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With this thermal imaging camera we'll look the animals at Longleat
in a way we have never done before.
Look at these amazing images, this camera will reveal things about
the animals we never normally see.
So, stand by for a unique perspective of them and us on today's show.
Coming up on today's Animal Park...
Could the latest technology save the life of Longleat's largest resident?
Shipwreck and catastrophe are only a whisker away
when Ben takes control of one of the big boats.
Hard over to me and forward gear.
Forward gear! Don't have it out of gear because otherwise...
Now, try and keep it straight.
And Paul, the vet, faces a major problem.
He can't find his patients.
If they've decided they don't want to be seen, it's difficult to find them.
But first, we're going to look at some hot new technology.
Or, should that be cool new technology?
Whichever it is, these images of animals
are taken using a cutting edge camera
which shows areas of heat in the body.
For the very first time, this technology, otherwise known as thermal imaging,
has been brought to the park to give the keepers and us and unique perspective on the park.
This is no gimmick, these cameras are being increasingly used
by the medical and veterinary worlds to help diagnose conditions
ranging from sprains and arthritis to even cancer.
We'll be using this amazing camera throughout today's show
to reveal some of the animal's best kept secrets.
We are tucked in the shelter at the East Africa Reserve,
it is a little bit wet, but we are not deterred
because we are here with a man called Dave Blain,
who is a thermal imaging specialist.
Dave, can you tell us what this piece of kit does?
The thermal imaging camera is the latest technology.
It is very much used in industry now, for medical purposes, military purposes
and of course, the local police force, fire brigade use it.
What does it actually show?
It picks up heat and radiation,
and we use it very much looking at body temperature in the medical field.
You're then looking for hot spots,
or it can be reverted to look at cold spots.
So, the white areas are the hottest, closely followed by the red.
While the blue and green colours
indicate the coldest part of the animal.
We're here with the head of section, Andy Hayton.
Andy, how do you think this is going to be useful for you
looking at the animals here in the East Africa Reserve?
Possibly rheumatism, if an animal is lame
we can possibly look to see if there is any heat in the muscles,
heat in joints through rheumatism, arthritis, things like that.
Andy, certainly a unique perspective for you, looking at that,
on this camel we have a very hot head,
but lots of the neck looks like... just near the head
is actually a lot colder than the rest of the body?
It's the thickness of the fur, so the blue is the hair, the body hair.
If we look at the giraffes, that don't obviously have
as much covering of hair. Lots and lots of heat?
If you look from the head and down the neck, the neck is very hot.
There is obviously a good blood supply going up there
and like us, you have a lot of veins in your neck close to the surface,
so possibly that's what's giving off that heat signature there.
What is interesting is, clearly in the places where you haven't got a great blood supply going through,
the horns and the very horny place on the front of their head
-are giving off hardly any heat at all.
-That's solid bone.
If we look at the big female, that's Jolly and she's on arthritic drugs.
-Look at that!
-Look at the difference in the legs?
You can clearly see her right leg is a lot hotter than the other.
And presumably you can then use this evidence, if we can use that word,
when the vet, Duncan comes along next time,
you can say we saw this, could that reaffirm what you thought
and help you with your diagnosis and treatment?
This gives us another tool to help look after our animals better.
The more tools we have to make their lives more comfortable is a good thing.
Interestingly, vets are using this technique more and more,
as indeed will we later in the programme
when we go around the safari park with Dave and his camera.
With around 900 animals at the park, there is always something being born,
something sick or something needing urgent medical attention.
So, one of the most important roles at Longleat is that of the vet.
Duncan Williams has been the Longleat vet for the past 10 years.
Visiting the park at least once a week to carry out everything
from the routine checks to life-saving operations.
But now, Duncan has vet, Paul Higgs, to share the workload.
Paul came to work at Duncan's local practice less than a year ago,
after graduating from vet school.
So he's just in for having his nails cut, is he? Come on, Percy.
The small animal work is great, it's very rewarding.
One minute I might be vaccinating a dog, the next we might be operating,
or trying save a dog that's come in hit by a car.
So, from my point of view it's fantastic,
you never know what you'll be doing from one minute to the next.
Joining the practice so close to Longleat
meant his work wasn't just about cuddly cats.
Fortunately, Paul already has experience with some slightly larger animals.
When I was a veterinary student, I used to work at Longleat
as a keeper during my holidays for couple of years.
So, it was quite nice for me to be able to come into the practice
and find there was a space available
for somebody to help Duncan with the Longleat work.
And now, once a week, Paul leaves the surgery behind and heads off to Longleat.
It's great to be able to go from doing your basic small animal and farm animal work
to come out here and work with exotic species such as giraffe and lions. It's fantastic.
When I come here on my weekly routine visits, we're never quite sure exactly what were going to see.
We could find we've got something we need to knock out, like a rhino,
see what's going on if they are ill.
Or maybe something as small as a ferret.
Waiting for Paul today is a tiger with tangled fur, a lethargic eland,
a weeping wallaby and an infected iguana.
But first, it's a bongo with a bowed back.
We're just off to go and see the new bongo.
He was a bit lame on his back legs about two weeks ago.
So, we've just come to see how he's getting on, give him a check over.
But, finding a bongo in over 60 acres is not an easy task.
If they've decided they don't want to be seen, it can be quite difficult to find them.
In fact, the bongos might the outside of this area, potentially.
They might be...
They are there.
We can't actually get near to a lot of the species here,
so when they are sick, we prefer not to have to knock them out
to get close enough to examine them.
So a lot of what we do is over the fence kind of diagnosis,
which in one sense is quite daunting,
but it does make you rely more on your instincts and their behaviour
to try and help you diagnose what's going on.
He's still standing, I think, with a bit of a bowed back,
more than I'd expect him to have.
He probably has got some element of back pain.
I think for the moment we are still just going to have to monitor and see what happens.
That's different to the situations we have in the rest of our work
in that most of the time we can get in there and step in
before a problem gets too bad.
But unfortunately here, we almost have to wait for the problems
to get to a certain stage of severity before we can step in and do anything about it.
It certainly does add an extra element of pressure
and perhaps a little bit of anxiety around your treatment.
We will catch up with Paul on his rounds later in the programme.
One of the most popular sections in Pet's Corner is the collection of Siberian chipmunks.
Recently, six new faces were introduced to the group
with the hope they would kick-start a new breeding programme.
And sure enough, the plan worked.
Within a few weeks, some of the females were showing signs of pregnancy,
so keeper, Holly made sure to check on the nesting box every morning
to see if the babies had arrived.
With the gestation period being about 30 days,
she didn't have to wait for long.
Really exciting stuff, I can see at least 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7...
There must be 10 or more babies in here, which is brilliant
because it just goes to show we have a really healthy, happy group of breeding chipmunks.
It's brilliant news, I'm really over the moon, I'm really excited.
When baby chipmunks are around seven weeks old,
they moved on to solid food
so head of section, Darren Beasley,
took over the feeding duties from mum.
But there was initial concern over whether they would take food off him.
You have to watch where you step, of course,
because they're very excitable. Come on.
Look at this little fellow here. Hello.
Because these youngsters, they are a bit unsure what is going on,
we were a bit concerned they would stay away.
But they learned from mum and dad, that's how animals learn,
it's how we learn as humans. Look at that, how calm that is.
Look at the baby out there, natural behaviour,
exactly the same using their little front paws, just like little hands.
That obviously proves it's weaned, it's happy, eating solids,
so it's all success in here, that's what we like.
So, with the new baby's settling into life at Pet's Corner,
they are sure to keep Darren busy for months to come.
Join me later when I'll get the chance to meet them.
Amongst his many adventures and courageous exploits,
you may remember that our Ben once rowed across the Atlantic
along with Olympic oarsman James Cracknell.
For someone to take on such a serious piece of water in such a tiny craft,
they'd have to be pretty keen on boating.
So when Ben heard that Longleat has got two new tour boats,
we couldn't keep him away, though this time
he has agreed to keep his clothes on.
I love messy around in boats.
And today, there's a real treat in store for me,
because I'm going to learn to drive a boat
in a lake filled with hippos, sea lions and an island with gorillas.
Now, up here is head of boats... Morning, Bill.
-Hello, Ben, my friend.
-How are you?
-You're going to teach me how to drive the Lady Lenka.
-This is one of the new boats here on Half Mile Lake, isn't it?
-I'll do my best.
I know you can row boats, but I'm not sure what you're like with powered boats.
Very different sort of boat. I am itching to get out on the water. Shall we?
What's the first thing to do?
I'll show you the controls of the boat.
-Up for forward.
-Down for reverse. Wheel for port and starboard,
throttle for however many revs you want.
So, we're waiting to cast away are we?
Yes, so release the back strap.
When I'm clear of the other boat I'll pass this to you.
We are clear of everything, would you like to take it over?
If you trust me, absolutely.
Obviously, just want to avoid this island, this is where Nico lives?
Yes, Nico is on here.
Try and keep it straight.
Push the throttle down to just give it a bit more power.
Keep it down, don't take it off.
You've taken all the revs off, we don't have any power at all.
-I'm not doing well, am I?
Watch your back as you go, you've got to keep at least 30 ft away from the island.
There's so many things to think about.
I've got the radio going, I am worried about... Is that OK?
I want to turn it the other way now.
The boat only goes in the direction you turn the wheel.
-Whether it's forward or backwards.
-So much to think about.
Now, next thing is you've got Jo-Jo standing up on the tree.
We call it a tree-lion at Longleat.
I want you to concentrate here, here is the tricky part.
With any vessel, the most challenging manoeuvre is landing the boat.
Take a few revs off, take it down one notch.
That's it. Lovely.
I imagine this is the hardest part.
Very hard, and you don't do anything other than follow precisely what I tell you, please.
Start your turn as if you're going down there.
Keep turning, but keep going in that direction first.
I want you to come further down, or you will land too high up the quay.
Push some revs on it cos you're not going round fast enough.
That's fine, that's fine.
It's quite nerve-racking.
-Yeah. Right, take the revs off.
Put it into reverse now.
That has exactly the same effect, hold it in reverse.
Wheel right over.
Now in forward gear, hard over to me in forward gear. Forward gear! You're out of gear.
Don't have it out of gear otherwise... Don't panic.
-Just go slowly.
-Hard over to you?
Yeah, take the revs off. Right up the quay.
-Oh, you've stopped the engine.
You took the revs right off.
Keep the wheel hard to the left.
-Hard to the left.
-And just keep going.
A little bit of forward motion.
I want you to put the wheel hard over to the left.
And put it into reverse.
-Just very gently.
That's it. Hold it out of gear.
Take the revs off. You've landed the boat.
That's it. Leave it like that.
What you've done is you've brought it to the point that when she's tied the boat up, we can open this gate
and we're right opposite the entrance just like that.
Not everybody can do what you've just done.
They sometimes bang the quay.
How would you rate me out of ten?
I'd give that a nine out of ten instantly for your first go at landing it.
So I could have a job here one day?
Thank you very much.
There's hope for me yet, even if I do have to wipe my brow.
That was pretty scary.
Earlier, we were looking at some of Longleat's animals
in a whole new light -
through a hi-tech thermal imaging camera.
This provides a temperature map of the animals,
revealing hot spots which could be cause for concern.
It already showed up Jolly the giraffe's arthritic leg.
So now, up in the new area, Head of Section, Tim Yeo,
is keen to put it to the test on some of HIS animals.
He's asked expert David Blaine to take a look at Winston,
the elderly rhino who's a favourite with the keepers and the public.
Winston's been with us here at the park for a good number of years.
He's a very popular rhino with the staff
and certainly the public that visit the park.
He'll readily come up to the bars and he likes to be patted
and have that close contact with people.
In the wild, rhinos rarely live beyond the age of about 30.
But Winston's easily surpassed that, reaching the grand old age of 38.
The keepers have kept him well for many years,
but sadly his age is catching up on him.
His health is an increasing concern.
For a number of years Winston has suffered with arthritic problems.
He's getting on in years and has been increasingly a problem to him.
It's been a rather upsetting thing to see over that period of time.
He has good times and he has bad times
and it's worrying because you don't know what's round the corner.
Tim has good reason to be so worried.
Sadly, Winston's condition is all too familiar.
His long-time companion, Babs, also suffered with arthritis.
Last year, at the age of 37, her condition worsened
and her pain increased,
so the decision was made to put her to sleep.
Now there are signs that Winston is displaying similar symptoms
of arthritis, which can be as crippling for animals
as it is for humans.
While he receives ongoing treatments,
it's not always easy to tell how well they're working.
It's very difficult by looking at the animal
to see the severity of the problem.
All sorts of remedies have been tried to ease the discomfort,
but he still seems to suffer.
So can thermal imaging provide an answer?
If the arthritic areas can be accurately identified, it would be
a massive help for Tim and his team to target their treatment.
What we had hoped to see with arthritis
is if you look at the joints, they'll be white cos it's warmer.
What happens is it draws the blood to the surface to protect it.
That's how you can determine, because the blood is warmer,
you can see the problem areas.
It just pinpoints it spot-on.
Especially on the back leg, you can see it clearly.
Thermal imaging has one other massive benefit -
it is non-invasive which means Winston can be examined
just by the use of a camera and without causing him any stress.
It's very interesting looking at the pictures and seeing exactly
whereabouts those heat sources are.
It would be wonderful to be able to do it again
after a period of time had elapsed
to see if there were any changes.
You can store the images.
You can store the images and you can overlay them, place them side by side,
and you can see if there's any deterioration
or if it's got any better, if your medication's working.
'It's incredible technology.'
Surely it'll help our vet very much to see whether these treatments
are having any effect at all.
The hope is, of course, that that sort of technology could help
in the future with these sort of conditions
that are always going to be with us as animals advance in years.
Thanks to this new technology,
Tim has the opportunity to treat Winston's arthritis
in a way they never could with Babs, and keep him happy and healthy.
We've already seen great success
with the chipmunks' breeding programme.
But they're not the only ones to have had such luck.
Over in the giraffery, Jessie the tapir has already had five babies,
but the keepers were delighted to discover
this super mum was pregnant again.
Since these animals are facing the danger of extinction,
every new birth is incredibly important,
so it was keeper Bev Evans' job to keep an extra special eye on Jessie.
We're just really waiting for her to give birth.
She's a bit of a natural. She just pops them out.
After months of anticipation
there was finally good news as Jessie gave birth to a baby boy.
Once the vet had given him a thorough check-over, all that
was left was for mum and baby to be left alone for some quality bonding.
Today I'm lucky enough to join keeper Bev Evans
to catch up on his progress, which is great news,
as these are some of the cutest babies around.
This is Jess the tapir.
This is Senior Warden Bev Evans.
And this over here is Hugo the brand new tapir.
-He's absolutely adorable, still with his stripes.
How long will he keep these for?
Round about six to eight months
and then he'll go all brown just like his mum.
It's pretty amazing having tapirs born here at the safari park,
cos they're endangered.
They're quite badly endangered.
These are Brazilian tapirs and they're from South America.
The habitat out there is depleting quite a lot because it's rain forest.
That is a problem for them. But they face a lot of problems in the wild.
So it really is significant to the whole population that you've got a new tapir.
We like to think so.
This is her sixth baby, so here at Longleat we're doing quite well
on the breeding of Brazilian tapirs.
Bev, thank you very much.
You really are sweet.
And we've got plenty more animals just like Hugo still to come,
including... an iguana loses its tail in an emergency op.
Can Paul the vet keep his nerve?
And Lord Bath heads into the park's most dangerous enclosures
to meet its newest arrivals,
just moments before one of them goes on the attack.
Earlier, keeper Holly was delighted to find
a new litter of baby chipmunks in the nesting box.
And it fell to Darren to make sure they were well fed and watered.
Now they're a little bigger, I've got the chance to meet them.
I'm down at Pets' Corner with Head of Section Darren Beasley
and we're entirely surrounded by chipmunks, none of whom I recognise.
No, they've not long been born. They have just come out of their boxes.
What pretty little creatures with these gorgeous stripes on.
Aren't they smashing? They are called whites. You see this little chap here
has got the faint brown stripes. So they're not albino.
They do have colour pigment in them.
But it's a recessive gene, so basically we can encourage
this white colour to come forward
by putting the right mums and dads in with the right colour.
Presumably being this very pale colour in the wild wouldn't be a great survival mechanism?
It would be so easy for the predators to pick them off.
Naturally, these Siberian chipmunks as we know them
are a brown colour with dark brown to black stripes.
That is their camouflage.
They're clearly very inquisitive, love getting into things.
I absolutely adore this. Yeah, we've come in armed to the teeth with food,
but they're just naturally playful.
These animals are designed for going down holes in the ground
and climbing up trees and they're naturally inquisitive,
always looking for food.
Any pocket... I'm surprised you've not got them in your pockets already.
They like to have a good nosey, they really do.
What about...? You've had babies, they've all grown up together.
Can they stay in here together or do you start getting factions with males and females and fighting?
Certainly you do have a dominancy and a bit of fighting.
The name chipmunk is "chip-chip", the calling noise.
It can be calling for a boyfriend or girlfriend, or it can be saying stay away.
What we're hoping to do is expand. This is a very popular exhibit.
We're going to expand this and spread our wings.
We want loads more chipmunks, all with their own little area.
They can all have a sock or a hay bale each.
I think we're going to get lots of families in here.
Socks have proved very popular in the past as little nests.
Do these new ones like them as much as the old family did?
The babies learn from Mum and Dad what's safe and what's good.
They must see Mum and Dad and the others going in the socks.
The little ones are in and out of them all day long.
I'm sure when we look in there we'll find half a ton of peanuts.
They use them as little store rooms.
So they'll pick up food and hide it, keep it away from their brothers and sisters.
Holly, who looks after the chipmunks, said I must be feeding rhinos in here
because so much food comes in.
Their natural instinct is to hoard for times of hardship.
Putting them in the socks is something that they do.
They'll save for a day when there's not much food around.
I can't imagine there's never much food here at Pets' Corner.
It's a good mixture of stuff,
lots of seeds, monkey nuts and fresh fruit.
What sort of stuff would they be eating in the wild?
They're opportunists, they'll take leafy buds.
They'll take flowers and small insects.
We put a meat protein biscuit in here for that.
You want to give them a big selection and they'll choose what they like.
They're a complete delight, Darren. Thank you very much.
And enjoy yourself, guys!
I don't think there's any doubt that they're going to do that.
On the other side of Pets' Corner, Paul the vet is dealing
with an emergency call-out from Deputy Head of Section Bev Allen.
A few weeks ago Paul operated on a wallaby with a sore below its eye.
But Bev's worried the problem is flaring up again.
Is there any swelling?
I think there's a small bit of swelling but not a lot.
He's got a little bit of a swelling there.
-I'd really like you to grab him if you could, Bev.
All right, matey.
I think he's all right, to be honest.
I think, Bev, that there's no swelling there,
-the wound looks great.
There's no conjunctivitis, there's no reddening.
He's probably got a bit of dust in there. We'll just see how he goes.
All right, then. Thanks for that.
Paul's next job is to check up on MY new friend, Hugo the baby tapir.
What we're doing today is microchipping.
With mammals apart from dogs and cats,
we try and put the chip in behind the left ear
so that we've got some way of generalising everybody
across the country so it's all in the same place.
Just let him relax.
There we go.
That went pretty well, really, although he squealed quite a lot.
He was squealing because he didn't want to be held.
He didn't squeal that much more when we put the needle in.
Once the needle's in, it's very quick to pull the trigger
on the gun and it fires the microchip in.
It's definitely in place cos we've scanned it, so it's gone well.
With the tapir microchipped, Paul moves on to his next patient,
but this turns out to be another emergency.
Royce, the iguana, has a serious problem
which needs urgent attention.
She's got necrosis of the tail
and it's stopped the blood flow to the end part of her tail.
A couple of days ago she actually knocked the end of it off.
It's getting worse.
It's vital they operate immediately,
so it's straight back to the emergency clinic
as Paul makes the decision to amputate.
This area looks nice and live,
you can see all the stripes on it and the nice colour.
And also the spines on the back of the tail as well.
This is looking fairly normal.
And then very suddenly we get this sort of dried out,
hard, inflexible area.
This is what's known as dry gangrene.
What we're going to do first is just X-ray the tail,
check and see that the bones are in good shape
and then from that point decide where we're going to amputate the tail from.
This is the dead part of the tail here
because you can see there's a little kink.
I'm gonna aim to go in above that.
But for Paul this is no routine procedure.
He's never operated on an iguana before.
We do lots of firsts in this practice,
especially with the Longleat work.
That's what makes the job more interesting than any other.
Like all reptiles, iguanas are cold-blooded
and can't regulate their own body temperature.
So Paul prepares a makeshift hot-water bottle
for Royce to rest on during the operation.
It's not a very straight line,
that's because you have to go around the scales
and they don't go in a straight line.
The plan now is to try and find our joint between the vertebrae.
Having removed the tail, all that remains is to stitch up the wound.
But even this is no formality.
I'm trying to put the needle between scales rather than through them.
It's not as flexible as a cat or a dog's skin,
so you've got a lot less leeway to play with.
But I'm pretty happy with how things have gone at the moment.
OK, last stitch done.
I'm happy with it.
I think there are always things in any operation with hindsight
you would have maybe done it a bit more like that,
but it's gone very well.
The tail has come off fine, very little bleeding
and the skin has come together fine as well.
I think it's gone as good as expected really.
It's been a long day for Paul, but it's not over quite yet.
After the exotic iguana, it's back to more familiar territory.
We're just trying to find out whether or not she's pregnant.
It does take experience and a number of times of doing it
to make sure you know what you're feeling for.
So although it's a dirty and smelly part of the job, it's not that bad.
There are plenty of warm-blooded animals around the park,
but it's the cold-blooded ones that need some extra special care.
Since they can't control their internal body temperature
they survive by absorbing heat from their surroundings.
It's essential they're kept at the correct temperature.
With David Blaine and his thermal imaging camera on hand,
it's a great opportunity for keeper Kim Tucker
to learn a little more about one special creature.
-Who's this that you've got here, Kim?
-This is Khan.
Khan has just come out of the enclosure,
so he's lovely and warm to the touch.
Let's see what he looks like on the camera.
-You can see.
-He's very red.
But what's really interesting is that he's particularly red
around where your hand is, isn't he?
He looks to be taking on my heat.
I'm just wondering if we can take him away from you a bit
and see if he starts losing heat.
A little bit. He seems to be cooling off a little bit.
It's a very warm day today, but this is interesting.
He's got real warmth in the middle of his body.
That's where all his organs are. So most of it'll produce the heat.
What is the mechanism of a cold-blooded animal like this
to warm up?
They take on the heat of their surroundings.
If they're cold, they'll move to a warmer spot.
If they're too warm, they'll move to a cooler spot.
I know that it's not something that you would ever do,
but do you think if he was put down on the ground,
he'd cool off very quickly.
Probably, because taking on the heat of his surroundings
and at the moment he's taking on my heat as we saw before.
The areas with my hands on him are very red.
If I was to put him on the floor,
I suppose, David, back me up on this, he should go quite...
Shall we give it a go and see?
-I hope he doesn't shoot up your trouser leg!
-Let's hope not.
That's amazing! Look at that! He's cooling almost instantly.
Going yellow. You can see again around that organ area,
still keeping warm.
But the areas where my hands were, look, they've gone.
-The redness has gone.
If you were to pick him up again now, shall we just see if...
-There you go.
-Look at that.
He instantly takes the heat from your hand.
It's almost like a thermal fingerprint.
-Look at that! That's amazing.
-But his head is now completely cooling off.
How will this help you when you are doing 'Meet the Creatures'
with these very delicate animals?
Hopefully it can detect how long we can keep them out for,
depending on the weather conditions.
At the moment, on days like today, we will keep him out maybe an hour
and on cooler days, not quite so long.
We do use hot water bottles as well.
Look at that instant change as soon as you pick him up.
He completely changes colour again.
That is absolutely fascinating.
I can see he clearly loves you, Kim,
because he blushes when he's in your arms.
Dave, thank you very much. A fascinating afternoon.
Kim, thank you and Khan, you are a perfect thermal imaging subject.
40 years ago, Longleat was the first ancestral home
to become a safari park.
Henry Bath, the present Lord Bath's father,
caused quite a stir by having a lion lounging in the drawing room.
Luckily, the lion was a most well behaved guest.
Nowadays, it is a very different story.
The 900 safari animals live as wild a life as is possible
in the Wiltshire countryside
and that includes the three new tigers -
potentially, the most dangerous cats in the world.
The sisters took the park by storm earlier in the year
when they arrived from Mulhouse Zoo in France.
It didn't take long for the keepers to realise
these youngsters were no cuddly kittens.
But, despite their fearsome reputation,
Lord Bath is still looking forward to meeting them
for the first time today.
I think they are very beautiful and the menace,
this idea that they might suddenly show their fiercer side
is something that keeps one's interest going.
Although he'll be accompanied by head warden, Keith Harris,
Lord Bath still has to visit the newcomers
just like any other ordinary member of the public, in his car.
Which is a bit of a worry,
since the tigers have become rather fond of attacking cars.
They may only be 18 months old,
but their four-centimetre claws could tear a tyre apart in seconds.
And their incredible speed and agility
means no-one is safe from their path.
Despite all this, Lord Bath is anxious to see them,
but since his car is decked out in the park's black and gold colours,
he is unlikely to blend into the crowd.
Within seconds of entering tiger territory,
the tigers have spotted their new boss.
If you look now, there is one coming up on the left-hand side.
There's another one over in the corner there
sat watching what's going on.
Do they have their favourite spots? Is that one usually in that corner?
They will find their favourite spots.
The one to our right, she is the calmest and quietest of them all.
She is quite brave,
she walks through the cars and doesn't care much.
They love getting up high these tigers.
They're quite snobbish, they like to look down on people.
She's chasing that van.
See the speed she goes.
Just goes to show how quick they can be.
She was off down there very quickly.
Do they have moments when they get fed up with each other and lash out?
No, they're sisters, so they actually get on very well.
They may not attack each other,
but Lord Bath is desperate to know what would happen
if these ferocious predators were let loose
on their equally powerful neighbours, the lions.
If lions and tigers got in together
and there was a scrap between two of them, which would win?
I don't know where my money would go.
I think you'd find the tigers have got speed and agility
and the lions have got sheer power.
Hopefully, it'll never happen, so we'll never find out.
Neither would duck the fight, both spoiling for it.
They will go for the fight very much.
Because both animals are very territorial.
It's something I don't think we'd like to find out.
Thankfully today, the tigers have been on fairly good behaviour.
Perhaps they knew the boss was in town, but unlike his father,
Lord Bath still won't be having a tiger home for tea.
Hi-tech thermal imaging has been a great success in the park.
So far it has helped diagnosed Winston's arthritis,
spotted Jolly the giraffe's bad leg
and taught keeper, Kim Tucker about Khan the snake.
But before we go, there is one more thing it can help with
and that involves the often confusing question of gender.
We are down in Pet's Corner with head of section, Darren Beasley.
Darren, you have a theory which you think that Dave Blaine,
on his thermal imaging camera, is going to be able to back up or not.
It would be fantastic if he can.
OK, tell us about this.
Really, it's all about boys and girls.
Parrots, most species of parrot all look the same,
whether it be a boy or a girl.
The issue we always have, the great mystery of the universe is,
they know if the bird next to them is a boy or a girl.
We can't do it visually.
It's really odd.
We're not sure what sense they use or how they do it.
It might be the shape of face or something.
We have to either surgically sex or use DNA nowadays
-to find out if the bird is a boy or a girl.
I just wondered whether there is something the birds see in their field of vision,
whether it is some heat or some little hot spot or something,
that says, "Hey, you're a boy, I'm gonna talk to you."
Or "You're a girl, I'm gonna chase you,"
whichever way round it would be.
-So, shall we start. Who is this?
-This is Archie.
-Right. And Archie is definitely male, is he?
-Definitely a boy.
Is there a place Darren that Dave should concentrate on?
Do you think there are any particular areas?
Certainly the head, the face shots and around the beak area,
but I also wondered around the tummy part.
If I turn Archie round... Archie! Come up on there.
There is definitely a hot area around his tummy.
It is very warm and very white on the legs.
I've got Nelson here which we know is a girl.
Despite the name!
Despite the name! Always confuses me.
Can we see any difference here?
You're not getting the complete bleaching out
-and actually the tummy is a lot cooler, isn't it?
-There could be something in it, Darren.
-There could be.
Shall we try with Sunday, because Sunday is a mystery.
This is an unsexed bird.
I would say immediately, exactly the same as Archie.
-Look at that!
-Warm down at the bottom.
The very completely bleached out head and the white legs.
-It really is a mystery, isn't it?
-It is a mystery.
What we would probably have to do is later on, perhaps this year,
we would follow up and perhaps have DNA tests.
-You can take a feather, send it away...
Hello! Sorry. Take the DNA and have a look,
-so we can definitely get a sex.
-Thank you very much indeed.
Absolutely. 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.
Darcy the bongo has escaped,
now one false move and he could break a leg.
Head of section, Mark Tye, is feeling the pressure
of 900 mouths which need feeding.
Animals don't wait for anybody.
They expect their food on time at the right time and in the right way.
And just when there is cause for celebration,
tragedy strikes Meerkat Mountain.
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