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We're out in Wolf Wood, where the pack are looking restless. It's a sign.
Yes, Freda, the alpha female, is due to give birth at any moment.
We'll be following her progress closely throughout the programme.
Today on Animal Park - what will the monkeys think
when we stuff all their fruit trifles into a tree trunk?
Find out who might like a nice rhino dung cocktail.
And back in Africa, an orphaned hyena must be drugged in order to return her to the wild.
But then something goes very wrong.
But now, up in Wolf Wood, they're expecting some exciting news.
In a well-ordered wolf pack, it's only the alpha male
and alpha female who mate and breed,
producing just one litter of pups each year.
Here at Longleat, the leaders of the pack are Two Tips, the male,
and his partner, Freda.
Right now, she's heavily pregnant.
In fact, she's due to give birth any day.
So keeper Bob Trollope has been watching her closely.
It's absolutely great to see Freda pregnant again.
She's absolutely huge. This will be her third litter as alpha female.
So she knows what she's doing.
And hopefully, judging by the size of her, we'll have plenty of youngsters.
Over the past 30 years, they've had about 150 pups here.
But when wolves give birth, things can go horribly wrong.
One of their mothers died in labour, and there have been times
when pups were unexpectedly found dead.
It would help if the keepers could monitor them closely.
But the trouble is wolves are incredibly secretive.
It is actually very hard to catch a wolf giving birth.
It's one of these things that you just don't see.
They normally give birth after we've gone home for the night
and everything's nice and quiet here.
When Freda was pregnant last year, the keepers installed
a purpose-built wooden den box inside the wolf house.
And in order to check on the wolves, it was fitted with an infra-red CCTV camera
that would be able to see in the dark.
Kate went along to help set it up.
What we'll be able to do... Bob? Can you go into the den, please?
And we'll just show you how this works.
Everything was done to make the artificial den as comfortable as possible.
But, despite some interest, when her time came, Freda gave birth
in the middle of the night, out under a tree in the wood.
This year, Bob reckons there's a good chance
Freda will give birth inside.
In fact, he's installing an extra CCTV camera
in order to cover the wolf house more closely.
I think one of the main problems last year was the fact that this was all new to them.
It takes a while for animals to get used to something new in the environment.
And this being quite a big thing, it obviously put them off a bit.
Hopefully, this year, it will be slightly different in the fact that
they've had it all year to get used to.
It's one of the reasons why we're setting up these cameras prior to them giving birth,
so we can monitor which ones are coming in and which ones aren't,
and hopefully we'll see Freda coming in.
And now it's become even more important for Freda to have her babies indoors.
Recent wet weather has left the ground waterlogged.
Any den dug under a tree is in serious danger of flooding,
so if Freda had her pups out here, they could easily drown.
There's an advantage for giving birth in here.
The weather is absolutely terrible at the moment.
Heaven forbid if you were born outside in this...
You'd have a worse chance of survival, basically.
With the risk of flooding so high, drastic measures have to be taken
to protect the pups from the danger of drowning.
Keeper Craig must stop them from digging birthing dens under the trees.
This is the start of a hole it looked like they were going to dig at.
We've gone round virtually every single tree up in the wolves,
and that took a couple of days to go round and fill the holes in.
This should discourage them from using this tree, or any other tree.
So fingers crossed now.
With all the possible den sites blocked up and the weather deteriorating,
surely this year will be different from last.
You can't predict an animal.
We wanted her inside, she had them outside.
So, where will Freda give birth?
And will she and her pups survive?
We'll be back in Wolf Wood later to find out.
No, I haven't come to the jungle, I'm still at Longleat,
but I'm in the butterfly house,
and I'm here to meet the head of the butterfly house, Derek Longuet,
who has come up with an ingenious way of feeding his butterflies.
Now, I assumed that with all this beautiful, lush, verdant planting
you've got in here, the butterflies would just feed themselves.
No, some butterflies take pollen.
They also need minerals, so they'll go down to riverbanks and muddy puddles.
They'll come down and take goodness out.
So... We always think of butterflies simply just eating nectar
from flowers, but that's not enough then to give them a balanced diet?
That's only part of it.
Looking at this stunning butterfly here, is it drinking orange juice?
That's a fruit pulp, yes. Orange.
As you can see, its proboscis is going in and it's taking up...
You've got this extraordinary-looking,
not terribly appetising collection, if I may say so, here!
This is a butterfly pub.
We've got maple syrup here,
which is the same as a fruit syrup that they would find in nature.
So you're going to put these in the test tubes.
Why have you bothered to put the picture of the flowers?
It looks very pretty, but do you need to?
It is very attractive, and also they come down to colour.
Oh, is that what attracts them?
Colour is the first attractant, yes.
Do you need to top that up with water? OK, I'll do that.
Stick that in.
You have an important breeding programme here.
This helps me breed right through the year.
When the flowers are scarce, they'll come down on to fruit, sugar, water,
and any of the tubes that we're setting up here.
What are we going to put in this next one?
Having seen in the wild butterflies going down on to sand banks,
we've got some salt licks here.
That's a mineral content.
We're trying to...
ape the natural goodness that you'd find on a sandy riverbank.
I think that should do it.
Again, another top up.
-There we go.
Can you see, Derek, that I'm putting off the evil moment of the final test tube?
I thought I'd leave that to you!
SHE LAUGHS I knew you would!
You kind of think of butterflies being these lovely, delicate,
rather lady-like creatures.
-And I can't imagine what they would be getting from dung.
-Same thing, nutrients.
-I've observed them in the wild coming down on carrion.
So a dead animal...
-They'll take the juices from that.
-So they're not quite the lovely,
delicate, sophisticated creatures we like to think about?
-They got quite nasty habits.
-They've got another side.
The dark side of the butterfly!
While Derek and I finish off this not terribly lovely-looking butterfly cocktail,
we are then going to wait around and see which butterfly comes to what.
So join us later. Thanks, Derek.
Meanwhile, almost 5,000 miles away, four keepers from Longleat
have come to east Africa on the adventure of a lifetime.
Ryan Hockley, Bev Allen, Michelle Stephens and Keith Harris
are in the Mkomazi game reserve in Tanzania
to find out more about the animals they look after back home
and to contribute to several conservation projects.
It's also an opportunity to work with one of the all-time greats
of African conservation, Tony Fitzjohn,
known to one and all as Fitz.
So far, Ryan and Keith have helped move a pack of endangered hunting dogs
as part of a ground-breaking release programme.
Michelle tracked two tons of rather unpredictable black rhino through the bush.
And Bev encountered her first ever wild tortoise.
No-one will believe them back at Longleat!
Fitz was the apprentice of this man, George Adamson, made famous through
the book and film Born Free, and Michelle has the chance to continue
Adamson's work by helping release a striped hyena back to the wild today.
She was taken to the snake park just outside of Rushwa as an orphan,
when she was quite small, and reared by two South Africans that owned the place.
She was always causing trouble.
She'd come out and chew your leg and chew your ankles.
Chew your hand.
Then she'd break out and eat all the little day-old chicks...
-For the snake food, right.
Although native to Africa, the striped hyena is increasingly rare
due to hunting and the destruction of their natural habitat.
18-month-old Fissi arrived at Mkomazi just four weeks ago
so Fitz could release her into the park to breed with the other striped hyenas.
I think putting her back in the rhino sanctuary,
where there's a lot more striped hyena, and bags of room,
will give us more time to find out about her.
There's little known about these animals.
So Fitz can monitor Fissi's movements, once she's been released,
he's fitted her with a special collar with a radio location device.
Even though she's used to her keeper, Simon,
Fissi is still a potentially dangerous animal,
so the collar can only be fitted when she's under sedation.
Fitz has over 40 years' experience working with animal wildlife.
But anaesthetising wild animals is always a potentially risky procedure.
She's never had a dart before, so I don't know how she'll react.
Maybe it would be a good thing if people stand back a bit.
We'll aim for the hind quarters. It's the safest place to put the dart in.
Hello, big girl.
The darting may look uncomfortable, but it's the simplest way
to alleviate any distress for Fissi when the tracking collar is fitted.
It all went in.
But we managed to distract her so she didn't pull the dart out.
But within a couple of minutes,
the sedative starts to take effect and the team can get to work.
What do you think? Steady, Michelle.
-Can I touch her?
She's really rough. Really, really rough!
Once the special tracking collar is in place, Fitz has a chance
to make sure Fissi's in good health before she's released,
and Michelle gets the chance to help out.
OK. Now, let's check her for ticks.
OK, fleas... She seems amazingly free
of all sorts of things. Teeth are all good.
OK. Gums are good.
At Longleat, Michelle normally looks after sea lions, hippos and gorillas,
so by coming to Mkomazi, she's getting an invaluable opportunity to broaden her knowledge.
This is really kind of...
I can't really describe it. It's amazing being this close.
I've never been this close before.
So it's always a good opportunity, when an animal
is under anaesthetic, just to have a good look at them,
just to explore them.
Look at this long hair. It's amazing.
Fitz is satisfied that Fissi is in good health,
and so it's time to give her another injection to bring her round.
Do you want to inject the antidote?
I can do. Where to?
In the rump.
Nice, juicy bit in the rump.
We don't know what's going to happen, we should all stand back a bit.
This is always a nervous time, isn't it? It can go either way, can't it?
It should only take a few minutes for Fissi to wake up.
But bringing an animal out from sedation is always an anxious moment.
However many animals you sedate, for whatever reason, you always...worry.
Every now and then you get caught by surprise, there's a bad reaction or something.
There are some big breaths going in.
Worryingly, there's still no sign of Fissi coming round.
OK, why isn't she waking up, though?
We'll find out if Fissi comes out of the anaesthetic later in the programme.
Back at Longleat, inside the old stable block they look after
another animal that some people regard as a little creepy - bats.
But that's quite unfair. They're not bad really, just misunderstood.
I'm in the bat cave, with keeper Alexa Fairbairn.
Alexa, it's breakfast-time, is that right?
It is, yes. They're very hungry.
So how on earth do we go about feeding bats?
These are fruit bats, so they get a variety of fruit,
apples, oranges, bananas, melon, mango, strawberries.
Anything we can get our hands on, they eat.
-Figs as well, they really like.
-OK. So where do we do this preparation?
Just through here, and we've got a little treat for them today as well.
-What are we doing?
-It's a different enrichment feeding device...
-OK, very good.
-..which we will be trying out.
-We go through the area, and this is where we become chefs, is that right?
So it's just fruit they live off?
Yes, it is with us. In the wild they would eat little bugs
and things like that, but in here they don't bother.
-And it looks pretty finely chopped to me.
-It is indeed.
We do try and chop it quite finely. Otherwise they do tend to drop it.
So it's finely chopped, or they'll drop it on visitors' heads.
Shall I have a go? I'll show you what my chopping technique is like.
Today they're going to have an extra-special treat.
So what's the plan?
We've got a nice enrichment device for them that we're going to put the food into,
so we can see all their flight muscles working, be able to see them clambering around,
squabbling for the food and things like that, naturally how they would do in the wild.
-Fantastic. What do you think of my chopping?
-Good. We'll add that.
We've got our finely-cut fruit. What's the plan now then?
We're going to put it in our nice new enrichment device for them.
So this is the enrichment device. How does it work?
What we're going to do, just pour some fruit in, and then, hopefully,
the bats are going to come in and use the holes, using their flight muscles
and their claws and feet. Hopefully, they'll have a nice feed.
OK. Presumably, now we take a step back and let the bats come in.
To see the bats more clearly,
we've rigged up a night-vision camera over the feeding basket.
Now, the first thing is, how on earth do the bats know the fruit is there?
They've got an amazing sense of smell, so they smelt it when we walked into the room.
They use echo location as well,
which is a series of clicks they use with their tongue,
that tells them where objects are so they avoid them.
We've got the first bat.
-What's it doing now?
He's just smelling it now. It's got human smells on there.
He's checking it out. He'll be able to smell all the nice, tasty fruit.
So he'll tell the others that it's there now!
Is that how they'll work?
Yeah, normally one of them starts feeding,
and then it sets all the others off.
-So will there potentially be a feeding frenzy?
We've got a couple in there now. It looks like there's about three.
Yeah, three or four of them. You can see them using all of their wings.
They'll get right on in there, find their favourite food,
possibly have a little squabble over it.
It looks like they're squabbling.
-I can't believe they all fit!
-They never hurt each other.
It's more of a dominance thing over anything else.
And they're pretty agile to crawl out of those holes like that.
They've got really strong flight muscles, chest muscles, and they use those.
The older they get, the less they work better.
But they do really use them to clamber through everything.
You can almost see their little claws, can't you?
Yeah, they've got hooks on the end of their wings.
So how do they grab the food?
-Is it with their teeth or their little hooks?
-They'll use their teeth.
They'll just stuff it all in their mouth and then fly off.
-And consume it elsewhere?
-And consume it elsewhere normally, yeah.
-Are they greedy? Do they have quite an appetite?
They can eat 70% of their body weight every day. So they really do eat an awful lot.
70% of their body weight?!
Between 50 and 70%, yeah.
-That's a lot of fruit cutting you've got to do.
-That is a lot, yes!
And they're all clambering out everywhere.
This is to give them something new?
Yeah. Naturally, in the wild, they would be foraging,
feeding, all the time, finding new roost sites.
In here it's a controlled environment, so we do like to
give them loads of different enrichment ideas, different feeding techniques.
And presumably, doing a different feeding technique like this
gives you a new insight into the bats and their behaviour.
Yeah, you can see just how much they move, how much their chest muscles do a lot of the work for them
when they're using their wings.
So it's brilliant to see them actually moving around using themselves more.
-So this is not only breakfast, but a bat workout?
Alexa, thank you very much.
I think we'll leave the bats to their exercise.
Back in Wolf Wood, keepers Bob and Craig are monitoring Freda, the alpha female, closely.
She's due to give birth any day now
and everyone is hoping that she'll have her babies
inside the wolf house where they'll be able to keep an eye on things with CCTV cameras.
It's now even more important,
because outside the weather has gone from bad to worse.
Bob and Craig are checking the CCTV to try to figure out what the wolves are thinking.
At least we know they're coming in quite regularly now.
That's another male, by the looks of things.
Not Freda yet.
That's Two Tips. That's the boss.
He's come over to have a look.
Another one coming in.
That looks like One Tip.
So the boss and the foreman are in there.
Just waiting for the first lady to come in.
This is a good sign as well, because...
they're actually nest-building and they're nest-building properly.
They're dragging it all the way, making sure that it's draft-proof,
I suppose, so they have a nice little shallow.
He's really working at it, this one.
If they're making nice little areas, she can come in and that's saving her a job.
All she's got to do then is go in there
and save her energy, and pop out the youngsters.
I would like to see her come in now, that's for sure.
If we could catch the whole birth on film, that'd be brilliant.
But they are so nervous about anything new.
Maybe to our benefit, the weather has changed for the worse,
which hopefully may draw her in to coming into the house and giving birth there.
Even if she's only in there for a few days,
it's one step closer than what we got last year.
Freda is due very soon indeed.
Will the birth of her pups be a happy event or turn into a tragedy?
We'll find out later.
Back in the Mkomazi game reserve in Tanzania,
pioneering conservationist Fitz and Longleat's Michelle Stevens
are anxiously waiting to see if Fissi,
the orphan striped hyena, is going to come round from being sedated.
She's moving now.
Ears are back.
Fissi has been fitted with a radio transmitting collar that will enable
Fitz to monitor her movements once she's released into the wild.
But for now, she's more interested in the safety of her den.
-I mean, talk about heading for home.
Sedating a wild animal is always a risky procedure
so Fitz and Michelle are relieved that she's back on her feet,
even if she's looking a little bit groggy.
There she goes. Now, this is better.
Simon's the one she likes to bite and that's what she's doing.
Simon was saying that she's biting a little bit harder than normal
when she normally plays with him,
but that's understandable.
That's happened before with other animals.
They just want to let you know
that something funny has gone on and they're not impressed.
So now, Fissi is almost back to her normal playful self.
Fitz and Michelle leave her to rest overnight, as tomorrow's a big day.
Next morning, Fitz and Michelle are back to see how Fissi is doing.
Today's the big day when she's finally released into the reserve
where she can mingle with the other striped hyenas.
First, Fitz wants to make sure that the collar's working
as it's important to monitor Fissi's progress once she's released.
This is an essential piece of kit
when you're tracking... trying to find a little, lone hyena.
This is difficult country. It's not like the Namibian desert
where you follow a nice little trail.
It's thick, there's lots of grass.
It's difficult country, especially in the rains, to track in this.
-It's big as well.
And we have no idea where she's going to go, so this is essential.
Maybe she'll go 20 miles in a straight line. Maybe she'll just go round the corner.
Maybe she won't leave. Who knows?
But without this, we'll never know.
The collar works by transmitting a radio signal which is picked up by the aerial.
The strongest signal is the way this antenna's pointing.
And now we are, we are that close...
RECEIVER BEEPS You can actually notice
a slight difference, even here. Yeah.
The bleeping sound tells Fitz the collar is transmitting.
So finally Fissi is ready to be released.
But after a month of guaranteed food and shelter here,
she's going to take a bit of coaxing to get her out of the compound.
Don't chuck her anything.
OK. Put it back, put it back.
Simon. Come on. Come on.
Show her the meat. Perfect.
Come on. Come on.
Fissi has got too attached to her home,
so there's only one thing for it.
It's going to have to be pulled down.
We're just a trying to tell her that it's time she became
a bit of a big girl, and made a move into the bush.
She knows what we're doing. She's a bit cross we're busting the hut down.
FISSI GROWLS Come on, Fissi.
You can't stay in here forever.
That's been her little place, her little place of safety, security,
for the weeks that she's been here.
So, I mean, she's defending that, which is great.
All her instincts, all her inherited knowledge are there.
So I'm not worried about how she's going to cope.
She'll be fine. I think we're going to have to leave her.
Simon, I'm sure, will get her out later.
OK, Simon. All yours, man.
With Fissi standing her ground, Fitz leaves it to Simon to tempt her out of her compound.
We'll find out later on if this hyena wants to be released at all.
Back in the butterfly house I'm here with Derek,
and earlier we set up a collection of butterfly cocktails.
And, Derek, it seems to have worked a treat.
We've got all sorts of customers in there.
Although I do notice that the cocktail made of poo has been roundly ignored.
I think that that's an acquired taste!
So what have we got on the salt solution there?
We've got our salt solution there.
Idea leuconoet, the tree nymph from Malaysia.
And up here with the fruit pulp?
That's one that we're breeding quite well here.
Breeds on bamboo.
-Oh, OK. And where would you find that in the wild?
-That's South America.
South America. Looks like we've got a similar one on the maple syrup.
Yes. That's the same one again.
Yes. That one down on the sugar solution down there is stunning.
That's Greta oto.
The common name is clearwing, or glasswing.
As you look at it, it's like a cathedral window.
It really is, and it's stunning.
What's astonishing about this is how still they are
when they're feeding. They're not jittery.
It's a serious subject, isn't it, Kate?
-When we're out eating it's, you know, it's business.
-So they're not going to be deterred by anything?
Well, a huge success, but I can't help but mention, Derek,
that you have got the largest moth I think I've ever seen hanging
right in front of your nose. But not keen to come down and feed.
No, no. They have enough goodness in their body for their lifetime.
-So they don't feed.
-What sort of moth is it?
-Can I turn it round to have a look at it?
That is absolutely stunning.
You see, there again, that's got clear...
patches in its wings. That makes him more fearsome.
If there's a predator coming to it and they can see through it, it gives it a more fierce appearance,
-and it confuses the predator, so it gives them time to escape.
-It's absolutely gorgeous.
Derek, I'm so pleased that my cocktail mixing it worked out, and thank you very much indeed.
Enjoy your drinks, ladies.
Up in Wolf Wood, everyone is waiting anxiously for the birth of a new litter of pups.
Frieda, the alpha female, is due very soon and keepers Bob and Craig
are watching her closely for any tell-tale signs.
Frieda's actual behaviour today is like really erratic.
She's the running around a lot, whimpering, lying down, up again.
And she's been seen urinating a lot, so these are signs of imminent over the next day or so.
In previous years, Frieda's given birth out in the wood, but Craig and Bob want her to use the house,
where she and her pups would be safe and dry.
Now Frieda's started to bring sticks in to make a nest.
It's an encouraging sign.
Last year especially she wasn't too bothered about going into the house, but know I've seen her in there more
this year than ever before, and the fact that she's making all,
all the right noises. She's very, very restless at this moment in time.
If I was a gambling man, I would put money on the fact that she's going to give birth tonight.
If not so tonight, tomorrow morning, and hopefully indoors.
First thing the next morning, Bob heads straight up to Wolf Wood to see if his hunch was correct.
What we'll do is a we'll check the section first and if we can't find her out here
then we'll have to go down to the house and see if she's there.
Just have a quick head count.
If you can look over there by that oak tree, Frieda is laid there, curled up.
I just... Oh, yeah. Look, look, look. There's a pup.
She's had pups.
She's had them not in the place we would've loved her to have them, but she's had some.
I think it was pretty imminent she was gonna have them by all the signs yesterday,
so obviously, during the night time, she's decided to give birth outside.
She's virtually done what she done last year and instead of going into the house, she's actually just
dug a little shallow near a tree, and that is one of the trees that has been her den site in the past.
She's getting up.
Ooh, there's probably about three or four there.
One, two... She's just re-arranging herself.
She won't stand on them.
The first few hours and days are critical for wolf pups.
They're born blind and don't even open their eyes until they're about two-weeks-old.
This makes them incredibly vulnerable,
and in the wild, around half don't survive.
Here at Longleat, although they're not in danger
from predators or lack of food, this is still a nervous time.
The way there she is, I wouldn't have thought that she's finished giving birth yet.
So possibly, there's more to come.
I suppose it is a little bit worrying, because this isn't the best of weathers.
It rained last night and I think the forecast is that it's going to rain again today.
This is a very tense time, obviously, for the pack.
But it's also a time when we can see just how tight knit
the relationships are within the wolf pack.
She's got a helper alongside her.
That is Two Tips, who's the father.
He's obviously going to be staying near her.
You can't mess with nature.
If she feel safe about here
with fellow pack members around here,
then she obviously has chosen this as her place.
The fact that they do look lively is a bonus.
With the pups just hours or even minutes old,
we mustn't disturb Frieda by trying to get a closer look.
We'll just have to be patient and come back another day
to find out how many pups she has, and if they all survive.
Earlier in the series, deputy head warden Ian Turner masterminded a plan
to put one of the six million trees from the Longleat Estate into Monkey Jungle,
to make its residents a new and exciting feeding station.
Things didn't go exactly to plan and the whole operation took over 36 hours
just to move the massive trunks into position.
Ben and I have joined Ian to put them to good use.
-So what have we got here?
-We've made some special cakes for the monkeys.
It's got all the normal stuff what the monkeys eat - banana, peanut and apples.
What we need to do is shove it into this Corsican pine tree we've made for them specially.
We've drilled loads of holes in, but the trouble is we need to do it quick because the monkeys...
It's not the greatest day weather wise, but we need to scoop this out and shove it in there.
-Would it be fair to describe this as a monkey trifle?
-It looks very good.
I've got one here. God, it does look good.
So they will come a racing over to this.
Has the tree gone down well with the monkeys? Have they enjoyed it?
Really well. Yeah, yeah. And the reason why we're doing this is is instead of just putting food down,
they've got all these perches where they can sit on and pick the food out.
If you look behind you, you've got one coming over straightaway.
And they don't like this weather.
So it is very much a case of racing against time, or racing against monkeys.
-Don't take them from my tray yet!
We may even need to speed up, cos they'll be right here.
What is attracting them? Are they curious because we're around here,
or would they be able to actually smell this food from a distance?
They'll be able to smell this food and they know somebody's made them.
-And that's quite a nice one. Look.
-Look at that. That's brilliant.
-Squash right in.
-I'm worried they'll blow away.
Is the point that they'll spend hours and basically busy themselves when normally they'd just eat?
Normally, they shove everything in their pouches. So they've got great big stores.
Then if anyone comes over, a dominant male or some other,
they can run off and eat at leisure.
Well, Ian, should we just pull back now and let them come in and watch them feed?
-On this tree, yeah.
-Yes. OK, let's just pull back and away.
And, yeah, in moments, we've got the first one coming in, although, rather lazily,
picking stuff up off the ground there.
MUSIC: "Girls and Boys" by Blur
You're constantly coming up with ideas for them.
Do they really need it, because it's a huge enclosure with lots of natural trees
for them to climb and places for them to hide?
Why is it so important to keep coming up with new stuff?
They probably wouldn't need new stuff, because, as you say, it's like being in the wild.
But literally just to keep them, cos they've got all the young ones,
it's always good to keep their mind active.
And have new stuff all the time. And this tree has gone down a treat.
It has got little perches and stuff. You can see,
instead of shoving all that in one, he's picking all the peanuts out.
-Oh, yes, he is!
-It must be incredibly satisfying to see them working away like this?
-Yeah. Normally, they'd take five minutes to eat and this hopefully will take a few hours.
Well, we shall get down to putting this in the rest of the tree.
But, Ian, thank you very much and congratulations on a real success.
-You'll have some very happy monkeys this year.
-Thank you very much.
Earlier on, in the Mkomazi game reserve,
Fitz and Longleat's Michele Stevens had trouble coaxing Fissi,
the orphaned striped hyena, out of the compound and back into the wild.
A few hours later, and Fitz and Michelle are keen to see if keeper Simon has had any more luck.
THEY SPEAK IN DIALECT
She came out. She just carried on adding sticks
to where her little place was and she just went in
and just bolted out, veered right and went through the fence at the back into
the main part of the sanctuary and she's gone off into the bush there.
-So we've got the machine here. We know her collar is working. Let's look for her.
Fitz has fitted Fissi with a radio transmitting collar so that he can track her progress in the wild.
It doesn't take him long to pick up a signal.
The strength and frequency of the beeps tells Fitz which direction to look in.
-I can see something there. I don't know if that's her.
-I saw her.
-Here we are, Fissi.
-Thought I could see something.
-Yeah. No, well done.
Apart from a bloody nose, Fissi seems in perfect health.
And has found a new, comfortable home.
She's found a beautiful sandy place beneath the rocky outcrop,
protected from rain and shade
and just a classic place for a striped hyena to lie.
-I mean, couldn't be better than that, Simon.
She has every chance now to become a real hyena.
-How do you think she will find hunting, cos she's never done it before?
-No, she hasn't.
But I don't think she'll bother.
I mean, they scavenge and they're very careful. They eat very small crustaceans and ants.
-They're not fussy at all.
-Maybe even lizards.
-Will you feed her initially just a little bit?
Of course. Of course.
If she sort of heads back, she will get fed.
And, after a couple of days, if she hasn't headed back,
we'll look for her and give her something if she needs it.
Make sure she's well and she's coping OK.
So, Fissi's release has been a success.
I hope that she, you know, just continues to explore the environment.
I hope she meets up with other striped hyena.
Maybe in the long-term, have a family of her own.
You know, she's got her life ahead of her now.
She is a young hyena. She's got everything to look forward to.
Being involved in the tagging and release of an orphaned animal
has been an amazing chance for Michelle to learn about conservation first hand.
This has been a really excellent experience for me.
Not many people get hands-on experience doing this and it's a really positive thing to do.
I mean, it is conservation at its best.
You always want animals to be where they naturally should be.
And it's been achieved today and it's really brilliant. It's great. Really good feeling.
For many centuries, there were herds of deer living in the parkland around Longleat.
In recent times, all sorts of other animals have moved in, But the deer are still here.
Kate and I have joined head of section Tim out in the deer paddock here
with some of these magnificent looking fallows.
They're looking in such good form, Tim, with their antlers, their coats are looking radiant.
That's right, Ben. This really is fallow peak condition time now, it really is.
They will start very shortly to thicken their necks.
They will put a lot of weight into the neck in preparation for the rut,
which comes in the autumn, about September or October.
So, yes. Because this is quite an unusual sight, really.
To see males in full antler, but actually quite peaceful and not fighting.
Presumably that all changes once those testosterone levels come up and they start thinking about the girls.
Exactly, Kate. You've got it, certainly, yes.
Quite. As soon as they start to clean their antlers,
there will be a lot of bickering going on
and they will not tolerate this sort of close company here.
And what happens? Tell us about what goes on during the rut.
Bucks very close to each other will have rutting stands dotted around.
They will display and they will fight off.
-Like their own little territories?
-Just like you.
-Just like me, I was gonna say.
And they will be fighting for females?
-They'll be trying to attract females over to them?
-Exactly. They're strutting around.
You know, they've already fought in some cases.
Some cases, just the mere sort of presence of them is enough to intimidate a younger animal.
But they will attract the does and the does will decide who they go to.
They've got the pick of an enormous number of bucks.
They'll walk up to...
I challenge you, Tim, to a rut over Kate.
LAUGHTER Yes, I think the two of you should take a stand!
Tim, thank you very much indeed. ..Sadly, that's all we've got time for today.
But here's what's coming up on the next Animal Park.
There's a hair-raising experience lined up for one young keeper
who has to give three large llamas a short back and sides.
He may be Lord of the Manor, but which are
the current Marquess of Bath's favourite corners of the estate?
And the whole park is holding its breath
as Longleat's oldest tiger has to go under anaesthetic.
Join us for the next Animal Park.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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