all the time.
The keepers had no choice but to go in and help the baby to stand.
Luckily after that shaky start,
everything went well for mother and daughter.
Now Zuri is three months old.
You can see she's absolutely gorgeous.
All that stress and worry floats to the back of your mind, doesn't it?
Yeah. She's really sturdy and seems to be
going from strength to strength.
Ian's supposed to be here on a fact finding mission
but that doesn't mean he can't spend time,
like everyone else, just doting on the little angel.
They're a massive animal but they can be quite friendly.
They were saying the baby ones, even though they're that size, they're
really, really cute but they're just an absolutely marvellous animal.
I mean these just puts it onto the reasons why we want baby rhinos.
When you look at that little one, that's everyone's dream to have a
baby rhino and hopefully that's what Longleat will get in 16 months time.
Of course, that all depends on
something special happening back at Longleat and now all the indications
are that the young, Marashi, should soon be in the mood for love.
The question is, will dear old Winston be able to cope
with a tonne and a half of red hot rhino!
Keeper Michelle Stevens doesn't usually have much
to do with the rhinos at Longleat.
She works with the animals that live in and around the lake but, today,
Michelle is at the other end of the world deep in the wilds of Africa.
And, within the Mkomazi game reserve there's a special rhino sanctuary
that covers 45 square kilometres of dense bush.
Now Michelle has been given a rare opportunity to join the rangers
as they go on one of their regular monitoring patrols.
She's come to meet operations manager, Elisaria.
We have eight black rhino, six adults and two calves.
The sanctuary is enclosed by 31 miles of electrified wire
strung between 10,000 fence posts.
That might seem a little over the top for just eight animals but these
rhino are incredibly precious.
In 1970 there was 65,000 black rhino in Africa.
By 1992 over 95% of the population had been killed by poachers
just to support the illegal trade in rhino horn.
On the black market the horns of a single rhino
can fetch many times the yearly wage of the average Tanzanian.
Of course, the black rhino isn't exactly defenceless.
They can weigh up to a tonne and a half,
can run at 35 miles per hour and are fiercely territorial and aggressive.
So, before she can go out looking for one
Michelle needs to learn what to do if she gets charged.
Always rhinos go straight through.
OK, that's good to know.
What you have to do is change direction.
For training purposes, ranger Samu is being the territorial male.
He's a scary rhino.
Hopefully we won't have to do that.
-Thank you anyway, just in case.
With the training complete,
Michelle and Elisaria can begin tracking.
The rhino could be anywhere in the dense bush
so they must look for the smallest clues.
Is there anything in here that the rhinos like to eat,
-any particular plant that you know they'd eat?
They eat this one. Definitely.
They're bashed by a rhino.
How long does it take you to learn all of these signs?
If you follow the rhino and you see what they like to eat
and after eat you can come and see how it's looking.
How it looks then you learn for next time, yeah.
Then you learn for next time, yeah.
Heading ever deeper into the bush, they discover another clue.
This is amazing, this is like the first rhino print I've ever seen.
-They look quite fresh, are they fresh?
-Yes, it's fresh.
-Is that two sets?
It's two. Two.
And, you know, the nail track is different for female.
-So what do you think this is?
-This is two females.
OK, so now we've spotted these tracks, where do we go from here?
Where do you think is the best place where we can hopefully find them?
I know a small valley here they like very much
-so I hope we can find them there.
-Is that where we're heading, is it?
-They hide in there. So let us walk.
We'll be back out in the bush later when Michelle finally gets close
to a pair of very nervous black rhino.
Earlier we were with Bev Allen as she went in search of one of
Tanzania's rarest residents, the Pancake tortoise.
Although she hasn't found any yet, she has discovered a lot about
the environment they live in and that could help the keepers
back at Longleat to better look after their Pancake tortoises.
I'm up at Pets' Corner with keeper, Jo Hawthorn
and these magnificent tortoises.
They are very beautiful but they are quite flat, Jo.
They're absolutely stunning, aren't they?
So, why are you in there and the tortoises out here?
Right, OK, if you turn around now and look at these pictures.
Oh, wow, this is beautiful.
She sent me an email and she's been out there where these are
-from and this is the home of these Pancake tortoises.
-So I've blown them up...
-Right, so you're recreating it all here.
-Oh my goodness, that's fantastic.
-I'm must finishing putting this up.
This is actually a copy in the background here.
We've got our own here at Longleat but obviously not quite the same.
-It's gonna look fantastic.
-It just makes such a difference, you know.
Hopefully they'll feel more at home now.
It's raining and cold here in England...
-But they're having this lovely, African backdrop.
Presumably it's quite important when you're keeping
exotic animals like this to have as natural environment as possible.
Definitely, yeah, definitely. You want them to act
and breed naturally. Everything that you can do, it's not just kind of
the temperature, it's things that would be in their surrounding.
You know, plants it just helps...
Gives the right atmosphere.
And the visitors as well, so it's really important.
What about plants and things,
what sort of vegetation would they have around?
Mainly... not so dissimilar to some
of our Mediterranean tortoises, lots of weedy grass, grass mainly.
-So these things that you've got down here.
Shall I give you that. These are kind of things that would be in the area?
They are, that's right. We've got a red baron here.
-That grows really tall, very bushy, obviously
can do without lots of water. This is the kind of thing
you'd actually find up in these kind of altitudes.
Are these are long lived?
Tortoises can live 50 or even 100 years, can't they?
That's right. I mean the predation rate of these,
when they're very small, they're literally like a 50p piece.
-You know, is very high.
-Certainly, I mean, these'll go on for about 25 years.
Nothing like as long as your other ones.
We're nearly there now, how's that looking? Yep, good OK.
I'll give you Yuri back.
-Let you come out.
-There you go.
-There we go.
-Shall I put her on there?
-There you are, sweetheart.
There you go, girl.
Right, so I'm just gonna come out and have a look. Oh, final touch.
-Are you ready?
Jo, it looks brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Look at that.
-Doesn't it look good?
-It's like a little corner of Africa.
I'm so pleased, really pleased.
-It looks fantastic.
-It really does.
-Well done, Jo, thank you very much.
Back in Tanzania, Bev Allen is still hoping to find a real life
pancake tortoise in the wild.
She's had no luck so far but now,
on a drive through the bush, she's spotted something else.
I've found a tortoise, our first tortoise in Tanzania,
a Leopard tortoise I do believe.
It's in really good condition, actually, which is brilliant.
I think it could be a female.
The shell underneath usually has a bit more of a dip.
This is quite straight.
Usually the females are bigger than the males as well.
We don't have any Leopard tortoises at Longleat,
we have Pancake tortoises
which I was hoping to see one at least here because
they do come from around here.
It's just brilliant to see one of these.
But at least I've been a tortoise now which is great.
I've never seen a tortoise in the wild,
only in captivity back at Pets' Corner.
This is brilliant, especially when we were just driving along
and there it was walking along the road.
It's brilliant. It's quite a big one actually.
It's hard to actually tell the age of a tortoise.
I mean, the shell's in very good condition.
Some people say like counting the rings on the shell, you know,
you can tell the age but it's not an accurate way of telling, really.
And, of course, this is a perfect area for tortoises
to run around and get away from predators in the bushes as well.
And, as you can see cos it's very warm, quite active as well.
Back in Wiltshire, old Winston is about to have his first date alone
with young Marashi. It's up to keeper Kevin Nibbs to play Cupid.
He's been monitoring the state of Marashi's hormones
and reckons if she's going to get pregnant, today's the day.
Kevin's let her out in the yard first
while Winston's still inside and she does seem very interested.
We've just introduced Marashi to Winston through the bars so that
they know who's coming out really more than anything.
She's in high spirits. She's making lots of vocalisations which is good.
They're letting each other know that they're there.
She's a bit anxious, cos she's out here on her own.
Normally she comes out with Rosina, the other female,
but today we need to do it one-on-one,
so she's out here on her own for now.
She's probably a little bit anxious
and she's wondering what's going on, really.
It looks like Marashi is ready for love but what about Winston?
At 38 years old, he's a real rhino pensioner
though the vet has declared him fit for duty.
Though in terms of behaviour, anything could happen.
If Winston really was aggressive towards Marashi,
he could do a lot of damage. He's a big, massive rhino.
He weighs two and a half tons and she's maybe a ton and a half,
so he could really do a lot of damage to her.
He could knock her down. We don't really want that to happen.
If we had to split the rhinos up from fighting we'd have a couple
of fire extinguishers to let off so the noise
would distract the rhinos and then we'd move our tractors
in between them as a barrier and that should defuse the situation.
The tractors are escorting them down to the park,
ready for their big date.
They've kept the other rhinos in
so the couple can have a little privacy.
Now to find out - will Marashi fall for the older type
and will this turn out to be Winston's finest hour?
That's her on the right.
She's flirting. Oh, but this isn't good.
In rhino romance
the boy is supposed to start playing rough and acting like the tough guy.
So maybe Winston just isn't that interested.
Though Marashi's not going to leave him alone.
-# What can I do to make you love me?
-What can I do to make you love me?
-# What can I do to make you care?
-What can I do to make you care?
# What can I say to make you feel this
# What can I do to make you love me?
-# What can I do to get you there?
-What can I do to make you care? #
With Winston, he's not a big rough old bloke that we think he is,
he's quite a gentle old soul
and I think he's going to take his time with this.
I think we're putting pressure on the rhinos ourselves.
We know we want baby rhinos,
but they'll produce them when they're good and ready really.
We can't influence that very much.
Back in his office,
Ian Turner has been reviewing some of the footage of the other couple
to see if they're any closer to the desired goal.
But no joy yet.
Ian's trying to be patient.
After all it's still early days.
They're just coming to the right age
so hopefully, 15, 16 months down the line,
there will be the patter of large tiny feet.
So for now we'll just have to keep our fingers crossed and wait.
Hopefully it won't be too long before Ian's dreams come true.
How on earth do you measure a tiger?
That's been the challenge for the keepers since these
three youngsters arrived at Longleat.
Coming up to two years old they're growing fast and can put on
up to three kilograms a month.
That's the same weight as your average domestic cat.
It's essential that their growth is monitored to spot any abnormalities,
but since these are the most dangerous cats in the world,
just how is this done?
Well, I'm about to find out.
I've come up to the tiger house
to help out with a rather worrying task.
Keeper Bob Trollope is here.
-Is this for real?
We're actually going to measure a tiger somehow today?
Well, attempt to. As you can see it's not something that you
can go in with and get proper measurements, that's for sure.
What do you want to do then? You want to basically...
Basically just get her to stand up and see how far she can stretch and
then we'll just see what measurements we can get.
-So who have we got here?
-This is Sundari, one of our new ones,
which is one of the livelier ones, as you can see!
She's amazing, isn't she?
And literally you're going to entice her up using some of that meat?
-I'll keep her up here, Ben.
If you see if her paws come up against there,
if you're very careful, you can get a rough measure.
A rough measurement. OK. Let's see how we go, I won't go too close.
Come on, my darling.
OK, I estimate about 17 centimetres for one of her paws,
but that's only a rough estimate. Can I have a quick go?
-Do you mind me? I'll do a swap.
OK. There you go.
-Just hold it out.
Wow, look at those teeth!
If you're tall enough Ben, if we can dangle it from here.
See if she'll go right up to the top.
Up there. Sundari, look.
Look, up here. It's up here, Sundari.
Maybe she has to follow it up.
Look, here we go. Up we go.
-Wow, so basically we know that she can stretch
right up to the top of this cage.
And you think of it, that wasn't a full stretch.
Do you want to occupy her with that and I'll...
-You can measure the cage.
-I'll measure the cage from top to bottom.
Hup, hup. Good girl.
Yeah, you have that bit.
We've got 207 centimetres or so.
Although she's already over two metres long, since she's just a cub,
Sundari still has a way to go.
Fully-grown tigers like Kadoo can reach over three metres.
Look at these claws as well.
In fact, shall we see if you can estimate a claw size.
I've got it here. I've got it here.
-Let's see if we can get a claw.
-Here you go.
Now that's...well, just the actual sheath of the claw,
that is four centimetres.
Four centimetres, wow.
You wouldn't like to be on the receiving end of that?
-No. Definitely not.
-Bob, thank you for letting me help you
with one of the most unusual tasks I've ever done. Here you go.
Wow. I tell you what, it's not every day you get to measure a tiger!
Back in Tanzania,
Michelle and Elisaria have picked up the trail off two black rhinos.
A sighting by one of the rangers has helped them narrow down the search
and they're now getting very close.
To keep the rhino safe
it's vital for the rangers to make a regular visual check on all of them.
Because the bush in this region is so dense
the only way to do that is to track them down
and get really close and that can be very dangerous.
Tracks. There are fresh tracks.
With the rhinos just a few metres away,
two expert trackers scout ahead.
What we're going to do is wait here a second until we get the OK
to go up through because obviously it's a dangerous situation.
It's really exciting to know there's a rhino over there,
Suddenly the rhino are spooked and charge off into the bush.
We just missed them.
They ran away but this is the fresh, where they sleep there.
This is fresh.
Even though we didn't quite get to see them,
knowing that we're this close is pretty cool
and in this thick bush it's really difficult to see them anyway.
So yes, the whole experience of just going after them
and tracking them is just a once-in-a-lifetime thing.
What we want to do is to see them every day but it's very difficult.
-Almost impossible, isn't it?
-But we try the best we can.
At Longleat our animals are so easy to find
but to go out and track them
and to have that reward when you do finally see some, or like now,
the rhino was here literally not even five minutes ago,
that's pretty special, an amazing experience.
I feel really privileged to be able to do this.
It's something you do every day, it's something I've never had
the chance to do before, probably won't again,
so it's really, really special. I'll treasure it.
When you think that now in all the vast wilderness of Africa
there are less than 3,500 black rhino,
to have got within just a few metres of one
is actually pretty good going.
Back at Longleat, their rhinos may have failed on the romantic front
but it's a different story with the ostriches.
In fact they're up there with Romeo and Juliet,
or Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler.
But unlike those star-crossed lovers, Trevor and Honey are
still living their happy-ever-after ending,
even 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.
Now Andy, she's obviously sitting on a nest here, isn't she?
-Any idea how many eggs there are under her?
About 17 or 18 eggs under there at the last count.
Wow! That sounds like an amazing number.
We've done really well and it's all down to those two.
They're just such dedicated parents.
-They're really good.
-Andy, we've got just over here Trevor has taken
even more active interest in us. Is this something you want to be
aware of now cos we don't want to stress them out, do we?
Yeah. It's just that dedicated parents 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 Andy, 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.
-Wow, of course!
-She makes a low profile.
If you were actually, you see all the long grass, I've cut
some of the grass short but if she was in the longish grass,
she sits like that, nobody can see her.
She's less vulnerable basically. It looks like a pile of feathers.
A really good defence mechanism is stay still.
Thanks, Andy. I know you'll keep us up to date with any developments
as they happen but that's all we've got time for on today's programme.
Here's what's coming up on the next Animal Park.
What will the monkeys think when we stuff all their fruit trifles
into a tree trunk?
Up in wolf wood, Frieda is pregnant
but will her pups be born safe indoors or out in a flooded den?
And back in Africa
an orphaned hyena must be drugged in order to return her to the wild.
But then something goes very wrong.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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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.