Browse content similar to Episode 2. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
They can race at up to 30 miles an hour, and their razor-sharp tusks
can shred anything or anyone they don't like to pieces.
Yes, Vlad, Genghis and Attila are new to Longleat
and the keepers are hoping they're going to make a good impression.
The warthogs have arrived on Animal Park.
Coming up on today's Animal Park -
the wild new warthogs take the safari park by storm,
shaking the nerves of even the most experienced keepers.
They're pretty aggressive. I don't want one of these guys to get hold of me, they're scary!
I'll be helping to put up new toys for the lions to prove they're just big pussycats.
And dramatic developments on Gorilla Island.
In fact, it's the end of an era.
Just a few months ago, three brothers arrived at Longleat
to begin a reign of terror in the East Africa reserve.
Their names - Vlad the Impaler,
Attila the Hun,
and Genghis Khan.
# What's that coming over the hill
# Is it a monster?
# Is it a monster? #
They're warthogs, the first ones they've ever had here.
The keeper in charge of them is Andy Hayton and he's still getting to know the brothers.
Already, he's found their names are not completely silly.
When we got hold of them we did think, "Oh, yes.
"Pigs with big teeth", kind of thing.
We weren't quite that blase, we knew they were aggressive, we had read up on them.
We've learned very, very quickly that these guys go from flat calm
to absolutely freaking and running around at a thousand miles an hour in the bat of an eye.
And full speed is flying.
They can be three or four feet off the ground. Pigs can't jump.
Well, these guys can.
You don't get any warning when they're going to get frightened
or they're going to start kicking off and running around. So you do have to treat them with kid gloves.
But they are pretty aggressive as well, pretty scary when they start.
When one of these guys hit you, it'd be like being hit by a steamroller at 40 miles an hour.
I really do not want one of these guys to get hold of me, they're scary!
For now, Vlad, Attila and Genghis are being kept in a paddock by themselves
until Andy can assess just how wild and dangerous they really are.
We haven't got anything else at Longleat like them.
You say "warthog" to somebody, they know exactly what you mean.
You know, they're characters. And these three boys are something else.
When you go and check them in the morning, and they all come over the the hill,
and they're all stood in a line, looking at you.
There's stuff going on inside their heads. And they're so kind of ugly that they're cute.
In Africa, where they come from, warthogs are omnivorous.
You name it, they'll eat it.
In turn, they're a favourite foodstuff for lions.
And, because of that, warthogs have evolved an unusual posture for grazing.
They've got pads, thick pads on their knees.
So they'll graze down on their knees. Plus if they were to bow their heads down a lot to eat,
predators would be able to take a shot at them a lot easier.
But as they they keep their head up, their vision's a lot better.
-Come on, boys.
-The three brothers were about a year old when they came here from Colchester Zoo.
Keeper Ryan Hockley has noticed they've calmed down a lot since they first arrived.
I think they're getting there. Much better than they were to start with.
But it's just been a matter of them settling into their area, and just giving them time to settle down.
I don't think there'll ever be any sort of physical contact.
We'll never be petting them or anything like that, I don't think.
They have their little squabbles in the day.
But, like I say, it's pretty good-natured.
But, at the end of the day, they're definitely a trio.
Ryan and Andy are still getting to know the terrible trio.
Later on, we'll join them to find out what Vlad, Attila and Genghis get up to when no one's looking.
These may be ferocious killers, who'd as soon rip your throat out
as look at you, but the lions also like nothing more than a good play.
So last year we helped put up some giant cat toys.
And it was fantastic to see how much they enjoyed the apparatus.
it didn't take the lions long to tear the lot to shreds.
Though the toys may have lasted longer if only they'd been a bit bigger.
Over there are some very keen lions.
I'm out in the lion enclosure, with a very unusual toy, and I've come to catch up with keeper Bob Trollope.
-A lion toy?
Mark 2, because we have done this before, haven't we? In years past.
Yes, we have. And they absolutely love this sort of stimulation.
We've got a few new designs, as you can see.
Presumably, this is a swing.
Based on a swingy-type thing, with, obviously, added extras.
-You wouldn't find that in your normal playground.
-No! And I've noticed the rope here is really solid.
That is a thick rope, isn't it?
Yeah, this is thicker than we have used in the past.
Several reasons for that, because lions have got sharp teeth and they do tend to eat it.
OK. So where are we going to put this enormous ball?
We're going to hang it round this log over here,
so that it can swing and they can dangle on it, pull it about.
This is basically, genuinely, to keep them busy and occupied.
It's not just for show, is it?
No. They've got each other to play with, obviously.
But we do try to stimulate them with other things.
The toys are something that we can...
We've got Craig up there, helping us out. Morning, Craig.
Just pass that up and over.
I think we're going to have to wrap this round a few times.
-Shall we pop that through there?
-And pull that back, tight.
Then if we let that down and tighten that around.
So, just remind me which pride this is, in here.
This is Kabir's pride.
-One of the reasons why we do it in this pride is cos there's a lot of youngsters.
They do, if we go over that way...
We're gonna have to send this over now. Craig, if you can get that.
We're going to have to send it round a few times, until we get it to the right sort of height.
So this is Kabir's pride.
Of course, there's some youngsters in with them now, who last year could barely even reach.
They were too small last year to play with some of the toys that we had.
-So, this is going to be really new to them.
They played with the remains.
Because lions, as we know, are...
-Now, let's just see.
-Will that swing?
I reckon they can do a lot with that.
Cos if we go up any higher, it's going to be too close to it.
-I think that's going to be a pretty good level.
-That's just right.
Do you think it's going to be those youngsters that are going to come out here first of all and jump on it?
Cos walking in, they were all looking at me from behind the...
They're keen to get out here. You can see them there. Youngsters will definitely play with this.
I'd like to think Kabir'll come over and investigate.
-But whether he plays with it or not...
-OK. Shall we get in?
And join us later in the programme,
when we'll find out find out what Kabir's pride make of their new toys.
OK, take her away, Craig.
Over on Gorilla Island, Longleat's two residents are getting old.
In fact, at 46, they're among the very oldest gorillas in Britain.
Keeper Mark Tye has been looking after Nico, the male, and Samba, the female, for 18 years now.
So, to him, they're very special.
But then gorillas are special. After all, our DNA is about 98% the same.
Perhaps that's why, like all the great apes,
gorillas are capable of emotions that we think of as uniquely human.
Emotions such as grief.
Nico and Samba certainly have lots of character, as Mark knows well.
I'd say Samba's personality is very calm. Very sort of laid-back.
She doesn't get too stressed about anything, she's quite nice.
Nico's almost quite the opposite.
Very bolshy, very stroppy.
I've got older, they've got older and we kind of all know where we stand and how we are.
If we're in good or bad moods, I think we all kind of accept how it is.
But, of course, getting old brings other problems.
Nico has been dogged by poor health for some time.
But last winter, it was Samba who felt dangerously ill.
The vet came straight over to Gorilla Island, along with deputy head warden Ian Turner.
He's diagnosed she's got cold-cum-flu symptoms.
Which obviously wouldn't be too bad, but with a 45 year-old gorilla,
in Sam's case, it could be quite serious.
One of the main hiccups with Sam is she doesn't like taking medication.
It's the age thing. You look at 45 years of age, on a gorilla,
you're talking of a real senior citizen. 80-plus on a human being.
And if a senior citizen gets a cold, it always takes them down more.
The good thing about them is we just keep them in.
They're not one of those animals what get really stressy, being kept inside.
It's easy to think that a cold or flu isn't really that serious.
But the vet, Duncan Williams, was very concerned.
The danger with illnesses like that is that if they don't eat
and drink properly, they're in danger of becoming dehydrated.
And that can often be pretty serious.
Possibly even fatal, if it goes on for too long.
Samba spent the next week in her warm bed,
tucked up in front of the TV, dosed up on medicine and plenty of her favourite treats.
So, when the vet returned, he found a different Samba.
-All right, babe?
She doesn't look too bad, does she?
She's looking all right. Definitely stop the antibiotics and just treat her as normal.
-God, look at her. She hasn't got many teeth left, has she?
You've heard of the expression "long in the tooth". That's what she is.
She's took all this medication, hasn't she, really well.
-Unusual for her, isn't it?
That was the worry, that we couldn't get the medication into her.
And she's been really good, haven't you?
Maybe you realised it was going to do you good for a change.
It took Samba a long time to recover - the rest of the winter and well into the spring.
But when the good weather came, she did venture out with Nico to enjoy the pleasures of Gorilla Island.
Then, as summer turned to autumn and winter followed on, Samba's health once more began to fail.
In the wild, gorillas rarely reach even their 30th birthday.
So, at 46, what happened next should have been no surprise.
Once again, it started like a cold or a touch of the flu.
But this time, there was no stopping it.
Then, almost without warning, Samba just faded away and died in the night.
It was two days before Mark Tye was ready to talk about it.
We've lost Samba.
very sad time for all of us,
And myself, I've... I don't know, I wouldn't say conditioned myself to,
but I kind of always knew it was going to happen at some point.
But that's not made it
It's been 18 years of my life, working with the pair of them.
And it's like having... I suppose it's like having one arm taken off.
You know? She went downhill very, very quickly.
And... She's been great to us all those years
and she was great to us at the end by not...
giving us a decision to make.
That was something I didn't want to have to do.
In a way, she went the way I wanted her to go,
which was curled up in bed and just gone.
It was tough. And it was tough taking her off the island.
It's hard work.
Coming to work becomes hard work.
But we've still got Nico about.
And, for him, we've got to be strong.
You can tell he's upset.
He's very funny with us.
I think he thinks we've done something to her.
And he cries a bit for her and he's constantly looking.
He's always looking in the places where she was,
like the large bamboo bush at the end of the island, and things like that.
It's tough for us all to deal with.
Poor Nico. One of the oldest gorillas in Britain and now he's all alone.
We'll be back later to see how he copes with his loneliness and his grief.
Just four years ago, three young white rhinos began a long journey
across the world - their first steps towards a new life at Longleat.
Deputy Head Warden Ian Turner travelled all the way to South Africa to collect the youngsters.
And it was an amazing moment when he first set eyes on them.
Absolutely gorgeous. Really, really good. This is a big step for us and it's really exciting.
The youngsters were brought to the park as part of a breeding programme
and the hope was that, in time,
they'd start a whole new family of their own, alongside old veteran 38 year-old Winston.
Today, I'm heading up to meet Ian to see just how they're all getting on.
Ian, you must always be so thrilled when you see these three rhino
that you saw out in Africa, settled so well in Wiltshire?
They've changed so much, in three years.
The male's turned into a proper male.
And the females, you can see them in the background.
-They're looking like proper rhinos now.
-So, just remind me who is who.
You've got the male,
-Njanu, Rozina and Marashi.
-And they're obviously quite feisty.
I can hear the tractor putting in the background, keeping an eye on them.
-They're sort of coming of age now, really?
-Coming of age, yeah.
They've had a few little throws about when they get a bit excited.
Which is why the tractor's here, just in case. You can see they're quite happy there, just eating away.
Have you been able to establish real characteristics for each of the rhino?
Yeah, you've got one female who's more bossy than the other female.
She pushes in and gets in the way.
And what about the male?
The male's quite funny, really. He's quite a bit of a lad.
A few years ago he was a bit soft.
Now he's filling out and he looks like a male rhino.
-He's just completely thickening out.
-So, three years on from bringing them here,
have you got big plans ahead?
Or are you happy with how everything's going now?
The whole idea was for breeding. That was the reason we brought them here.
And this is the year we're expecting this to happen.
So this is a really exciting year for us.
So, we could, in the future, be hearing the... I can't use the word pitter-patter!
The thump-thump of tiny rhino hooves?
In a year and a half's time, hopefully we'll hear the patter of very large feet, yes.
Ian, thank you very much. It's so good to see them thriving here in England.
When Vlad the Impaler, Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan arrived a couple of months ago,
it was the first time they'd ever had warthogs at Longleat.
To start with, the three brothers charged around like monsters.
But they've calmed down a bit.
Andy Hayton and the other keepers are still getting to know them.
Now he wants to find out what they get up to when no one's looking -
after dark, in the warthog house.
Can you turn that infra-red lamp on, mate?
This is the small camera, that's wired up to a hard drive, infra-red camera.
So we should hopefully be able to see when they come in. How many come in, where they lie down.
The more we learn about the animals we look after, hopefully the better we can do for them.
Some mornings you come in and this place is absolutely trashed.
So I think there are few parties now and again. Must be.
In the wild, warthogs sleep in burrows.
Usually it's one they've taken over from whoever actually dug it.
Often, some poor aardvark.
But for Vlad, Attila and Genghis, does sundown mean party time?
Early next morning, the brothers are back outside in their paddock
as usual, while Andy and keeper Ryan Hockley rendezvous at the house
to see what the spy camera's recorded.
There's only one at the moment.
But I think this was about 10 o'clock.
We put their food in the pen next door, so they may have come in and eaten.
This is just when they're coming in and almost settling down for the night, maybe.
You can tell in the morning, if the bed's been laid in or not.
Because they normally, I believe we've heard they actually huddle together to keep warm.
Spinning on an hour, it looks like bedtime.
Nice to see all three of them in there, though.
Nobody gets pushed out or anything.
They're settling down now. They'll actually huddle together like this
to keep warm. They find it quite hard to regulate their body temperature.
That's why you'll see this. But there is only two here,
unless the other one is actually tucked right down in the corner, or they're laid on top of him.
I don't know where he is. Possibly one of them is out there, staying awake, standing guard.
Exactly. Like a sentry, almost.
Lots of animals will do it. One will stay awake,
watching the rest of the group sleep.
Maybe these guys do it too.
It's always fascinating, really, to see your animals at night.
Things you've worked with for donkey's years during the day,
it may seem completely different at night. It's a very strange thing.
It's hard to put your finger on it. But it's quite weird.
They look quite cute when they're asleep.
Like most things.
I wouldn't like to go and wake them up quick, mind!
With Vlad, Attila and Genghis looking so peaceful,
you almost wonder if they got the names wrong.
How about Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail?
Or maybe not.
There's a common rose, an Indian leaf and a small owl.
But these aren't things found in Longleat's Gardens.
They're the residents of the butterfly house, where over 15 species
compete for the most unusual names and the most beautiful wingspan.
But this is also home to some other creatures.
And I'm off to meet the biggest of its kind in the world.
I've snuck away to the butterfly house
to, meet up with Derek Longway and this absolutely stunning insect.
But not a butterfly?
No, this is an Atlas moth.
It's quite glorious.
A female Atlas moth.
A female? How can you tell?
On the reverse, she's just starting to lay a few eggs.
-Wow, look at that.
-Little pink eggs.
Have I disturbed her by taking her off the tree? Where would she normally lay these?
No, not at all.
She'll be hatching a series of eggs all day long.
-No, many of them are surplus eggs.
They lay vast quantities.
Her wingspan, I'm not sure whether I can...
Well, my hand can't stretch.
How about yours? You've got bigger hands than me. What do you think?
That's a nine or 10 inch span.
Wow. That's astonishing.
And what would this moth eat?
Is it preying on things?
No, no. They emerge from the cocoons
with enough goodness in their body for their lifetime.
So they don't actually eat, as such.
-So an adult Atlas moth will never eat?
-It never eats.
That's extraordinary. And how long is the lifetime? I hate to say it.
It's probably not very long, is it?
Probably a couple of weeks.
It seems extraordinary to go to all that effort, laying eggs,
the caterpillars and then the chrysalis
and then to create this magnificent insect,
only for it to be around for two weeks.
It's a short life, but a very sweet one.
It is. Derek, thank you very, very much indeed.
And we've got lots more coming up on today's programme.
Trevor the ostrich gets in an almighty flap when someone invades his patch.
And the latest food fad from the Far East?
No, it's a fiendish plot to make the otters work harder.
let's go back to Gorilla Island, where the mood is still sombre.
A few days ago, after a short illness, Samba passed away in the night.
Mark Tye has spent the last 18 years of his life looking after Samba and her partner Nico.
Now, it's hard for him to come to terms with the loss.
Tough. It's tough to deal with.
Sometimes you think,
"OK, I've had my cry and I've got to get on with it."
Then all of a sudden, something will happen and make you think about it some more.
You know, particularly if you see Nico being a little bit upset about it.
That's hard to deal with.
we're all trying to be there for each other and prop each other up.
Like with everything in life, we will get over it.
But, at the moment, it's still quite raw.
On Gorilla Island, the memories are everywhere.
Samba was just the nice one.
She never had that nasty streak that she wanted to hurt people.
With Nico, it was always like, "Can I get one over on you?"
With her, it was always different.
She was always very nice and always very welcoming.
I think she was with a lot of people.
Mark isn't the only one who's been remembering the good times.
Before he was deputy head warden, Ian Turner looked after the gorillas.
My abiding memory of Samba is a loving tomgirl.
She's not as affectionate as Nico is,
because he'll come over and chat to you, and she wouldn't.
But she was gentle, and she was a character.
So it was quite heartbreaking, when she went.
You still sometimes go there and expect to see her.
Open the door and expect to see her run in.
It's really strange, that feeling.
Living on an island in the lake,
the only way for visitors to see the gorillas was to take the boat trip.
Bill Lord has been conducting the tours for over 10 years.
If you can call her a friend, she was a friend. She was always out there
when we wanted her, and that was the good news.
You could go out there and you knew if the hippos were hiding,
the sea lions had gone for a walkabout, the gorillas were there.
And she was always there for us, yeah.
Of course, we're going to miss her enormously.
Darren Beasley did a long stint on the boats before he became head of Pets Corner.
I think my favourite, overriding memory of Samba
is one day we were out on a boat,
and the boat decided that it wasn't going to make it completely all the way round the journey.
Just one of those mechanical things. No panic, but we were drifting towards the island.
And all my commentary was saying gorillas are peaceful, gentle animals.
And I was thinking, "I hope to goodness they really are. We're about to hit the island."
And she came running out, acting all tough.
Picked up a dirty great huge clod of soil, and threw it in the air
as if to say, "Stand back from my island!"
We sort of bounced off the island and carried on drifting round.
And I thought to myself, "If all wars could be solved like that..."
But the one who knew Samba the best is, of course, Nico.
After all, they spent their entire lives together.
The whole idea of getting the gorillas in the first place, with a male and female, was to have babies.
And Nico and Samba were got over here as a breeding pair, as it was.
But, to everyone's disappointment, there never were any babies.
What we think happened was they'd literally just grown up as brother and sister.
And just got so used to knowing each other that
that side of it didn't enter his head.
But now she's gone, how does Nico feel?
Do gorillas really feel grief like us?
We can't make any bones about it, he's upset.
When you've worked with an animal that long, they don't have to do much different to know they're not happy.
And you can just tell by his face, his facial expressions.
And reactions like that, to be honest,
that make you know he's upset.
And sometimes his eyes look through you.
Nico is very old. In human years, he would be well into his 90s.
So the question is, after a blow like this, will he ever recover?
We'll find out later on.
Earlier on, I helped keeper Bob Trollope put out some cat toys for the lions.
And now it's time to release them.
So, Bob, we've got all of the rope out there.
It's all looking pretty good.
So, are we ready to let the lions out?
Yeah, I'll just give Craig a shout.
Can you let them out, Craig, please?
-Any idea which...?
-Here they come.
-Oh, here they come!
I was going to ask which one might come first. So who has come straight in?
That's Jasira. Then you've got the small ones, last year's youngsters.
-So, they like the swing. Look, straight away.
Wow, look at the power of that.
So, they're not nervous about new things, are they?
No, it's curiosity.
Straight away, one of them gets on the top and starts chewing.
It's almost like it's co-ordinated, that a few have gone up at the top and the rest are down at the bottom.
Using their mouths and claws, are they feeling it or playing with it still?
That's everything that they would use if that was a prey animal.
-Here they go, for the middle one.
So, who's that playing there?
That is Jasira again. She seems to be the one that investigates them first.
Look at those teeth going into it, and the claws.
They haven't spotted the ball, which is my personal favourite.
As soon as they do...
A lot of them want to go up the top and play.
Is that partly because there's smell from us, when we were actually putting them up?
Yeah, we've been clambering all over the top of it.
It's such a fantastic sight, just seeing them all playing like household cats.
Obviously, that's the big debate.
How long are these realistically going to last?
What do you think will be the first thing to give way?
Probably that one that Jazzy's playing on.
So, Luna's going over to test out...
-Ooh, it's moving!
-Not really quite sure what to make of that.
-She might need a bit of back-up.
I was going to say, all the others are busy with the swing.
Look, look, look! That's so cool.
That is so cool!
Now, we've got a bit more confidence with the ball over there, with Luna.
Although she still would still like some back up, perhaps.
I think as soon as they realise there's another toy, then they'll go and play with that as well.
-They get hours of enjoyment.
-It's almost as if they're trying to take them down.
On the top of the tree stump, they're tearing at the rope that we tied around the top.
They obviously remember from last time that, "If I chew this, that falls off,
-"then we can run around with it."
-They loved running around with the rope, didn't they?
That isn't a worry for you because it's all safe, it's biodegradable.
That will break down and any little bits that are left on the ground will rot.
Fantastic. Bob, thank you for letting me help you.
I think we have some very, very contented lions.
Up in the East Africa reserve there's a new project under way. Andy Hayton came up
with a great plan to build a water hole for all the animals to enjoy
and he persuaded construction worker John Miles to help out.
But there's one major problem that neither of them anticipated.
He's over 7 ft tall, can run over 40 mph
and at over 100 kilos could trample you to death in seconds.
We know him as Trevor.
Like most ostriches, Trevor would fight to the death to protect his territory,
so when John started invading his patch, it really ruffled his feathers.
And Andy has seen the tensions rise.
Every time John arrives, it's just mayhem.
Trevor can be extremely aggressive. We just ignore him.
John can't possibly ignore Trev when Trev starts.
Trev can spot a John a mile off.
John can be walking along one of the perimeter fences
and Trevor will spot him and run up and try to get him.
Now Trev has fixed his beady eye on John, it's made
his work down at the water hole almost impossible.
Whether it's me or the truck I don't know,
but he certainly didn't like it when we arrived.
When I arrived, actually,
not the other guys. It's only me really.
When he's throwing his wobbly, it can be quite scary.
When you get close to him, he's quite a big bird.
Unfortunately for John, today he has to head into Trevor's territory for a site survey.
Since ostriches have eyeballs measuring a full two inches across
it's no surprise that within seconds Trevor has spotted his prey.
That's his little war dance to warn us off.
We're on his patch.
Don't you kick my truck.
Trev, we can talk about this.
I think it makes us all love Trev a little bit more,
because he really winds John up!
It doesn't take long for Trevor to show just who's lord of this manor.
But with John seen off for another day, will this water hole ever get finished?
That depends on Trevor.
I'm up at pets' corner with keeper Rob and the otter family, who are all looking extremely hungry, Rob.
We've not been starving them. They always look like they're starving.
They like to make people believe they've never been fed before, like my family cat.
We've got Romeo and Rosie right here.
They're the brave ones, they're coming right up.
They aren't too bothered about all the equipment.
They're just looking at our selection here.
I'm going to lift this up, cos it's rather impressive.
It looks like some sort of rather elaborate Japanese dinner.
Yes, I'm sure they don't mind what extravagance we've gone to here.
What we're going to do is put these king prawns into these bamboo tubes
and the idea is because the otters are so excellent at getting things out of holes and gaps,
we're just trying to use their noses and get their paws into here.
The trickier it can be for them to get these out of the middle, the better.
-They can smell it, but can't quite get to it.
-You're making them work for their food.
It's a real treat for them. Yes, to try and make them work for it a bit.
I'm sure they'll desperately go for it. Do you...?
I knew you'd make me do some. Is there a technique to this?
Just stuff it in there. In it goes.
Obviously, otters aren't going to get beautifully presented king prawns in bamboo tubes in the wild.
What does this mimic?
They would eat a lot of shelled food -
crayfish, crabs and also frogs
and all sorts of weird and bizarre stuff.
They aren't particularly big fish eaters.
Some of their food, they prefer shallow, marshy grasses,
logs and rocks where they can get their paws in.
Can I just point out that the prawn is too big?
I'll try stuffing it the other way. Maybe I'll have better luck.
If you want to throw one in to see if they'll catch it.
Straight onto the rocks?
Just see if one will take it. See if Mum or Dad there will catch it.
Not too bad.
There might be a little bit of bickering or they might share it.
-The paw is going straight in there.
-Romeo has given it to Rosie,
and he's gonna try it there...
You can see the paw is in and actually it can make it very tricky.
It'll keep them busy for a long time.
It might take them a while, but they'll find a way of getting it out.
It looks like Rosie has been successful. Romeo's being a bit think.
Let's see if any of the young ones will do this. You see!
It wasn't you. We'll give them an easy one.
We've got a few more interested. I think they've realised that food is coming in,
so let's chuck them a few more and see how they go.
As a family, would they hunt together?
Yes, they basically work as a group.
These otters are one of the few social otters in the world.
Most otters are solitary, but these ones will work as a team.
I've seen programmes with them chasing off crocodiles as a unit.
This croc has a go at them and they're protecting the whole family by working together.
This thing gives up and runs away.
-They always work as a team.
Come on! Come and see these!
I think it's been a huge success.
Certainly for the more experienced otters.
And the young ones would learn from the older ones?
Definitely. They would get the idea eventually and certainly our two oldest children
are getting a lot more brave and a lot more adventurous.
We'll chuck these last two in.
Here you go, guys, enjoy those lovely prawns.
-Rob, thank you very much indeed.
-You're very welcome.
A fascinating view of how dexterous an otter can be. Thank you.
On gorilla island there's now just one inhabitant.
Niko's lifelong companion passed away just a month ago.
The keepers noticed that he was lost without Samba.
They've been trying to fill the gap in his life.
You're a good boy, aren't you?
He, like us, is struggling,
but we're doing what we can.
We're spending more time with him.
They're social creatures.
Without another guerrilla, we're somewhat limited as to what we can do for him,
but giving him our time is what we can do.
Mark has known Niko for 18 years.
But it's been tough even for those who've only been here a couple of years, like keeper Michele Stephens.
You do have to be really strong for him.
He'll react off your behaviour.
If he sees you crying, it might have an effect on him.
So you do have to talk to him in an upbeat manner and just try
not be too stressed around him.
It's really, really difficult.
You definitely have to look forward to the future. He's our priority now.
We've lost Samba, but we still have him and more so now he needs us.
He needs our company, he needs us to give him challenges,
so he does depend on us more now.
Michelle has been doing lots to try to keep Niko busy and occupied with other things.
This is the new enrichment device I've just thought up.
We put the food in and he has to actually use his fingers to manipulate and push it through.
He has to also get up on his hind legs as well.
It's a little bit of a workout for him as well.
Those are the sort of noises we want to hear, those long rumbling noises.
Those are happy noises.
Michelle shares the feeding duties with Mark.
As the days go by, he's noticed a definite improvement.
He's a lot better than he was.
Obviously in the first week
it was pretty horrendous for him and us.
Pretty bad having to listen to him whimpering, because he was crying.
But he's picked himself up and he's now pulled himself back
and he's more like his normal self.
I won't say 100%, but at least 90% his normal self.
And Niko is always pleased to see his old keeper, Ian Turner.
Not least because there's a good chance he'll have a chocolate biscuit on him.
You like stuff like this.
I shouldn't spoil you really.
That's a happy sound.
He's quietened down quite a lot from what he was.
He'd still like to rip the lens off a camera, wouldn't you?
Some kinds of aggressive behaviour are perfectly normal for a silverback male.
That may have been bad news for the camera, but it's good news for Niko,
because it shows he's now getting back to his old self.
And for everyone else Samba may have passed away, but as long as she's
remembered here with affection, she'll never really be gone.
It's been a while since Ben helped put up some brand new toys for the lions
and now we've come back to see if there's anything left of them.
They've done a pretty good job, Craig.
Yes. They did. It took about 10 minutes or so.
-For the little ones to really get their teeth into them.
This is marine rope. Ships ply the world with this and they've shredded it.
-They've just pulled it apart.
-Look at that.
Kate, you didn't necessarily see it in its former glory, it was a swing,
-which they've eaten most of the wood.
Down this way we had a big ball that seems to have totally gone.
-Is this the remains of it?
-That's the remains, yes.
Was there one lion in particular that you think did most of this damage or was it teamwork?
It was mainly teamwork. The little ones mainly.
The older ones didn't pay much attention to it, really.
They just sat in the background.
This has gone as well.
This is the remains of one of the balls.
That is ast...
Joking apart, it's quite funny, but can you imagine if this was you?
It really shows you how powerful they are.
-You can see by the claw marks.
-Look at that!
That's astonishing. This is young lions just playing.
-They're about a year old.
Last year when we put them up we thought we had to build them even
stronger this time, which we did, and no difference at all.
-Next year they're going to be this big!
Craig, thank you very much indeed.
We'll have to think of something new for the lions next year.
Sadly, that's all we've got time for on today's programme.
Here is what's coming up on the next Animal Park.
It's a tense time for everyone as the keepers take a shot at the cubs.
Helping out in the snake house Kate gets three pythons to cuddle. Rather her than me.
And there's a battle brewing in pets' corner.
-I'm so going to be the winner. There's no competition.
-That's complete rubbish.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]