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Longleat used to be home to a herd of five African elephants, but they were moved to a new home in France.
Today a keeper will travel to see them for the first time since they left.
The big question is does an elephant ever forget?
Coming up on today's programme:
Kate rolls out the barrel to find out how hard a monkey will work for its lunch.
Look, look, look!
Ben goes off to Wolf Wood to try to spot some very cute youngsters.
And we struggle to even start identifying three tigers that to us look exactly the same.
I spent long enough working out the last three tigers!
-And they were all different!
-This one fills me with horror!
But first a tale that the keepers will never forget.
While we've filmed at the park, there have been many dark days.
The death of Samba the gorilla, Babs the arthritic rhino
and, of course, this year dear old Kadu.
But there's one event ingrained into the memories of all the keepers.
But it wasn't a death.
It was the day the elephants left.
There had been elephants at the park since the 1970s,
but it's the last herd that will always be most fondly remembered.
The five elephants arrived in 1993 when they were young -
Limbo, the male, and four females - Maj, Makali, Umbili and Undala.
They were cared for from day one by Andy Heyton and Ryan Hotley
who today run the giraffery.
It's been five years now since the elephants left,
but for Andy the pain hasn't gone away.
This place holds quite a lot of fond memories for me.
This is the elephants' sandpit. We'd bring them up here every day for a wallow, to play around.
Elephants are one of the few animals you can really see doing fun things for the sake of fun.
We had the privilege of watching them.
You can see tusk marks. It's a bit of archaeology!
These are tusk marks where the elephants came in here and hammered into this bank.
All this was level ground. The elephants excavated all of it.
I haven't been up here for a long time. There's a few ghosts up here.
Over 10 years, he and Ryan built up an incredible relationship with the animals.
but it was because they'd grown up so much that they had to go.
Limbo, the big male, was reaching sexual maturity
and would soon become far too dangerous to be handled. They'd have had to build a large bull enclosure
surrounded by steel bars,
but this wasn't an image that land agent Tim Moore was happy with at the safari park.
Keeping the animal, and also the cows when they were with him,
in an enclosure which is quite unlike the sort of safari park system
where we manage the great majority of our animals.
They're out in the wide open spaces.
The decision had been made. The five elephants were being sent to a new home in France.
Andy and Ryan found it very difficult to talk at the time,
but their colleague Mark Tye knew just how much they were dreading it.
Both of them are absolutely distraught about it.
You just don't know what to say.
It's so difficult. They've put more into those animals
than probably most of the rest of the park put together.
Come in line.
-I mean, you know quite well the bond I've built with Niko, the gorilla.
And it pales into insignificance compared to the bond they have with their animals.
They're hands on with them every single day. They've always called them the kids.
To them, they're their babies.
Even though they're pretty much well near to being fully grown up, they're still to them the kids.
And it hurts like hell for them.
But as the huge transporter trucks arrived, the keepers knew there was no going back -
the elephants would be leaving.
One of the most important things a keeper has to learn is the difference between their animals,
but with some species it's not easy!
It's vitally important should an animal get sick, but also to help predict behaviour,
which with tigers can be quite dangerous.
Each of the park's three tigers is an individual and the fingerprints are in their fur.
Their keepers, Bob and Brian, know the difference, but so far we don't.
This morning it's Ben and my turn to do exactly that.
We've come to the tiger house to join Bob and Brian. Morning.
It's noisy in here!
Now trying to tell these three girls apart,
they all look very, very similar on first glance.
I spent long enough working out the last three tigers.
We're starting all over again! I haven't done very well with other animal tests over the years.
No. You always seem to win. I'm not sure how that happens. I think people take pity on you.
-Let's see how we do. I'd like to suggest that Brian takes you...
-..and you can do it out in the...
-That's completely not fair!
If that means you're here with your face pressed against the bars looking at the differences,
-that's totally not fair!
-It's reasonable. I'm much braver than you so I'll be much closer.
I'll let you have the much safer option of being out in the car with Brian.
Luckily, me and Brian are so brilliant that it won't matter if they're three miles away!
OK, you guys just get out. I don't want you getting any tips.
-You carry on cheating...
-We'll give you a bit more time.
-We'll come back in six hours, seven hours(?)
-Just go out!
Right. Just as and the tigers. Right, where do we begin?
-Who have we got down here?
-This is Sindari.
-The way I tell Sindari apart is if you look on that side of her eye...
-Which she doesn't like!
-..she has an upside down exclamation mark.
-Oh, look at that!
You see the dot at the top and it goes down.
-And this is...? Remind me.
-This is Sindari.
-You can't even...!
-Go away, go away!
She's cheating over there.
So the upside-down exclamation mark is Sindari.
In personality, she's normally closest to you. She's always the most adventurous one.
-Anywhere there's trouble, she'll be there.
As you can see, the volume goes up a bit!
-The volume goes up here. Who have we got in here who's...?
-Well, the one at the back is Svetli.
-And if you go for the same side of the face...
-..she's got two dashes.
-Great. And now grumpy...
-This is grumpy here.
-She's going to move away.
-With her, the same sort of principle.
-Shall we move down and see whether, um...?
With her, the same side of the face, she also has an exclamation mark,
-but the dot is much nearer to the dash.
-Oh, no, now you...
-And she's quite angry!
OK, Bob, I think I've got all of that. Shall we let them out so that Kate and Brian can have a go?
If I can borrow your radio, I will let Kate know. Ben to Kate.
I have finished my tiger identification lesson. You don't stand a chance!
-Yeah, right, Fogle. There's no way you're going to win. Is there?
-No, not a chance.
Right. Oh, here they are. Crikey. We've got one running through.
-Once they're out in the wider enclosure, the most likely to be on her own is Sindari.
So really we need to tell the difference between the other two.
Well, they're miles away and one of them is completely hidden behind a tree!
-How are we going to do this? I need binoculars.
-I've got a trick.
-Aha! OK, very good.
-It might help us.
We knew they would be far away because Bob and Ben had them in the house.
-It's easier close up and we've got them far away.
-We've got Svetli there, Showri, Sindari...
-Let's not worry about Sindari.
-These are the ones...
Now looking immediately at those,
Showri looks like she's got more black in that eyebrow area than Svetli.
That's how I go for them normally - the more white here.
-And that black bit there.
-It is interesting looking at these.
Although on the face of it they all look identical,
these markings are actually completely unique to each animal.
They are. Everyone's different.
-It's like a thumbprint for us.
-Yeah, a fingerprint.
I would say the guess is that Showri is the one who is more clearly visible.
No, Svetli, rather. The one with the whiter...
Showri is hiding behind the tree.
-The one who would normally be ready to pounce. She's always on alert.
-So that's another clue. So Sindari will be on her own.
And Svetli will look a bit grumpier and will probably take your leg off.
-Brian, I think we're ready to take on the Fogle. What do you think?
-I think so.
-There's no way he'll be able to tell the difference once they're out in the open.
-No, I don't think he will.
-Join us later in tiger territory
when we find out who will earn their stripes.
Ferocious tigers certainly keep the keepers on their toes,
but there's an animal on the other side of the park they're excited about - the scimitar-horned oryx.
These ultimate ungulates get their name from those incredible sword-like horns,
but that's what they're hunted for. In Africa, they're on the brink of extinction.
But captive breeding, then releasing back into the wild, could save the species.
Longleat's pretty lucky to have a small herd of females,
but without a male they've been unable to start breeding and send any animals back to Africa.
But this is about to change
as Deputy Head of Section Kevin Nibbs is nervously awaiting delivery of a young bull.
We've got five females and two are fairly old, so we're not going to breed from them.
Three youngsters came from Germany and are the fittest, so that's the three we're going to breed with.
The best scenario is that all three get pregnant and deliver perfectly healthy females.
That would be good for the population. If we get a male, we can send it on to another collection.
As oryx numbers are so low, global stocks are strictly controlled
so it's been a lengthy and difficult task for Head Warden Keith Harris
to secure the arrival of a male with the right bloodline.
When we first got the oryx, we knew that they were important.
We've been patiently waiting for the chance to breed from them.
The Endangered Species program have picked out a bull that is compatible with the females here
and that allows us to breed, which is quite exciting.
That stock which is bred you hope will go somewhere down the line
to be part of a release program.
We know that we're a very small part of a big picture. It's just nice to be a part of it.
We'll see how it goes.
Today the park is finally seeing the arrival of the new boy.
I think Keith has been desperate to get a bull oryx here for a long time.
Eventually, we finally got our male and he can breed with the females
and that's good for us. A baby oryx for Longleat - we've never had one.
It'll be pretty tough for us to learn very quickly, but I think we'll get there.
I'm happy to be breeding any animal
so oryx we've never done here and I've never bred oryx anywhere else,
so for me this is a first as well. I'm looking forward to it.
The new oryx, named Drew, has come from another collection
and is being loaned for two years.
Kev is hoping by the end of that period they could have six calves,
but the most important thing for now is that he settles in quickly to his new environment.
Any new animal coming to another collection, they've got to acclimatise to how the park runs.
The bull oryx is in now.
After a few days, we'll let him out into the small yard here
and then introduce the girls to him through the fence, very slowly,
so he sees them, they see him.
Giving him a small area to start with gradually builds his confidence as he can explore it
and then we can make it bigger until he goes out with the females later in the summer.
We'll see how their relationship develops from there, really.
OK, the gloves are off. It's Fogle versus Humble in a fight to the death.
Who can name the three tigers successfully?
I think what we should do, Ben, is each one of us...
You do the three first, then I'll go second. The final challenge.
-I've never seen them like this.
-So you might get it wrong?
I've never seen them acting like this. They're always in the corner.
-This is new for me.
-So their behaviour is changing still, day to day?
-They're coming out of themselves.
-So behind the vehicle...
-You name the three first.
I think we've got, over there, looking round at us now, I think that is Showri.
Then I think standing up on the structure is Sindari.
And over here... I've forgotten the other S name!
Sunda... Showri, Sindari...
Svetli! Svetli there. Svetli.
-OK, Kate, your turn.
I think you're right. That one is, um...
I think... Ooh!
I think Svetli is the one with the frown marks.
Showri is the one with the very white face and her bum to us now.
And that's Sindari.
Well, that time you didn't get any.
But Ben got one.
-Sindari's over there.
-That's Svetli and that's Showri.
We are! Bob and Brian, thank you.
-It just makes us realise how difficult your job is.
-We need to go back to the classroom!
Swot up. Here are the photos.
We got all the names wrong and everything.
Back now to one of the saddest tales we've ever followed -
the day the elephants, looked after by Andy and Ryan, left forever.
They were going to a new home at a zoo in France. Enormous lorries arrived
to transport the five elephants and our cameras were asked to stay away
because it could become very dangerous. It was a huge operation and keepers from all over the park
helped out, including Mark, who did his bit by loading up a week's worth of food.
A lot of animals get used to eating the same sort of food all the time.
If you were just to change dramatically from one to another,
it might upset their stomachs as it's something they're not used to.
So obviously we'd like to do it over a gradual process so they get used to it gently.
Any animal that has to be moved out of its normal environment, especially when put in a lorry
and taken across on a ferry and stuff like that, it's going to be pretty stressful for them,
so you don't want to give them too many stressful things at one go.
Everybody is trying to lend moral support in any way they can.
Even if it's just a little thing, collect this, do that, whatever.
But I think if we're honest, nobody wants to be doing it at all.
After 10 years and thousands of hours of hard work by Andy and by Ryan and all the other keepers,
the elephants were loaded onto the transporters and left their home behind.
They were put on an overnight ferry to France where Ryan, who was travelling with the herd,
-had his first opportunity to check on the girls.
They're good. Nice and steady.
It's a good sign that they haven't tried to hit my head off!
They're pretty calm, they're eating. It's a really good sign. If they were highly stressed, they wouldn't.
They'd just throw it at me.
So it's good. They're very calm in there.
It was then a five-hour drive to Zoo Parc Beauval in the Loire Valley,
the second biggest zoo in France and home to over 200 species.
But they had never had elephants and had spent £9 million on their enclosure,
which included a 9-acre paddock and the biggest elephant house in Europe.
It had taken over 24 hours, but finally they were at their new home.
Unloading the elephants was potentially very dangerous,
as they may be disorientated,
so the keepers had to work as a team to guide them into their new pens.
All the animals were unloaded safely and even seemed to be getting into the French way of life.
But for Andy it was still an anxious time.
We're being careful around them. It's a strange environment.
They're in a strange environment. We're tired, extremely tired. They're tired.
It's a very stressful move for them and it's just totally different.
You're careful around elephants. We're extra careful at the moment.
The true test of how the elephants were settling in came with their first feed.
-Stressed animals often refuse to eat.
-They're all munching away.
They're not tucking it away, like they do at Longleat,
but I wouldn't have expected them to arrive here and immediately start eating the same amount of feed
as we gave them at Longleat. This is Undala. She's always prepared to eat, no matter what's going on.
But after a decade of caring for them, Andy and Ryan had to finally say goodbye.
You spend six days a week around somebody for 10 years,
since they were waist height, knee-high to a grasshopper,
and not just the training, you know, the routine for their wash and their scrub,
all the social skills...
It creates that sort of bond that goes beyond the normal bond with an animal
because we've done so much for them.
You feel, in a way, like you are their parent. I'm sure they look at us in the same way.
I'm very sad to be losing the elephants.
Nobody's ever going to love these elephants like us.
That devastating blow was five years ago.
Now the keepers have the opportunity to visit the elephants.
Time has helped heal some of the wounds, but for Andy the memories are still too painful to go back.
There is no way that I would go down to see the elephants again.
Some people may find that really strange,
but they were completely and utterly my life when I worked with them, and my passion,
and walking out on them, leaving them there, broke my heart.
There's no way I'll do it again.
But Ryan feels he is ready to make the trip
as he hopes it will put his mind at ease that the kids are all right.
There's a bit of nerves, but I'm also quite excited.
It would be nice to take the moral high ground and say that they've lost condition
and we looked after them better, but I hope they're looking just as good as when they were here.
There's one elephant in particular he's looking forward to seeing.
I got on particularly well with Undala. It sounds weird, but I do think of her a lot!
That's probably one of my most ridiculously nervy things,
her not remembering me.
Deep down, of course, I want them to remember me. I'm going to be quite gutted
if not even Undala gives me some sort of vague recognition,
but if they don't, they don't.
But deep down it will cut a little bit, I think.
Over the years, we've tried a lot of things to keep the monkeys busy
and some were a little unusual,
but as they're some of the most intelligent animals at the park, you need to be quite inventive.
Kate's involved with a new plan to keep them busy.
There's something curious going on here in Monkey Jungle.
Kevin, what's your plan with this bizarre looking bit of kit?
-The plan is this barrel here has had holes drilled.
-We'll put a little bit of monkey food inside, put the lid on and roll it down the hill.
-Like dog toys!
-Chuck these in.
-Presumably these are all things you would feed them anyway.
-It's not rich treats.
-It's their natural diet.
-Chuck that in.
OK, so lid on, presumably.
And we've got to seal that up.
-OK, I literally shove it down the hill?
-Give it a damn good kick.
There's a bit of a trail of stuff coming out here.
-What do you think? That far?
-Pretty good. Then we'll hide and they'll start munching on it.
So they're going rather like humans would or, in fact, any animal,
-going for easy pickings first.
-That's exactly right. nearest to us is a young male.
-He's one of the braver ones. He'll fill his face before a bigger male comes and chases him off.
-He's like an opportunist.
When they stand up like that, sometimes one is absolutely upright
-and seeming to check out what the others are doing.
They're very inquisitive and if one looks like he's got something nice, that's it.
-They'll get hounded until they give it up.
-Great. Look at that!
And, of course, Fruit Cam will show just how clever these monkeys are.
That's amazing, isn't it? It's been five minutes.
One of them has already worked out that if you roll it, stuff comes out.
-Once it moves, they get a little wary of it.
But once one works it out, that'll be it.
-They all tell each other.
-It's beginning to happen now.
-This is a big male now.
-Dipping his hand in. Brilliant! It's like a lucky dip.
"Where's the yummy stuff at the bottom?"
Oh, look. Look at the little one.
Now I never expected they would bother to peel the banana.
-I assumed they would eat the peel.
-They'll sit and peel it properly
and discard the skin later on. We'll come round later on and pick up the bits they left.
Look at that.
This has been a fantastic experiment. And a huge success as far as the monkeys are concerned,
judging by the fun over there. Thank you very much indeed.
'The two hippos are the most dangerous animals at the park, so vet checks are almost impossible.
'So, a few days ago, their keeper Mark had a potential nightmare on his hands
'when one of them got a very large rubber mat caught on her very big teeth.'
-How are you gonna do anything about that?
-Could you not sedate her here?
-Not in the water.
Even if she was out in the field here, if we darted her, the first thing she'd do - run to the water.
-I suppose if she's sedated...
-Sedated in the water...
-..she's too floppy and she's not gonna breathe.
-No. It's a big problem.
-God, what a problem!
'Well, Ben has gone up to meet Mark and get the latest.'
We can see them both just creeping up towards us, Sonia and Spot. What's happened?
Thank goodness, it's actually come off!
Don't know how. As mysteriously as it appeared, it's now gone.
A huge relief for you because these are two of the wildest animals here at Longleat.
You don't do anything. You never get near them.
No, they're as near wild as you can get, I should imagine.
They have all this lake, the field, and we are really hands off with them.
It's just the passing safari boat that goes anywhere near them basically?
Yeah, the boats go near them, the sea lions annoy them and we leave them alone.
What do you think happened to it? It came off on its own?
From seeing it jammed very tightly on there, she must have rubbed it off on something.
It's great she used her own initiative to remove it. It could have been a massive headache for us.
What I find amazing is, over the years, the safari park vet has had to deal with almost every animal,
-except these two.
-Yeah, they can't go anywhere near them.
The only time we could contemplate catching them would be in winter when we control their food.
-But this time of year, no chance.
-So a huge relief that they're fine?
Out in the wild and here indeed, the teeth are crucial for eating, to be able to graze on the grass.
With a piece of plastic like that, it would inhibit their eating.
Those teeth are used for fighting, those tusks that it was jammed over, not so much eating.
But it could have crossed her throat and not let the grass go down.
-It could have caused a massive problem.
-Mark, thanks very much.
What a relief! Here's what's still to come on today's programme.
'After five long years, the elephants are still always on the mind of their keeper.
'But will they remember him?'
'And the six new arrivals in Wolf Wood are taking their toll on their poor old mum.'
We did witness her jumping up a tree earlier on.
-To get away from them?
-Yeah, just to have a bit of peace and quiet.
It's been a while now since Drew, the male scimitar-horned oryx,
which are on the edge of extinction, arrived at the park.
His mission? To play a major hand in saving his entire species
by mating with the three young females that live at the park.
So, no pressure then! But how will he react to his girls?
We're hoping that things are gonna go quite smoothly.
The difficulty that could arise is that the three girls have been born together, have always lived together,
so introducing another animal to them, it may cause a few problems,
a few fights, a lot of running about, things like that.
The best case scenario is we let him out and they accept him straight away.
The worst case is they all turn on him and chase him off.
So it's time for Kev to make the introductions.
Good girls. Good girls.
Easy, easy, easy.
Easy, easy, easy. Easy now. Easy...
When he's happy that they're settled, he opens Drew's pen.
These animals are incredibly nervous
and with each one being literally priceless,
one panicked oryx could bring the breeding programme to a disastrous end.
But Drew appears to be a cool customer.
It's going very well. He's not intimidated by them. They're not afraid of him.
That's a positive step. And all it is now is time. The more we do it, the closer they should become.
But it's not as simple as that.
Any new births of such an endangered species are extremely precious,
so timing is all-important.
He's showing he's not afraid of them by walking around and then back in again cos it's his territory.
If they wanted to upset him, they'd run around and if he was upset, he'd be running a lot more.
The calmer he is, the better, and he does seem very relaxed.
And he's starting to eat as well, so that's very good to see.
He's relaxed enough to come out and have a bit of a feed there.
Like humans, oryx are pregnant for nine months
and Kev wants to be sure that breeding takes place at the right time of year.
The girls have been rattling through the cage and he's not reacted to it, so he's not been aggressive to them.
Everything has been very calm and quiet, which is very good. I'm very happy with this.
The plan is now to keep them out here every day,
then as time progresses, we can slowly let him out into the bigger, wider area
with the three youngsters, and that's him integrated with our herd.
The next step is he breeds with them and then babies in a few months' time.
After a successful first meeting, Kev can let the females out to graze in the large enclosure.
But for now, Drew must wait his turn.
We'll be back when it's time for the big boy to meet the ladies without the bars.
Today, we're updating one of the hardest times for the keepers that we've ever followed,
the time when the elephants left the safari park.
It's been five years since they were moved to their new home in France
and head of the safari park Keith Harris is taking their former keeper Ryan to see the elephants
he used to care for.
I'm looking forward to coming here. I want to see the elephants. I've wanted to for a few years now.
I don't know if "excited" is the right word. It's not excitement, but I just hope they're doing well.
I hope they're in good condition
and they've all, you know, grown and become the elephants that Andy and I thought that they would become.
After a long drive, they arrive at Zoo Parc Beauval
which is home to over 4,000 animals.
But Ryan is really only here to see one thing - the elephants,
and, in particular, his old favourite Undala.
I do feel a bit nervous this morning.
I've certainly been mulling over the whole "will they remember me or not" scenario
and I've concluded that they probably won't because it's a long time, so we'll just have to see.
But I feel nervous anyway because, emotionally, I don't know how I'm going to react to seeing them.
I remember that smell.
Yeah, his head is really nice and big.
You're a good boy.
He looks really good, actually.
I'm very pleased with the way he looks.
It's like he hasn't really changed at all. He's just a much bigger version of what he used to be.
I want to see them all, but... Undala especially.
Good girl. Good girl.
Do you want to smell?
All right, good girl.
Good girl. Good girl.
She may remember the commands,
but if there is a flicker of recognition, she's not really showing it.
Ryan's worst nightmare may have come true.
Good girl. Well done. Good.
The French keepers stick to the routine that Ryan and Andy taught them,
an important part of which is a daily morning shower.
First to be washed is Limbo the male.
The elephants had to leave Longleat as the keepers were worried that as Limbo got older and stronger,
his behaviour would become more bullish and aggressive and he would be dangerous to work with.
This elephant house is perfectly suited for that behaviour.
I'm pleasantly surprised actually about how polite he's being.
It's nice to see him getting straight in, stretched down.
It's nice to see that that hasn't been lost.
It just makes it so much easier to care for their skin in general when you can give them a good wash.
Suddenly, the elephant house is full of noise as Undala acts entirely out of character.
Trumpeting and dancing around is typical of a greeting ceremony,
which happens when family members are reunited.
It's taken a while, but she remembers Ryan.
I don't know if it's anything to do with me.
She was always very easy to wind up anyway.
In five years looking after Undala,
the French keepers have never seen anything quite like this before.
We never see her like that.
She recognised you for sure.
Yeah, but she always used to be like this. Very easy to wind up.
I would go in and muck around with her.
-Vous l'avez deja vu comme ca?
Really cool. It's making me want to go in there with her
and really, you know, muck around, but, um...
I mean, she's much bigger now and possibly she would have just bowled me over or something.
It was quite cool when the vet said he had never seen her like that in the morning,
but that's how she used to be.
I felt like there was some recognition there. Very nice for me.
And hopefully, very nice for her to know that you're still around.
Because elephants are highly emotional animals and they understand, I think,
so possibly from their point of view, it might be quite nice to know that we're around still as well.
With bath time over, they're let out into their paddock.
But how will Ryan cope when he has to say goodbye once again?
Back at Longleat, we're heading straight to Wolf Wood because there is some amazing news.
There's one place in the safari park where there is always something going on.
We're in Wolf Wood and I'm with keeper Bob Trollope and just behind us is Freda with some of the cubs.
We can't actually tell how many.
There's six altogether, but I can't see how many there is with Mum.
-She's been dotting about all over the place today.
-She's been moving them around.
-She has. Very much so.
She was in the house a couple of days ago, then she's brought them out into the fresh air.
They're all over the place.
I'm amazed that she's allowing us to get this close to her.
She hasn't picked them all off and moved them away.
She is generally quite good. It's Two Tips and One Tip that will come over and chase us off.
Maybe it's because they're not used to this Land-Rover.
The stripy ones, as soon as you come anywhere near Mum or the cubs,
they're there, just seeing us off and ripping off a few mud flaps.
Who is that just behind your shoulder there?
That is Dad. That is Two Tips.
As you can see, he's keeping guard. He's keeping an eye on us.
If we were to do anything silly like get out, he'd let us know.
-Would he come up?
-Very much so.
-Presumably, he could be very dangerous?
-Yeah, and the whole pack would join in. It's not just him.
Their main aim is to look after these little ones and they do it very well.
For many years, I've been coming up here and seeing the new litters each time they come out.
-Does it still get you as excited as ever?
This year, she gave birth to six and she's still got six. We haven't lost any. So, fingers crossed.
And they look really, really bonnie. They do, honestly.
-Just remind me their age now.
-Just over four weeks.
They've just got to the age where they're a bit more adventurous.
They'll wander off and cause all sorts of mayhem for the pack.
-And how long will they be suckling from Freda?
-They've just got to that age now.
I noticed they were nibbling on the meat, so they'll still be suckling for a few more weeks,
going to the feed as well in a few weeks' time,
then the whole pack will tend to regurgitate food for them as well, so they're getting well fed.
-It's amazing that at four weeks, they're already turning into carnivores.
-Do you think she's gonna keep moving them around?
-Without a doubt.
A lot of it is to do with cleanliness as well.
If a den site gets a little bit dirty, then obviously it gives smells away to any predator,
so they move them to a clean site every few days.
Presumably, Freda's like any mum, pretty exhausted at this stage?
Yes, we did witness her jumping up a tree earlier on.
-To get away from them?
-Just to have a bit of peace and quiet.
They look like they're resting now and she's getting some well-earned rest.
-I think we should leave her to her sleep. Thanks, Bob.
This enclosure is home to some of the world's greatest scavengers,
but as Kate is about to discover, it is also home to a whole lot more.
I'm in the African white-backed vulture enclosure with head of section, Mark Tye.
But today, we're not here to look at the birds.
We're here to look at these.
This is a common newt
and it lives in this enclosure, in this pond.
Mark, when did you discover that this pond was home to newts?
We built this pond purely for the vultures to bathe in because they like washing,
so it's a nice shallow-sided pond.
And it's been here for two years.
At the start of this year, it was looking particularly grubby,
so we gave it a good wash-out.
As we were cleaning it, we realised there were sort of tens of newts in here. We counted 60.
-I'm gonna put this little one back.
Although they don't mind being out of water, it is quite sunny and I don't want you to get too hot.
I'll just pop you back. There you are.
I see just from sitting on the side here, you've got some big water snails in the middle there,
lots of pond skaters scooting along the top, lovely water boatmen, all rowing their way around the pond,
but it is actually a perfect wildlife pond.
-Was that your intention?
-Not really, no.
-It was literally a vulture bath?
-It was a vulture bath.
-But I'm very pleased it's turned into a wildlife habitat.
Shall we explore a little? I bet you've got more animals in this enclosure than you could imagine!
Having reeds and stuff like this is good for one particular insect.
Oh, yeah, look at this! This is brilliant. I can take this off.
You must know what this is, don't you?
-Is it a dragonfly?
That is a dragonfly nymph...
-..case. Like, um, butterflies, they pupate.
So they go into this nymph state once they hatch out of the eggs
and they live in water for two years.
They are absolutely voracious monsters and love eating tadpoles and stuff like that.
They then come up and they climb out on to reeds like this and they'll hang on.
You say the vultures bathe in it. Presumably, they drink here as well?
Vultures don't drink very much. They get quite a lot of moisture from the food they eat.
-I've never seen them drinking.
-They do use it purely for bathing.
-Yeah, they're not going to kind of go in and eat newts or anything like that.
So everything is going to be pretty safe. Well done, you.
-You have created a perfect British wildlife habitat in the middle of your slice of Africa.
But now on the other side of the park, a very important rendezvous is about to happen.
It's an exciting day in the safari park for head of section Tim Yeo
because Drew the male oryx is about to be released for the first time.
-Exactly, Ben. The very first time.
-How long has he been here for now?
For about a couple of months.
-He's inside over there, isn't he?
-That's right, Ben, yes.
And we've got the two females, if the camera just pans around.
-We've got two females there. Who are they?
-This is Titch and Twist.
-They're elderly animals, about 15 years old.
-We're ready to release them out into the paddock.
This is the first time he'll have been right in close proximity.
-There's always been a gate or fence between them.
-This is the first time they've been together, so anything can happen.
-So there go the girls, just over there.
And he can now come out as well.
They've got these enormous horns which are surprisingly dangerous.
They are, Ben. They really are a very, very good defence mechanism.
Now he's looking... He hasn't quite seen the gate. He seems to be trying to go out the wrong way.
Is that just scratching his head or is he...?
He's always only known this, you see, since he's been here.
So it's quite possible that he won't do an awful lot.
He's coming over towards the area now.
Julie, can we back up out of the way? Sorry.
So we just need to...
We're probably preventing him coming out a little bit. He might be a bit wary of all of us.
In fact, as we move, there he goes.
And he's decided to go, so maybe we were a little bit in the way. We've got lots of cars in the park today.
And there he goes. So this is his first time out at Longleat.
-How does that make you feel?
-It's great to see him come out. It really is.
I mean, absolutely wonderful.
-Has he seen the others? He has and he's running across.
-There he goes.
-So we want to follow?
-Julie, could we start following?
Mating straight away potentially?
Not straight away, but I'm sure it will come in the near future, really, yes.
They've already... Already the females have been stimulated
to start a regular cycle.
-Just with his presence alone.
-His presence here in the park.
-He is keen on grass, isn't he?
-Grazing straight away.
The keepers have been giving him grass within the house.
But to actually come out and get good... It's absolutely wonderful.
And if they are successful together and you do get mating and then some baby oryx here,
will they be able to stay here and remain within the herd?
Ben, one of the wonderful things about this is if we're successful in breeding them,
we can do our bit for these endangered species.
We can help them to breed and hopefully look after the calves well.
There's a possibility that some of these animals in the future may well be reintroduced into the wild
because that's where they need to be, in the wild.
And to increase the number that we have and get them breeding in the wild and back where they should be.
It's almost like all the deer are looking on in the distance, I can see the rhino.
They're almost all looking at the newest arrival, checking him out.
-Tim, thanks for letting me share this experience and best of luck with Drew.
Back now to France where at the end of an emotional day,
Ryan is preparing to say goodbye to the elephants for the second time.
He knows this may be difficult, but the trip has been worth it
for the peace of mind it's given him.
I am glad I came. Very, very glad I came.
It would have been awful to leave today
and think, "Oh, they've gone downhill in some way or in several ways."
But they haven't.
So that's great for me and great that I can pass that on to Andy,
that their condition is definitely good still.
The best moment for me has to be Undala going completely nut-nut
in the house when I think she finally cottoned on who it was
and she just slipped straight back into her old routine of haring around and trumpeting
and making lots of noise which I used to encourage her to do.
I suppose Undala and I have just had a bit of a funny relationship
where that's what we both enjoyed.
We both got some sort of reward out of it and both knew where to draw the line.
Today, she proved that because when it was her turn for a bath, she kept her manners and was well behaved.
So I was immensely proud.
As the elephants are brought in for the night and the moment to leave draws nearer,
he knows it won't be easy.
I think possibly leaving them again is gonna be slightly emotional.
But, hey, I knew when I came here
that there was no chance of me sneaking one home with me or all five of them.
So I just sort of had to, I suppose, be typically British about the whole thing
and just keep my chin up.
But last time I walked away, just assuming that their condition would go downhill,
that they would become depressed, because it's the selfish thing to think.
But I have to see the bigger picture.
But now Ryan has to say goodbye and leave the elephants once again.
Thanks, Nicolas. You've done a good job. Excellent. Good stuff.
Obviously, much easier to say goodbye to them this time
because I'm not losing them.
The last time I said goodbye, I was losing them, so it makes it easier for me to come back and see them.
It'd be lovely to come back.
Last, but by no means least, is the elephant he had the closest bond with - Undala.
Back at the safari park, Kate and I have some new friends to meet in Pets' Corner.
You may have noticed there's something on my shoulder.
It's a bearded dragon and in Kate's hand is a leopard gecko.
We've joined Darren in Pets' Corner to find out more about these incredible creatures.
Amazing. Both are members of the lizard family, but whilst they've got lots of similarities,
they are very different in the way they behave, the way the act.
Let's start with my bearded dragon. If I turn round, we can probably see the face there.
-That's a much more handsome view!
This is Bernard and Bernard is a wonderful bearded dragon from Australia.
And the great thing about these, in fact, about both of these,
is they can live up to quite high temperatures, well above 100 degrees.
-And this chap here is really an amazing creature.
Looks dinosaur-like, doesn't he?
-Look at this tail.
-You can see where he gets his dragon name from.
And all these spikes. But if you run your finger gently on those, they're quite soft.
I thought they'd be much harder.
Yes, they are. They look like rose thorns, but they're not at all.
He's a faker. One of his main defences is puffing himself up, making himself look big and tough,
pushing these spikes out, so he looks really like a...
-Like a medieval club or something taken from Asterix.
This one may be a little smaller and slightly less dramatic-looking,
but certainly no less dramatic in colour.
Presumably, this pattern gives it its name, the leopard gecko,
but is this for camouflage?
Totally. It's to break up that outline.
Most animals have a camouflage to blend in to their surroundings.
From a distance, against a mottled background of dirt and stones and rubbish on the floor,
this is Afghanistan, northern India, again quite hot and arid areas, this would break up quite nicely.
-I'm getting rather attached to Bernard.
-Bernard's definitely attached to you!
Darren, thank you very much for introducing us to these wonderful reptiles.
It is a bit cold out here, Harry.
I think it's perhaps time to go inside and get you warm
and time for us to say goodbye because that's all we've got time for today.
But here's what's coming up on the next Animal Park.
After five long years, one of the park's most important animals could be pregnant.
The lions do much more than go bump in the night.
And the residents get restless as there's an invasion afoot.
Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd 2009
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