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There hasn't been a new tiger wandering around the safari park here at Longleat for 18 years now.
All that is about to change.
For the past six months, three brand new tigers
have been spending quarantine time in this building over here.
But now their bedding is being destroyed, the quarantine has been lifted and, for the very first time,
these tigers are going to be released into the park - today.
Coming up on today's Animal Park - the tigers try to make friends.
Oh, my gosh!
'Meet Vlad, Attila and Genghis.
'They're hard as nails, but how will they react when Kate heads into their enclosure?'
'And Ben makes an alarming move in the great house.'
I feel really naughty!
It's been six months since the three young tigers arrived at Longleat from a zoo in Alsace, France.
They came to join old favourite 22-year-old Kadu.
But these youngsters have a little more bite.
Although they're sisters from the same litter, they have very different personalities.
While the one named Soundari is a real pussycat,
Svetli and Shouri are fierce as anything and as wild as can be.
Because the girls came from abroad,
they have been kept in quarantine since arriving.
Finally their time in isolation is up.
In just a few hours, they will be let loose into the safari park.
So, at long last, we have been given permission to visit them.
It's a very exciting day for Kate and I,
cos we have come up to the tiger house to meet Longleat's three new resident tigers.
Keepers Bob and Brian are on hand.
Wow! Look at these! Who's this, Bob?
This is Soundari. Very impressive. Welcome, Soundari!
I can't believe that you are putting your hand right up against the bars.
She's like, dare I say it, a younger Kadu.
Very, very much so. She obviously trusts us.
I'm not stupid enough to put my finger in. As you can see!
There are various opportunities obviously she would take.
She's a darling, isn't she? Absolutely gorgeous. So where is Kadu? She's out.
Is she? Brian, can we go and check up on Kadu?
I'll come back and get a sneak preview of these later.
She's very impressive. An absolute darling, isn't she?
Come on, girl!
Come and see us. Here she is, Brian.
Looking, well, a little bit raggedy around the edges
compared to those other three, but she's looking OK.
She's doing well, considering her age. She's 22 this year.
That's remarkable, isn't it?
It's old for a tiger.
When the other three came in, how did she react?
She was a bit surprised at first.
Who were these new tigers?
But straightaway, as soon as they came up near her in the cage,
they were fine with each other, talking and everything.
She's out here on her own.
She's had problems with arthritis in recent years,
so she's obviously not as mobile as those three youngsters.
Is it too much of a risk to mix her with young, feisty cats?
I have been racking my brain about that, thinking about it for ages.
Do we risk it or do we just leave her as she is where she can see them anyway?
Because of her age, she hasn't got a lot of weight on her or muscle,
and we're talking three young tigers.
They could probably do a lot of damage if they jumped on her.
And it's not something you could easily go in and break up.
You can't pick them up by the scruff of the neck and separate them!
That's the thing. She looks fantastic.
It is just great that she is going to live out her days here,
where she has been so happy and spoilt rotten by you and Bob.
My wife tells me too much!
I spend more time here than with her!
She's worth it. Aren't you?
So Kadu's companions in her latter years will be her adoring keepers.
But back inside, the three new tigers
aren't so keen on making friends with us.
Who have we got in here? This is Shouri.
This is Shouri.
Hey, hey, hey! Wow!
She is probably the angriest one out of the three. Right.
Then we've got Svetli. They are magnificent.
How are you getting on in terms of bonding with them? Really well.
There have been a few days when we were able to feed all of them off a stick.
You know how we do with the chunks of meat?
That was fine, bearing in mind that
they probably didn't have a lot of human contact where they were before.
Coming in from France, there is a language barrier as well.
I can't speak French and they probably don't understand English.
Can we just go and see...? ROAR
See what I mean? She's quite feisty!
Oh, my gosh.
That is amazing. That certainly keeps you on your guard, doesn't it?
It is very nice to have that because for the past 18 years
we've been very used to Kadu and Sona and Shandi.
They weren't like that. Having youngsters that you know will,
given the first opportunity, kill you, keeps you on the edge a bit!
We'll be back later to see just what happens
when these ferocious youngsters
are let loose in the park for the very first time.
Tapirs have lived in the rainforests of South America for the last 20 million years.
But, as their habitat disappears, they're facing the danger of extinction.
That's why the park's breeding programme is so important, and so far it has been a success.
Supermum Jessie has already given birth to five babies,
and there's fabulous news as, once again, she's expecting.
Keeper Bev Evans is giving her a little extra TLC.
Jessie is quite heavily pregnant at the moment and getting hormonal.
Gomez was her fifth and her sixth is due very, very soon.
Apart from Gomez, Jessie's previous offspring have been sent to zoos
and parks across Europe to help the international breeding programme.
And Bev hopes Jessie keeps up the good work.
I think six babies at her time of life -
she's just turned ten - is pretty good.
She could carry on till she's 15, maybe even 20 years old. It depends.
But the pairing that Jethro and Jessie have is a perfect pairing.
They get on really well. He's very quiet, she's quite bolshy,
and it works.
The gestation period for a baby tapir is 13 months,
which is one of the longest in the animal kingdom.
At the moment, we're just really waiting for her to give birth.
The only things we tend to do prior to the birth is keep an eye on her,
what food she takes.
We don't want her to take on too much food and put on too much weight,
for herself or the baby.
But also we are going to start setting up a birthing pen,
where we'll separate her from the two boys at night
so when she does give birth, it's just her and the baby
and no outside influences.
She tends to tell us when she's going into labour. She's incredibly vocal.
She runs around the paddock and won't settle.
You let her in the house and the birthing pen. She won't settle.
She paces in and out.
You kind of know she is going to do it and then you just wait
and come in in the morning and there it is, the baby running around.
She's a bit of a natural. She just pops them out.
With the birthing pen set up, Jessie is let indoors for some peace and quiet.
Since she could give birth any moment now,
dad Jethro and her son Gomez are left waiting nervously outside.
But can Jessie manage another problem-free birth?
We'll be back later to find out.
The keepers at the giraffery look after, well, giraffes -
amongst other things - and are able to get pretty close to most of their animals.
That was, of course, until these three boys arrived at the park.
African warthogs are seriously tough.
A combination of solid muscle,
tusks that can grow as long and as pointy as a carving knife,
and a top speed of 30 mph.
But the most dangerous thing is that they're practically blind.
The slightest noise could spook them so the keepers rarely head into their enclosure,
but occasionally it must be done, and even more occasionally,
with a strimmer running on a two-stroke engine.
I am up in the warthog enclosure
with all the guys from the giraffery.
I feel extremely well protected. I feel I've got my own little army in here.
Mark, you're keeper here looking armed and dangerous.
What do you need to do today?
Today we've got to take some of the nettles and longer grass out
cos, as you can see, it's getting a bit overgrown in this paddock.
Mainly so the public can actually see the animals and also so we can keep an eye on them as well.
OK. Why do you, Andy, and you, Ryan, need to be here as well?
Surely Mark can just strim by himself, can't he?
It's just a safety thing. These guys, when they first got here,
were extremely agitated and upset about being here.
They are dangerous.
We're still learning about them.
Right. So we will go overboard on safety on everything we do until we're happy how we do it.
It's just a safety precaution. Mark can't really see or hear
and keep an eye out for the warthogs while he's strimming
so we're his eyes and ears at the moment. OK.
Mark, you can go and get started, presumably,
and Andy, do we then stay up here and just watch Mark
and watch the warthogs which are just down there?
Sunbathing at the moment... Yeah, we'll stay here
and get ourselves in between the warthogs and Mark. OK.
Mark will kind of keep an eye on us and if we start jumping up and down
and telling him to move then he'll move out the way. All right. Good luck, Mark.
We'll protect you, we promise.
Mark's just started up the strimmer.
They're looking fairly relaxed so far, Ryan,
not too bothered about the noise of it.
Have they got more relaxed the longer they've been here at Longleat?
Gosh, yeah, yeah... In the last year
they were very flighty and nervous to start with
but we come in here from time to time and strim and come in and mow.
So you've got machinery, a lot of noise and also down in this corner,
they're happy down there but they're very close to the first cattle grid into the giraffe reserve.
Which makes a good old rattle, doesn't it? Cars, coaches,
on the busy days make a lot of noise. So they're really calm now.
They're magnificent animals, even though we have to look at them from a distance.
Tell me a little bit about warthogs?
Are they pig-like or are they a completely different animal?
They are part of the pig species,
very well-armoured and hardcore.
One of these guys would see off a leopard. Really?
Oh, yeah. You really wouldn't want to mess around with a mummy warthog
when she's got piglets with her.
They have these quite fearsome-looking tusks
coming up around the side of their jaws.
They have two big tusks on the top and two smaller ones on the lower jaw. Right.
And the warts, as well, that's what makes them look really scary.
The warts are the lumps on the side of the head?
They're just actually thick pads. Protection for when they're fighting. Right.
So big, thick skin pads, that's what they are, they're not warts as such.
And the tusks, are they used for fighting? Are they used for digging?
What are they used for? Digging and fighting.
Some of the holes that we've got in here are quite horrendous when they get going.
I was looking around, there are a few craters around the enclosure.
Is this all their work?
Absolutely! All their own work.
But you must be really worried because, presumably, they could dig out under the fence, couldn't they?
Theoretically, Kate, yes! LAUGHTER
Right. Thanks for putting us on the spot there.
But no inclination to do that?
If we started to see them digging close to the fence line
we'd have to take measures, really, to prevent that.
We've got like a double skin of fences for a start.
So if they dig under one fence there's a second fence there.
So, hopefully, that would afford you enough time to notice what they're doing and sort the problem.
They're being well-behaved and it's lovely to be able to able to stand here
and look at three very relaxed, very content-looking animals in a beautiful reserve.
It's nice for us because they're the total flipside of what they were.
We'd started questioning whether we'd made the right move getting them here when they first arrived.
Now, looking at them, it's lovely.
It's really nice. They're great. I really like them.
Well, Andy, Ryan, thank you very much and we better keep an eye on Mark.
On the other side of the park, the time has come.
After six months, the three new tigers
are about to be released from their small, temporary paddock
into tiger territory, where they'll really be able to stretch their legs.
Head of big cats Brian Kent is standing by
and is, understandably, a little tense.
They're gonna be lively.
They're not just gonna amble around, they're gonna be running and they're gonna be after the vehicles.
They will go to places where they've got to be moved.
So we've got to be very careful.
Deputy head of section Bob Trollope is also on hand in case they run into problems.
Although they're only two years old, these cats are hardly kittens.
They are wild animals. They are as dangerous as any other animals we've got here,
maybe more so because they're gonna be frightened.
Something like Soundari, who's a lively animal,
it'd be nothing to her to break your neck with one bite.
So everyone's gonna have to be careful
and you've got to respect the fact that they are killing machines.
And now the moment has come to let the killing machines loose.
Craig, if you want to let them out, please.
The only way for the sisters to get from their paddock
out into the park of tiger territory is through a small gate.
Suddenly, Svetli makes a break for it.
Just a few minutes later Shouri heads out,
and Bob urgently warns the other keepers.
One of the tigers is out in the section now and is following the fence line around.
Just bear in mind when you're opening the gates, please.
The number one danger point is where the cars drive in.
Now only is it a potential escape route for the tigers,
but also someone has to stand there to work the mechanism,
and to a tiger, that someone might look like dinner.
So, should one of them come down this way, it's incredibly important
for keeper Rob Maltby to close that gate as quickly as possible.
Well, hopefully I'll get good warning on the radio to say that the tiger will be coming down.
As soon as that happens, I'd release the motor at the bottom, like so.
Release it like that and then I can close it a lot quicker...
..and then go in my hut and hide.
They're just following the fence line round, which is quite normal.
We've just got to be careful now on how we approach any situation
because we don't want to frighten them into
running straight towards the gates
cos, obviously, they're manned and we don't want any accidents.
Safety is everyone's first concern as Shouri and Svetli
settle into a corner of the enclosure to size up their surroundings.
They're actually looking around, taking everything in.
Maybe they're looking for the best way out.
They're going to be able to see lions, I presume, through the fencing.
That's going to be new to them.
It's looking good.
They're not looking at fences, panicking. You've just got to give them time.
It takes a few hours before Soundari comes out of the compound.
Everyone thinks she's the nice, friendly one.
Later on we'll find out just how wrong they are.
While the tigers settle into the safari park,
we're heading inside the great house,
just as over nine million visitors have done since the doors were opened in 1949.
With 300,000 visitors a year coming in
there is a fair amount of general wear and tear,
but some mischievous visitors actually touch the exhibits.
Ben's with Longleat's curator of historic collections,
Kate Harris, to assess the damage to a pair of drapes near the front door.
Curtains must be one of the biggest problems in the house because you must have so many?
We have a lot and they are very vulnerable.
Usually they're in light, directly.
They're in the heat, directly. Because they're functional?
Yes, and ours are 19th-century curtains,
and the fashion was that they'd be long and they'd sit on the floor.
That's fine in a private house but when there's thousands of feet around them it's a problem.
These are going out this year and one of the things
we're contemplating is hanging them a bit higher when they go back.
OK, cos we're very near the entrance here.
This is where everyone passes through the house. Yes. And that does a lot of damage.
Yes. We want to restore them to functionality which means they can be used as draught excluders.
These are big, impressive draught excluders.
They were made for the 4th Marquis in 1874 in Rome, with his arms.
So it's the coat of arms on them, is it? Yes.
They're made in Rome in 1874, as I say and they've even got trompe l'oeil fringes.
They're tapestry curtains, so they're woven, and they've got fringes woven into the bottoms.
We're going to send them out for serious conservation, which will include wet cleaning.
You can imagine the struggle when you've got objects that are 3.5 metres tall and they are wool.
Really heavy when they're wet.
That's a specialist job, but when they come back
they'll be relaxed and rectangular for the first time in ages.
We should be able to draw them across so that people
can really see them in all their splendour with the Marquis's arms and beautiful colours.
So everyone will be able to see them in their splendour, but how are you going to keep grubby paws off them?
One of the things we're thinking of doing is to make sure some of the textiles are alarmed.
The guys do their absolute best to make sure that people don't touch,
but when we're busy it's difficult to make sure that nobody gets too close to things.
One of the ideas is to have alarms on these. Have you got any in yet?
We're trying them out. Really?
Can I be really naughty and try it? Let's see if they work.
Here we go. PIERCING ALARM
I feel really naughty! Do you think that will deter people?
That would definitely deter me. It just goes to show, fabric should be seen and not heard!
'This seems like a very good time t head off to the peaceful sanctuary
'of the Deer Park, which is home to four different species of deer.
'It's never easy getting close to them.
'But one is friendlier than most, so I've gone to find out more.'
I'm in the deer park with head of section Tim Yeo
and the very soppy red deer female 028.
Is that her name? That's right. You couldn't have thought of a better name?
We could have done a little bit better.
Why is she particularly affectionate?
Well I think she's been hand-reared, this animal.
Not here, but I think she's been hand-reared,
hence the complete no fear whatsoever of us.
It's a huge treat to get close to a red deer.
Red deer are native to Britain, is that right? That's right, Kate.
I guess that most famously Scotland.
When people think of red deer they think of the Highlands of Scotland.
They're quite big animals when you get up close to them, aren't they?
They certainly are, and these are our largest land mammals.
Are they? You're very pretty. How do they work?
Do you tend to have females grouped together, males grouped together, all of them as a family?
No, they're very much, as you say -
for large parts of the year the males go off and do their own thing,
and spend time together and the hinds, the females,
they're also collected in herds with calves of the previous year
and that sort of thing.
Again it's the breeding season that brings them all together.
That's when you get the famous clashes, the males battling it out for supremacy.
It's lovely to see her as always.
Thank you, Tim, and we've got lots more coming up on today's programme.
The tigers are released, but now they're on the rampage.
Go on, you naughty girl.
And what you get when you cross a cat scratching post
with a family of ferrets - mayhem, by the looks of it.
The keepers of Pets Corner were over the moon
when the first baby otters in 30 years were born a few months ago.
Imagine head keeper Darren Beasley's delight
when a second litter was born just a few months later.
I'm never gonna understand it.
In all the years I've worked with animals
it's odd you go for such a long time without anything at all,
and we really wanted baby otters, and lo and behold
we've got two complete beautiful litters in quick succession.
What's going to happen now? Is she gonna have two litters every year?
We're going to have to expand! We're going to need rubber walls.
But it's a wonderful position to be in and we're really happy.
The four youngest pups are now eight months old and nearly fully-grown,
though they're still learning some basic skills -
like getting to grips with their food.
We're feeding them some guinea-fowl eggs.
They're surplus from the draft reserve.
We boil them up and they've all got very good appetites,
and are very playful, and they'll juggle.
They all like to play.
Darren is hoping the family will keep on growing.
Obviously the plans now really are all for the future.
We've heard of groups of Asian otters living in groups of up to 20. We're going to try and do that.
We've got to try and increase the space of the pool and plan for the future.
If mum has another two litters, at what point do we stop it?
What point do we stop her having babies?
Can we keep supplying enough food to keep them going?
They're eating machines.
Otter keeper Rob Savin is happy to oblige by spending more time feeding them.
I'll get them mussels from the lake occasionally.
We've got some scallops for them right now,
which they open very easily.
They use their skills on them, especially the adults.
The youngsters will learn off Mum and Dad and the older children.
When they're searching for their food they've got very nimble paws.
If they've got any gaps in rocks or logs or branches, they'll put their paws down and they'll feel around.
They can't see what they're doing. They just feel for their food.
Now there are so many, it's getting harder for Rob to know which is which.
These four are really tricky.
I'm going to take lots of ID photos and scroll through on a computer
and try and find little differences in their faces.
But all of them by Dad have got a big nose.
At least two of the little ones look like their mum.
I was looking at it the other day and I thought, you look like your mum.
It's going to be very difficult to tell you apart.
They are at the moment very slightly smaller.
They've just recently been named.
We've got Gourmet, Roogan, Tikka,
and somewhere over the back we've got Malaya as well.
'Understandably, the otter family a proving a favourite in Pets Corner,
'not just with the public, but also with the keepers.'
This really to be honest is one of the many bonuses.
My hobby is my job, and I've said that before.
It's great fun coming here. This is what we do.
You have so many sad things working with animals sometimes
and these are what keep you going for the next day and the next day.
Seeing this happy family group of otters this really is well worth it.
It's worth getting out of bed every morning just to see this.
At the tapir house, there has been some good news.
Super mum Jesse has given birth to a baby boy.
She instinctively gave birth in the night,
as that's the safest time for the young to be born in the wild.
Head of section Andy has already been down to check on the new arrival.
We don't know what time it was born. It was there at 8.30 this morning.
She's such an old hand, Jess.
She just fires them out now.
The baby is a little bit wobbly, it's a newborn,
but it's moving around and standing up.
They're like a little watermelon on legs.
There are quite a nice little animal.
The watermelon-like spots and stripes are an essential camouflage for babies in the wild.
It helps them blend into the rainforest undergrowth
and protects them from natural predators such as jaguars and pumas.
She's just such a great mum. She gets on and does it and away you go.
Because the baby has wobbly legs, Andy has called in
new vet Paul Hicks to give him a thorough check over.
Very cute, Bev. He's not bad, is he?
He's still a little bit nervous and a little bit jumpy. Yeah.
He was a bit wobbly on his back legs to begin with.
But generally we've not had any problems with him at all.
Is she protective of him?
In the sense that she'll stand over him, but she's not showing any aggression to us or anyone else.
Let's listen to his heart.
He panics sometimes if you have to restrain him.
Great. I've never listened to a tapir's heart before.
But it sounds nice and healthy. He looks great.
After looking after Jessie throughout this pregnancy,
the arrival of the baby is an exciting time for Bev.
Obviously I've been here for three tapir births now, but it doesn't really lose its edge, to be honest.
It's always incredibly exciting to pop in in the morning and find him wandering around.
Jessie and her new baby will have some quality time together
for the first few days, but we'll be back later
when I get a chance to meet
possibly the cutest animal in the safari park for the first time.
I'm down at Pets Corner with deputy head warden Ian Turner
and this extraordinary bit of kit.
Which is what? It's a scratching post.
It started... We had lion cubs up the yard which I used to look after and we got this scratching post.
When they got bigger, they went away. Yeah. Took it home. Yeah.
For my six cats...
and it's been at home for 20 years. Right.
I've just lost the last cat now and we're donating it to Pets' Corner for the ferrets.
It's got a lot of cat's smell on it, so it should be good for them.
OK, do you want me to help you get it in? Is it heavy?
It's not that bad, but it's quite bulky.
Where shall I put it? Right at the front here?
Put it there, then the public can get a view of them.
I'll just move one from underneath.
There we are, already inquisitive ferrets.
Why is it important to bring new things into the enclosure?
It's not short of stuff. They have all sorts of things to play with.
Just to keep them active. They're a very inquisitive animal, intelligent.
They like playing and having new smells. It's environmental enrichment for them. Shall I get one?
There's one just over there.
Let's have a look and see what you think of this.
Are they climbers, ferrets? They're good at climbing down drainpipes,
which is why we've got pipes in here.
They're having a good old sniff. It's all the new smells.
Ferrets aren't a wild animal, are they? No, they're domesticated.
Aren't you? There you go, look.
That's quite interesting.
So the closest wild relative of the ferret would be what?
Like mink. But these were bred specifically for hunting, mainly?
Yeah, yeah, for going after rabbits.
Do they make good pets? Are they high maintenance animals to keep?
They make good pets if you look after them properly.
You need to handle them a lot or they can be quite aggressive.
They've got a nasty bite when they want to.
And they like lots of space, presumably.
Lots of space, lots of playing stuff to do.
And they like to be handled a lot. The more you handle them, the better.
They're good at climbing. They're incredibly agile, aren't they?
And, as you say, very athletic.
They love to move around to get into things.
These amazing lithe bodies.
I'm just going to pick you up, sorry. I know you're just exploring.
But look at this. They do literally bend in half, don't they? Yeah.
Any little nooks and crannies they go down - your jumpers, anything.
They'll crawl anywhere.
We've brought in this scratching post, but if you look at Gary, our sound man here,
he seems to be much more interesting than the scratching post!
Gary, you're being besieged over there!
The scratching post isn't nearly as interesting as the crew. But all new smells.
They've all got different smells from their wives and families.
It's all new. I think they'll be very happy ferrets with their new toy.
Ian, thank you very much. We'll leave these ferrets to explore.
Back in tiger territory,
the three feisty sisters are exploring their new home.
Head of section Brian is trying to keep a close eye on them.
It's a bit awkward when they're all split up.
We've got a vehicle down that end and someone up here with another one.
I'm a bit worried what the general public will get up to with them.
To make sure everyone is safe, Ian Turner has left the ferrets behind
and is now down at Tiger Territory to keep an eye on the visitors.
You've got to watch the cars. If people have windows down like this, she'll have 'em. No danger.
We've put extra signs on the gates now, five more signs, warning people about windows.
They still leave windows open. I shouted three people today.
The public just don't read the signs, "Please keep your windows closes."
Cos they don't realise how fast they can move.
But some people are about to find out.
It's a tiger's natural instinct to stalk and chase.
When the pheasants have all flown,
Soundari turns her attention to bigger prey.
It's down to the patrol vehicles
to intervene and make Soundari back off.
But now she's really got interested in the cars.
With one swipe of her four-centimetre claws,
she could easily shred a tyre and do some serious damage.
And even large buses aren't too big for her to take on.
This may be just a game for her,
but it's proven just how dangerous these tigers could be.
It's certainly been an eventful day for the spirited three.
Soundari's been all over the place. It's been a good day for her.
I imagine she'll sleep very well tonight.
And the next step, or the next challenge, is getting them back in.
It's a two-vehicle operation to herd the tigers back to their house.
Go in, you naughty girl!
It's a little big boggy over here, so we'll have to be a bit careful.
She's aware, I think she knows what's going on.
We'll just have to make sure...
Come on, darling.
Minimum of fuss, look.
The main thing we don't want to do is frighten her.
So far, so good.
She's in, she's in the compound.
And Soundari, hopefully, is going to follow.
Go on, good girl!
Come on, all the way!
Finally, the keepers can breathe a sigh of relief.
Today has been...you know, excellent, really.
Er...Soundari has been quite fun to watch, actually.
We haven't had this sort of action for years in here.
It's been some time since the young male tapir we met earlier was born.
'Now, Bev's invited me up to get a proper look at him.'
He's still got all these fantastic stripes that Mum doesn't have.
They're all born with stripes, aren't they? Yep.
And how long...? Oh, look at this!
How long will he keep these stripes?
They'll fade over the next few months, but by six months, definitely eight, he'll be brown all over.
I have to say, having seen other tapirs over the years,
I've never seen one quite so chilled out as this.
Yeah, he's born the right time of year.
We've been able to play with him a lot and get him quite friendly.
Sometimes, in the winter, when we're very busy mucking out,
we haven't had the chance with some of the babies,
but this one's been born the right time of year.
Wow! This is amazing. I don't want to leave.
I want to stay all night and just play with them.
So, how long will he keep suckling from Mum for?
That is probably about six to eight months as well.
And how long till he gets to that size cos she's big?
Females generally are larger than males
but they are probably 2 to 2.5 years....quite big.
And we keep talking about "it", is there a name?
No, not yet. So, how do you come up with a name?
We go from letters...
Just wants to get in on the act as well.
Letters... 2000 is A, so 2008 is H this year.
OK. So, all... Last year you had Gomez who we can see there with Dad.
Yes, with Jethro. Gomez is 18 months and as you can see, he's getting really big.
If H is the letter, how do you come up with one name?
Basically, it's the whole pick a name out of the hat kind of thing.
All keepers come up with their best ideas for H,
you have to be a male as well,
we need to choose one of those names really.
Is that is what Jess is trying to find?
We have got all the names on the pieces of paper,
can I draw the name?
Go for it.
Whatever name I pick out, this will be his new name. Yeah.
Right, let's go for this one here. Ready? Go on.
This is very exciting.
And the new name...
for the new little tapir is...
What do you think of that?
That is good, that was one of mine.
That was one of your suggestions? It was.
I think he looks like a Hugo.
Don't you think he looks like a Hugo?
I that's gonna suit him very well.
Well, Bev, thank you very much
and what an honour to be able to pick the name out.
And we will keep you posted one the progress of Hugo throughout the series. Thanks, Bev.
It's nearly the end of the programme but before we go,
Kate and I have come down to Pet's Corner, with keeper John Ovens
and some of the magnificently coloured parrots they've got here.
This is Jake, the blue and gold macaw.
John, will you tell us about the fantastic beaks?
One of the things a parrot is most famous for is that big, powerful beak.
One of their main tools, they use it for breaking into tough nuts,
into tough fruits as well.
And also, they do a lot of climbing as well, in the trees in the Amazon,
so they use their beak like a third foot.
They use it to climb onto trees and help them climb using their feet as well.
Looking at Jake's beak here, that it grows constantly down.
It does, very much like our fingernails.
It is always growing so, one important thing we must provide is these logs.
It helps them file down their beak. They pretty much take care of themselves.
They are quite good animals for grooming and taking care of themselves.
They'll rub beak up against the logs and that files it down.
For the claws, it acts like a nail file.
Is there a way that we can see how powerful the beak is?
There is indeed.
If I can just... Do you want me to take him?
Here we are. There we go.
One of the parrot's favourite foods is one of these.
We might get jealousy from the other birds but a favourite food is a walnut.
Everyone wants one!
You'll see how powerful his beak is. He'll break straight into that nut.
Have a little go, Jake.
Go on, Jake. Show us how clever you are.
He's shy. Go on, let's have a little look.
Look at that!
Incredible, isn't it?
Very powerful. So powerful.
Really good co-ordination as well between claws and beak.
It must be frightening for you to know that you're looking after
birds that are highly intelligent,
do exactly what they want do and they're very well armed.
Very, very well armed. A parrot is never going to bite you for no reason.
There is a reason for everything they do.
Treat them well, you respect them, they're not gonna bite you.
On a bad day, you come in on a Sunday morning when they are grumpy,
you've gotta watch out. They are like us, get out of the wrong side of the bed.
Presumably, they do have a soft side. Very, very soppy.
I think Gunner's going to demonstrate.
We just saw how powerful Jake's big beak can be,
but it's also very gentle as well. Would you like a kiss?
Never one to turn down a kiss from a bird!
Little kiss on the cheek.
Go on, little kiss on the cheek.
There we go.
It was more like a punch.
Little kiss on the cheek. There you go.
A very soppy bird.
A very sensible girl, she knows which man is going to feed her.
She knows who's got the peanuts.
John, thank you very much.
Sadly, that's all we've got time for on today's programme,
but here's what's coming up on the next Animal Park.
They call them the king of the beasts but just how strong are these majestic animals?
We'll be putting the lions to the test.
This may look like a muddy quagmire
but keeper Andy Hayton hope it will soon become a scene out of Africa.
And down in Pet's Corner, a plan is afoot to give the bats some bling.
We'll have all this and more on the next show.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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