Episode 14 Animal Park


Episode 14

Elvis the camel gets all shook up and the tigers go for a dip in their new pond. Kate Humble and Ben Fogle go behind the scenes at Longleat Safari Park.


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Transcript


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The keepers have spent the last few years gaining the confidence of these terrifying tigers.

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But all their hard work could be undone because today they need to administer a big injection.

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Do tigers forgive and forget? We'll find out on today's programme.

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Coming up on today's show: there's unease in the rhino house as Mirashi is taken ill.

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She's very poorly.

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The bats get in a flap as Kate serves up some tropical delights.

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And there's a surprise delivery in the camel house that gets the keepers all shook up.

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It's going to be a pretty hair-raising event I think!

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But first we head straight over to Tiger Territory.

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Of all the animals in the park some of the fiercest have to be the three young tigers -

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Svetli, Showri and Sindari. They could kill with one bite of their awesomely powerful jaws.

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So you don't really want to upset them.

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But today big cat keepers Bob and Brian have a job to do

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that certainly won't make them any friends.

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We're going to inject all the tigers today for a cat flu injection.

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So a one mil dart each.

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it's pretty well easy to do, but tigers do tend to get a bit lively,

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so we are prepared for trouble.

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I think we'll get a lot of tigers jumping up at the cages at us.

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You need them to sit back a way so you can get a decent shot in the muscle of the back leg.

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It's very hard to do with a tiger jumping at you, coming forward.

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But with the expertise of Bob...

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we may be able to distract them somehow.

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They've got quite a job on their hands.

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These three girls arrived two years ago and from the off two of them, Svetli and Showri, were very lively.

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Sindari, the third tiger, is calmer than her sisters, but you've still got to watch her.

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Over the past two years, Bob and Brian have tried to build up a relationship with the tigers.

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Today's vaccinations might undo all that hard work.

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The fact that we're going to do something that isn't going to be pleasant to them,

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I'm sure they'll hate us for a few moments,

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but hopefully only briefly.

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But the vaccinations have to be done as cat flu can be fatal.

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Four years ago, these three tigers' predecessors fell victim to this virus.

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They don't want to make much effort to move.

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She's got a lot of discolouration on her tongue.

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As all the tigers were fairly old, it hit them especially hard.

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She's very stiff and just by looking at her you see she doesn't want to move much.

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There's no cure for cat flu, so they were given antibiotics in their meat

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just to make sure they didn't get any other infections. It took over a week before all three perked up.

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Oh, good girl.

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Good girl.

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A lot better than yesterday.

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The keepers never want to go through this again.

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Even though the vaccination doesn't guarantee the cats won't fall ill, they give them their annual jabs.

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Once the drug has been successfully administered, the keeper's job is not done.

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Bob and Brian still have to get the dart back. This can be the most difficult part.

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Obviously, they can't just go in and pull it out.

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Hopefully let them brush against a bit of the cage and it draws it out.

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The one thing we will have to be careful about is if the needles bend and stay in.

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We'd obviously have to knock them out and not leave them like that.

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Will we do you first, lady?

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Bob and Brian start with the calmest tiger first, Sindari.

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They have to get the dart into her hind quarters, but she's not making it easy to get a clean shot.

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Oh, you so-and-so.

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-Surround you now.

-Oh, look at this.

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Yeah, what's this?

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Hey, come here.

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Good girl, good girl.

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Oh, you felt that, didn't you, darling? Hey!

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Bob's distraction technique seems to have worked.

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But Sindari's not too happy with Brian.

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-It's out. It's on the floor.

-In you go.

-Good girl.

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She was quite quiet.

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As you can hear, those other two might be a little more trouble.

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ANGRY GROWLS

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Next up is Showri - the noisy one.

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Come here, come here.

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VERY ANGRY GROWLS

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Hey, hey, hey.

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-Good girl.

-Good girl.

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Hey, hey, hey.

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Calm down, calm down.

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The dart's in there somewhere.

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It was here.

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Hey, hey, hey.

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They thought the hardest part was going to be getting the dart out of the tiger,

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but it seems to be finding it. There's an obvious joke here and someone's got to say it.

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Trying to find a needle in a haystack, aren't we?

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-It can't be that hard to find!

-Come back in an hour's time. Have a cup of tea while you watch.

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We have to find it. We have to dart Svetli and we may need to put her in here.

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We don't want her standing on it. That adds to your problems.

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Maybe we should leave them to it, but we'll be back later to see if they find the dart.

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If they do, they'll have to face Svetli, the rowdiest tiger of them all.

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Two years ago, three brothers arrived to begin a reign of terror in the East Africa Reserve.

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Their names - Vlad the Impaler, Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan.

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They're warthogs, the first they've ever had here.

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At first, they charged around like monsters.

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# What's that coming over the hill? Is it a monster? Is it a monster? #

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But they've calmed down a bit since then and enjoy nothing more than a good wallow in the mud.

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However, they haven't been able to indulge recently

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as, after a spell of warm, dry weather, their hole has dried up.

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So Ben and I are off to make some mud.

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We're out in the warthog field with Andy Heyton.

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-It's churned up. Is this their work?

-Well, we kind of built this whole paddock on sand.

-Right.

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We brought in some clay to line it out, with a nice depression here, but the boys have ruined our hard work.

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-This is meant to be their wallow.

-Right.

-But we've had unseasonal summer weather and it's been warm!

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-So it's dried out, basically.

-Baked hard. So we'll chuck water in.

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And here they are behind us. Presumably, like pigs, they love to wallow and cover themselves in mud.

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It's fantastic for them. It keeps direct sunlight off their skin. They have quite delicate skin.

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It acts as a moisturiser and exfoliant.

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-You could jump in afterwards.

-Thank you!

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-We've got a trailer of water here.

-Yes, so if we fill up these holes here and dampen it down a bit.

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-OK.

-How do we do that? I don't want to get too wet.

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-I'll try not to get our cameraman's feet too wet.

-OK.

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So this is going to be a perfect, good, muddy...and presumably they do the churning up themselves.

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-All you need to do is put the water in.

-They'll have a good dig about, hopefully.

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-They're all lined up behind us.

-Spying!

-Ready to go, are they?

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Mud, mud, glorious mud!

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And do you think this will actually stay for a while?

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-I suppose it depends on the weather, how dry it is.

-Once they get in here, they displace the water

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-and it all comes flowing out.

-Excellent.

-Brilliant.

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You've got the system here very well planned, haven't you?

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We're extremely technologically advanced.

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-Are we done with the water?

-Yeah.

-Good. We can move that away.

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Now we've got some warthog favourites - apples and bananas. Is it worth scattering those?

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We can drop a couple round the edge so they can...

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-They would root in the ground to feed anyway.

-Yeah, they'll dig up tubers and roots and things.

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-These are omnivorous.

-Right.

-They will eat a small amount of meat, too.

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They won't go out catching meat or animals to eat,

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but if there's a lion kill they may start chewing on the bones, taking small mammals, birds possibly.

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-They'll eat pretty much anything.

-Are we putting all the food out?

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Yeah, you can chuck it all out, Ben. It might encourage them.

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This is like what a child creates in their garden.

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It's what I did as a boy! It's brilliant!

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-There we go. One more banana.

-Shall we move away a little bit?

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Yeah, back to where the tractor is. We may have to wait half an hour.

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Just sit down in the grass.

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'We're going to leave them to it. Join us later to see if there's been any wallowing action.'

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Throughout a year at the park, there are lots of births.

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Most of them go without a hitch and are a cause for celebration.

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However, there are times when they just can't let nature take its course

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and keepers have to step in.

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One species that historically have had more trouble than most is the Bactrian camel,

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a critically endangered animal.

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So when birthing season arrives, head of section Tim Yeo is always a bit nervous

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and two years ago was no exception when he discovered one of his females was unexpectedly pregnant.

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What we've noticed this morning is that Bali, one of our Bactrian camels, has gone away from the group

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and shown an enormous amount of restlessness this morning.

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She appears to be looking for somewhere to give birth.

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That, coupled with the size of her udder, is really suggesting to me that she's very close to calving.

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Tim and his deputy Kevin Nibbs had to hurry and prepare the barn for an imminent arrival.

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We have to make sure we get the pens prepared for her

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and then we have to keep watching it so that when she gives birth

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she actually looks after it properly and, if she doesn't, we can step in and help.

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We're talking hours rather than anything else. It's imminent.

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Now the fate of Bali and her unborn baby was in the hands of nature.

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All Tim and Kevin could do was wait.

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COCK CROWS

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Next morning, Tim had the good news he'd been hoping for.

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I looked in and there was the little one and Mum standing over him.

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-I think he was actually sucking the wool at the time.

-The new calf appeared healthy enough

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but something was wrong. He didn't seem able to stand up on his own,

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which meant he couldn't suckle from his mother. Tim was immediately concerned.

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That animal has to drink the vital colostrum, the first milk,

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that comes through from the mother.

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And that milk holds the antibodies which help to build up an immunity to different ailments

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a camel may be subjected to.

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So it's vitally important that they do, probably within the first three hours,

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that they need that colostrum.

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To give the young camel a helping hand, he decided to bandage up his weak leg

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to give it more support in the hope of giving it the strength it needed to stand and suckle.

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But it seemed if this plan was going to work, the new born was going to need more time,

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but he needed the nutrients now.

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So Tim decided to milk the mother.

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He hoped feeding him this small amount of goodness would give the baby the strength to stand.

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Now we just go away and leave alone,

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but I would like to see very much a situation where we look in and we see

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the little on feeding from Mum.

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We'll know then that everything we've done this morning has been OK

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and we haven't mucked anything up and it's helped

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and that's it. We'll be happy then.

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Find out later if the new-born camel survived.

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Now straight back to Tiger Territory where Bob and Brian are giving the tigers their cat flu vaccinations.

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They successfully darted Showri, but they couldn't find the needle.

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She's safely back in her cage,

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but it's been 10 minutes since Bob and Brian started looking for a needle in a haystack.

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-There it is!

-At last.

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-At long last.

-I told you it was over there(!)

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They can finally get on with the job in hand and they've saved the best, and liveliest, for last.

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So that Bob can get a clean shot at Svetli, Brian stands in the next pen to get her to stand side on.

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He's a brave man as this means he's standing between two very angry tigers.

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Good one, good one.

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Can't see if it's gone off or not. ..Yeah, it has.

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I'll open the back door a bit, shall I?

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She really isn't happy with Bob,

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but both he and Brian are pleased with how it has gone.

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-A success.

-Yep.

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That was actually quite good. On each of them the dart's gone off.

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Obviously, it's a little bit stressful for them, but I think they all went

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how we thought they would do. Sindari is the quiet one, anyway.

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Showri and Svetli were... how they normally are!

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But, yeah, they've got their booster for another year. They don't need to worry about it for 12 months.

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-Go on, then.

-With their ordeal over, the three tigers are allowed out for the day, safe from cat flu.

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Let's hope they don't hold a grudge against Bob and Brian for too long.

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They shouldn't, as their keepers have a treat in store for them.

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Now it's time to catch up once again with the warthogs and their muddy treat.

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Well, they were feeling a little bit shy about wallowing while we were in there, Andy, so we've now come out

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and they have come down the hill and you can see...

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Who's that in the middle? He's really using his tusks.

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I can't see quite from here. It's possibly Genghis again.

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-He's using his nose as opposed to tusks.

-Yeah.

-Oh, look at that!

-Look at that!

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-Can we edge a little bit closer?

-Hopefully he'll be in such raptures doing what he's doing.

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-If we keep as quiet as possible...

-He's rolling like a dog would do.

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They just have a real good time when they do this kind of thing.

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-In the wild they would find these naturally.

-Yeah, they'd probably go down on a river bank

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or after it rains or whatever. That's normally why water holes in Africa look such a mess.

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Warthogs roll on the edge and the rhinos and elephants.

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And presumably they will take advantage of having other heavier animals around,

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-like rhinos, like elephants, like giraffes, churning up the ground for them.

-Absolutely.

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They say elephants are the architects of Africa. They create water holes for other animals, knock down trees,

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they give everything - right down to these guys and insects, it all works in conjunction.

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And for your visitors this is great. Everyone is getting a really good view of them.

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These animals are just a fantastic show when they're doing stuff.

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I like them even when they're sunbathing in a big heap. Even when they're not moving, they're animated.

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They've just got wonderful faces. Incredible expressions.

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If you get up close enough, the little eyebrows go up and down.

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-I really do rave about these. They are fantastic.

-And made very popular after The Lion King

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-and we had the warthog in there.

-Whoever drew Pumbaa got it absolutely spot on.

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-That is a warthog.

-I love the manes they've got, like an ill-fitting toupee!

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The comb over! That's great, Andy, that they now feel comfortable enough

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to come down and completely just enjoy a good muddy wallow in the sun.

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Yeah. It's just abandon.

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When you do things for the animals and make life better for them,

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-it's enjoyable to see what you do...

-Look at that!

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-That is the epitome of a happy warthog.

-He's coming to say, "Cheers, Andy!

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-"Same time tomorrow?"

-"Thanks very much."

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We're looking back to when one of the rare Bactrian camels gave birth to a new male calf.

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A week on and the new-born was looking much steadier.

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However, his jelly legs inspired his keepers when choosing a name -

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Elvis.

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So as the King was looking stronger, safari park vet Duncan Williams gave him his first health check.

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-Why did you put the bandage on? Just for support?

-For support.

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-She was flicking over on the fetlock?

-Right over.

-He, sorry.

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-Yes, right over.

-Shall we take it off, then?

-Lovely, yeah.

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HE WHIMPERS

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Right, I'll hold you.

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'What Tim is describing is a weakness in the ligaments.

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'I think this joint was just collapsing forward as the baby put weight on it.

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'That tends to strengthen. The ligaments and tendons firm up as the calf gets stronger.'

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With the thumbs up from Duncan, Elvis was ready for his next big step -

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being allowed out into the enclosure for the first time.

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Once the baby goes out, he's going to be be extremely inquisitive of other animals

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and will approach them and some of those may not want approached.

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So it's going to be a pretty hair-raising event!

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Tim had to keep a close eye on Elvis to check he didn't get into any dangerous situations

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with the other animals.

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The Bactrian camels have been living happily side by side with the cattle and rhino for years,

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but the new-born camels don't know the rules. If Elvis got too close,

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it could have been fatal.

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It really is a serious matter, particularly as he just takes off into the middle of those cattle.

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All that one's got to do is give a sharp hook with a horn.

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We've had it happen before. The baby took them into trouble, the mother tried to protect it

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and one of the bull Ankole just, as the mother went by,

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flicked his horn and disembowelled her, literally. She did survive,

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I have to say, miraculously, but it was nasty.

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Things seem to have gone well for Elvis, though, but then having come so far,

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Elvis took his life in his own hands by heading straight for the Ankole,

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forcing his mother and Tim into action.

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It's a nightmare.

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You don't know where he's going to go next. To manoeuvre a vehicle, you often don't get it right.

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You're praying that nothing happens.

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But thanks to the efforts of Mum and Tim, Elvis will never walk alone

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and was steered well away from the dangerous herd of cattle.

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Having survived his first day in the enclosure,

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Tim could now relax and look forward to Elvis enjoying a long and happy life.

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That was two years ago and since then Elvis has grown - a lot.

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And he's starting to get a bit frisky,

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but with Khan, the dominant male, already in the herd, there's no place for Elvis here.

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Sadly, he's having to leave the park and his new home is a camel centre in Suffolk.

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He's getting to the age now

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where he's been attempting to sneak on and mate some of the females

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when Khan's not watching.

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If Khan doesn't stop him from attempting to mate one of the others,

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that is something we do not want. He could end up breeding with his mother, or something like that.

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The other...

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The other reason being that, he's not quite there now,

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but as he gets larger, he will at some point become a threat to Khan

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and they'll start fighting and bull camels, when they do fight, it's nasty.

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Because Elvis has had quite a lot of contact with his keepers,

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this has made him an extremely confident and fearless camel around humans,

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so Tim has some words of warning for his new owners.

0:26:060:26:10

People will have to be cautious when dealing with him when he's breeding, certainly.

0:26:100:26:16

Because he hasn't any real fear of us and we had to do quite a bit in the early days

0:26:160:26:23

to get him started.

0:26:230:26:25

How is amorous Elvis going to react to leaving the park?

0:26:250:26:30

Most cats don't like water. However, over the years,

0:26:370:26:41

all the park's tigers have loved their pool.

0:26:410:26:45

But Deputy Head Warden Ian Turner now thinks it's a bit too small for the three girls who live here.

0:26:450:26:52

The old pond's been here for years. None of the other tigers used it a lot,

0:26:520:26:58

but these three young ones play in it and they play together.

0:26:580:27:03

So it needs to be a bit bigger.

0:27:030:27:05

So Ian had a vision.

0:27:050:27:08

Hopefully, I should be stood in the middle of the pond when it's finished.

0:27:080:27:14

The plan of action is to go into the old pond over there, and this area here is the new pond.

0:27:140:27:21

I'd like it to be as deep as possible.

0:27:210:27:25

Work was meant to start in the winter when the park was closed.

0:27:250:27:29

However, there were problems before they even started.

0:27:290:27:34

Because it's concrete, you've got to wait for the frost to go and then wait for dry weather,

0:27:340:27:40

otherwise this area will turn into a complete bog with JCBs and diggers.

0:27:400:27:44

It may be a case that we're open to the public and have to do it first thing in the morning,

0:27:440:27:51

which gives us two hours each morning. Could be a long job.

0:27:510:27:55

Anyway, a year later and a lot of hard work, the tiger pool is ready.

0:28:040:28:09

That is a very impressive construction. Big question - where's the water?

0:28:120:28:18

We haven't got that. Just waiting for the rain!

0:28:180:28:22

It'll be turned on in a minute.

0:28:220:28:24

-There's a switch to turn on down at the bottom.

-OK.

-Rob?

0:28:240:28:29

-'Come in.'

-Can you turn it on, please?

0:28:300:28:34

'OK.'

0:28:340:28:36

So it should come out there. Presumably the water has to come all the way up the pipe.

0:28:360:28:42

-It takes a little time.

-That's one of the good things.

0:28:420:28:46

It will be full all the time, not up and down.

0:28:460:28:50

It'll be full all the time. > It's not happening.

0:28:500:28:54

Has he turned the right switch on?

0:28:540:28:57

Can't hear a thing!

0:28:570:29:00

I reckon you've got a hole in your pipe, John!

0:29:000:29:04

GURGLING

0:29:040:29:06

I can hear something in the pipe.

0:29:060:29:09

CHEERING

0:29:110:29:13

Very good!

0:29:130:29:15

-Thank God for that!

-That's a relief, I imagine!

0:29:150:29:20

-Any idea how long it will take to fill up?

-I would have thought 10-12 hours to fill right up

0:29:240:29:31

and get it going.

0:29:310:29:33

Then we'll let the tigers out. Fantastic.

0:29:330:29:37

Join us later to find out what the tigers make of their new pool.

0:29:370:29:42

In the meantime, here's what's coming up.

0:29:420:29:45

Elvis stages a comeback special.

0:29:470:29:50

Just mind he doesn't come out.

0:29:500:29:53

'And I help get the guinea pigs looking their best.'

0:29:550:29:59

You're looking gorgeous!

0:29:590:30:01

But now to a very dark corner of the park.

0:30:010:30:06

They can be found almost anywhere in the world.

0:30:060:30:09

Many people fear them and they come out at night.

0:30:090:30:14

They're bats.

0:30:140:30:16

Or, more specifically, the Egyptian fruit bats.

0:30:160:30:20

This animal may only come out at night, but when it does they're extremely helpful to us.

0:30:200:30:27

Many plants rely on bats for pollinating flowers or spreading their seeds.

0:30:270:30:32

Kate's gone into the bat cave to find out more whilst giving them their dinner.

0:30:320:30:39

This glamorous little spot is behind the scenes at the bat cave and I'm here with John.

0:30:390:30:44

You've got all sorts of extraordinary things laid out here.

0:30:440:30:49

-We're preparing a fruit cocktail for our fruit bats.

-OK.

0:30:490:30:53

On a normal bog standard day, we prepare fruity kebabs.

0:30:530:30:57

-That's skewers with big chunks...

-Yeah, whole bananas, whole apples.

0:30:570:31:01

But today we're trying something a bit different. Fruit bats are responsible for a lot of pollination.

0:31:010:31:08

-Right.

-They would go to the fruit, take a mouthful, drop it, drop seeds.

0:31:080:31:14

They also eat pollen and nectar - go to one flower, stick their tongue in, then go to another flower...

0:31:140:31:20

-Exactly like bees.

-Just like a bee.

0:31:200:31:23

So what we're doing here is basically taking away all the waste that a bat wouldn't eat

0:31:230:31:29

like the seeds and skin and bringing it down to its natural core.

0:31:290:31:34

Put a dollop of each in each one? All right.

0:31:340:31:37

You can do some work. I know you're a boy, but it is allowed!

0:31:370:31:43

Are bats crucial to fruit pollination?

0:31:430:31:46

It's some ridiculous number like 70% of the world's fruit, or exotic fruit, is pollinated by bats.

0:31:460:31:52

That is a huge amount. Any of the more exotic fruits, say, avocados.

0:31:520:31:58

-Our guys adore avocado.

-Really?

-They're one of the biggest pollinators of avocados.

0:31:580:32:04

All the nice fruits you get in your fruit salad, if it wasn't for bats, you wouldn't be having them.

0:32:040:32:10

I think we should go in and encourage them to do a bit of pollinating.

0:32:100:32:16

Let's see.

0:32:160:32:18

So we'll push our way through... the bat curtain.

0:32:180:32:23

I always do feel like I'm in some superhero film.

0:32:230:32:27

Right. Oh, that's clever. You've set up a little holder.

0:32:280:32:33

A little feeder which I prepared earlier.

0:32:330:32:36

Stick the banana in the middle.

0:32:360:32:39

OK, I'll put that sort of apple pulp there, banana in the middle.

0:32:390:32:43

Sharp-eyed viewers, you will notice that there is also a camera just here

0:32:430:32:49

looking down at this clever contraption that John has built.

0:32:490:32:54

So we should be able to get a really good close-up view.

0:32:540:32:58

-What should we do?

-Step out the way. You can see that they're already starting to buzz about.

0:32:580:33:05

Brilliant.

0:33:050:33:07

I can't see his face, but it looks like he's lapping that up.

0:33:090:33:13

-I think he definitely went for the banana. The banana was the first one of choice.

-Not surprising.

0:33:130:33:19

Here we go.

0:33:190:33:22

To find their food, these bats not only use their good sense of smell,

0:33:220:33:26

but echo location.

0:33:260:33:29

This is a type of sonar the bat makes as it flies.

0:33:290:33:33

These sounds then bounce off things around them so that they can tell how close or far away they are.

0:33:330:33:40

They can even tell what the object is - like something that might taste good.

0:33:400:33:46

Echo location is so sophisticated that these animals can detect an object the width of a human hair.

0:33:460:33:52

It is interesting, isn't it? We've come in and that's a disturbance,

0:33:560:34:00

but I do notice that there does seem to be more clicking, more echo location going on

0:34:000:34:07

when something new comes in.

0:34:070:34:10

Do they really communicate as a group? Do they talk to each other?

0:34:100:34:15

They're very vocal animals. They've really become much more active.

0:34:150:34:19

Those couple that scouted it out have communicated with the others to let them know there's food.

0:34:190:34:26

-Must be quite a perilous position for them to lie flat, to not be ready to go.

-Yeah.

0:34:280:34:35

Think of the amount of energy it takes to lift up and take off. They can't just drop and fly away.

0:34:350:34:42

Particularly with what he's getting!

0:34:420:34:45

Here's another one in.

0:34:470:34:50

-They're all going for the banana.

-Straight to it.

-Straight in.

0:34:500:34:54

He's eating like he hasn't eaten for a month!

0:34:540:34:58

I'd say from that bat's face that it's been a huge success. Would you do it again?

0:34:580:35:04

-Yes, it's another good way of presenting their food.

-Thank you. Enjoy it, bats!

0:35:040:35:10

One hanging there, waiting his moment.

0:35:100:35:14

Kate's now raced up from the bat cave to the rhino house.

0:35:220:35:26

The last time we saw Mirashi, the vet was giving her a health check

0:35:260:35:31

as well as taking some blood to see if she was pregnant.

0:35:310:35:35

No news yet on that, but everyone's become really worried about her as she's been acting very strangely.

0:35:350:35:42

Deputy Head Warden Ian Turner has now urgently called Duncan out

0:35:440:35:48

and Kate's gone along, too, in the hope of finding out what's wrong.

0:35:480:35:53

She looks quite depressed, doesn't she?

0:35:530:35:57

-You can look at the face and tell something's not right.

-Yeah.

-She's off her food this morning.

0:35:570:36:03

-Any other symptoms?

-They've always got runny noses, when you see them in the wild,

0:36:030:36:09

but hers is running more than normal. Everything's an effort. She took a while to get there.

0:36:090:36:15

And she's not moving. I've tried to call her over.

0:36:150:36:20

-This one's fine.

-She's looking great.

0:36:200:36:24

Well, Duncan, you're over having a look at her.

0:36:240:36:29

-A rhino with a chill doesn't sound like a good thing.

-No.

0:36:290:36:34

We're trying to get her a bit closer, to encourage these others in and she might come over.

0:36:340:36:40

It's hard to see. She's got her eyes half shut, looks very, very depressed.

0:36:400:36:46

When we arrived she was just lying down and didn't want to get up. It was very cold last weekend.

0:36:460:36:52

-That's probably how she's picked something up.

-Right. Oh, come on over here, girl.

0:36:520:36:58

-We're worried about you.

-She's much slower than normal.

0:36:580:37:02

When rhinos get sick, they can go downhill very quickly.

0:37:020:37:08

So in order for Duncan to get a closer look, the keepers try to get Mirashi into the rhino house.

0:37:080:37:14

Are we all right to come in here?

0:37:170:37:20

Hey, girl. Here you go. Come on.

0:37:200:37:23

That's quite a thick mucus coming out of her nose, isn't it?

0:37:230:37:28

Yeah, but it's not pus. It's clear. That's a good sign, really.

0:37:280:37:34

I suppose, Ian, what this shows

0:37:340:37:37

is just how important it is that you and the keepers who are looking after these rhinos,

0:37:370:37:43

-day to day, how important it is to know your animal.

-That's right.

0:37:430:37:48

-It's little signs, isn't it?

-Tell-tale signs. If they're not eating, that's obvious,

0:37:480:37:54

-but when they're not walking properly... You can tell by her face.

-It's her whole demeanour.

0:37:540:38:01

-She doesn't look happy.

-She looks like everything's an effort.

-That's right.

0:38:010:38:07

She has flu-like symptoms and Duncan needs to monitor her to know what's making her poorly.

0:38:090:38:16

In the meantime, he's prescribed her some medicine that's being mixed up in her food.

0:38:160:38:22

Come on, girl.

0:38:240:38:26

-Oh, a bit slow, isn't she?

-Yeah.

0:38:260:38:29

Good girl, come on.

0:38:290:38:31

She's looking kind of interested.

0:38:310:38:34

It's down here, sweetheart.

0:38:340:38:36

Come on, girl.

0:38:360:38:39

Look at this. Come on, lovely.

0:38:390:38:42

-Down there.

-Good girl.

0:38:420:38:44

Yummy. Yummy.

0:38:450:38:48

Go on.

0:38:480:38:50

-That's a good sign, Ian.

-Mm.

0:38:500:38:53

Good girl.

0:38:530:38:55

Come on.

0:38:560:38:58

Maybe she doesn't want to eat with an audience.

0:39:010:39:05

-Should we leave her in peace?

-Leave her.

0:39:050:39:09

-We've got a pen for her. We don't want her to be hassled by anything.

-OK.

0:39:090:39:15

Mirashi's going to be kept safely tucked up in her pen,

0:39:150:39:19

so everyone can keep a close eye on her for the next few days.

0:39:190:39:23

We'll let you know how she's getting on.

0:39:230:39:27

We're now hot-footing it back to the camel house where Elvis is about to leave the park.

0:39:310:39:39

Head of Section Tim Yeo is having to let him go as there is already a dominant male in the group

0:39:390:39:46

and he wants to avoid inbreeding.

0:39:460:39:48

His new owners, Ray and Larissa Smith, have arrived with a horse box to transport him to his new home -

0:39:480:39:55

a camel centre in Suffolk.

0:39:550:39:57

But as Tim's already warned them, taking on Elvis doesn't make for an easy life.

0:39:570:40:03

We are quite experienced with camels,

0:40:030:40:06

but he did very kindly point out one or two characteristics about Elvis.

0:40:060:40:12

The way he was brought up from being a baby and they had to help him along with mother.

0:40:120:40:18

And sometimes that does make camels and some animals quite confident and bolshy.

0:40:180:40:25

But I think he'll be all right with us.

0:40:250:40:29

-I'm quite confident, in fact.

-It should be relatively simple.

0:40:290:40:33

They just have to line the horse box up with the gate...

0:40:330:40:37

Push this over that way.

0:40:370:40:40

-Push the front a little bit.

-..build a corridor for Elvis to walk down,

0:40:400:40:45

then tempt him in with some food. Nothing to get all shook up about, but with Elvis nothing is simple.

0:40:450:40:52

Whoa, whoa, whoa.

0:40:520:40:55

Can you turn it up on... on this bit?

0:40:550:40:59

That's it. Yeah.

0:40:590:41:01

Take that one.

0:41:010:41:03

We've got a door that opens at the front. You could walk him through with some food

0:41:030:41:10

and just see what he does.

0:41:100:41:12

OK, Julie?

0:41:130:41:15

He's coming out.

0:41:150:41:18

It's now or never.

0:41:180:41:20

Will Elvis, known for his bolshiness, go into the horse box without any fuss?

0:41:200:41:26

Good boy.

0:41:260:41:28

Good boy!

0:41:280:41:30

He's in there.

0:41:350:41:37

What a good lad.

0:41:390:41:41

-That went surprisingly smoothly.

-Can you keep feeding him, Julie?

0:41:420:41:47

But suspicious minds might say that it's been a little too easy.

0:41:470:41:53

Don't let him come out the front!

0:41:530:41:55

It's always nice when they load easily like that

0:41:580:42:03

and you haven't got to try different things which can upset the animal.

0:42:030:42:08

It seems the keepers just couldn't help falling in love with Elvis, but as they say a quiet goodbye,

0:42:080:42:14

there's a definite look of mischief in his eyes.

0:42:140:42:19

Just mind he doesn't come out. Can we just get...?

0:42:190:42:23

Back up.

0:42:240:42:26

No, no...

0:42:270:42:29

Ah, that well-known camel-handling technique - mass arm waving.

0:42:330:42:37

I think it might take a bit more than that, though.

0:42:370:42:42

Good boy.

0:42:420:42:44

Ah, he just wants to give Tim a goodbye kiss.

0:42:440:42:48

Can you get those boards? Go and get a board, quickly.

0:42:480:42:52

Get a board and bring it round here and put it in front of him.

0:42:520:42:57

Just bring it round quickly.

0:42:570:42:59

Bring it right in front of him. Close him up, that's it.

0:42:590:43:04

-Just keep that...

-Go back.

0:43:060:43:09

Keep his head down. Bring the board in, that's it.

0:43:100:43:14

-Take the board away.

-Board away. Keep that door shut!

0:43:140:43:19

That's enough of that!

0:43:190:43:21

Yeah.

0:43:210:43:23

Right.

0:43:240:43:26

With Elvis safely back in the horse box, surely it IS now or never.

0:43:260:43:30

But life with Elvis isn't that easy and he seems determined to take one last look around.

0:43:300:43:36

Will Elvis ever make it to his new home?

0:43:380:43:42

We're out in Pets Corner, it's a beautiful sunny day and at my feet is a box of straw

0:43:480:43:54

and they are, of course, guinea pigs. Look at these, Ben.

0:43:540:43:59

They're great. You get the box full of very sweet, cuddly guinea pigs

0:43:590:44:04

and Bev and I have a rather ominous black bag, dustpan and brushes and cleaning liquids.

0:44:050:44:13

-We get the fun part of it(!)

-We're off cleaning.

-We are.

0:44:130:44:17

Go and clean up. They deserve a nice, clean house.

0:44:170:44:21

We'll go and do our best.

0:44:210:44:24

About time he did some housework!

0:44:240:44:26

Now, Alexa, tell me about these little creatures. Guinea pigs are a classic first pet, aren't they?

0:44:260:44:33

-Oh, yeah.

-Often given to children. Does that mean they are very easy to look after?

0:44:330:44:39

-Can you bung them in a box with food and hay and leave them?

-Oh, no. They need cleaning out regularly.

0:44:390:44:45

Today we're doing a health check and grooming session. All long-haired guinea pigs need that.

0:44:450:44:51

-Their teeth continually grow.

-Right.

0:44:510:44:54

Just gently fold up their top lip

0:44:540:44:56

and you might be able to see their lovely little teeth.

0:44:560:45:00

-So they're a rodent, presumably.

-That's right.

-I've got a very fine pair of teeth.

0:45:000:45:06

So these are a good length. What if they look too long?

0:45:060:45:10

-They come into that lower lip?

-They can do. If you're ever concerned, advise your vet.

-Right.

0:45:100:45:17

-They know and they can help.

-OK, so these two are OK on the teeth front.

0:45:170:45:21

That's it. Look at their lovely eyes as well. Make sure they're clear.

0:45:210:45:26

-Have a look in the ears as well.

-OK.

0:45:260:45:28

-Very nice and clear.

-Yeah. They're well hidden with all this hair in here!

0:45:280:45:34

-You're looking to make sure there's nothing in there.

-No gunk. Have a look at their feet as well.

0:45:340:45:41

Nails are continuously growing, so they may need clipping.

0:45:410:45:45

Presumably, again having a lot of bark and bits of wood around

0:45:450:45:50

-helps keep those nails down.

-Bark chippings, a little bit of concrete in the enclosure - not too much.

0:45:500:45:56

And they quite like grass.

0:45:560:45:59

-Am I taking all of this out?

-All of it, Ben.

-Am I sweeping it all into here?

-Yeah.

0:45:590:46:05

-All the straw and everything else?

-Yes, please.

-Potentially, how many guinea pigs live in here?

0:46:050:46:11

We've got 25 guinea pigs altogether. We've got 24 females and one neutered male.

0:46:110:46:18

-And can you tell them apart?

-I can and Alexa can as well.

0:46:180:46:23

We work with them all the time and we can tell them apart.

0:46:230:46:27

Other keepers can't. You get different colourations.

0:46:270:46:31

You get long-haired guinea pigs, short-haired breeds as well.

0:46:310:46:35

Some have the fur that is rough to the touch.

0:46:350:46:40

-Abyssinian ones as well.

-I never knew there were so many different types!

0:46:400:46:45

Do you ever have to bath a guinea pig? Do they need de-fleaing?

0:46:450:46:50

-They can sometimes pick up parasites.

-Yeah.

-Again, consult your vet if you're in any doubt.

0:46:500:46:56

Look at your tummy, madam. Gorgeous.

0:46:560:46:59

How's that? I'm not very good with my housework, I'll warn you.

0:46:590:47:04

I like to sweep the dust under the carpet. Do I need to clean more?

0:47:040:47:08

-A little bit more!

-Shall I get in?

0:47:080:47:11

Obviously, they don't go out like your dog does. They'll go to the loo in here.

0:47:110:47:17

That's a sight for sore eyes! I've never ever seen you do so much work!

0:47:170:47:23

-How do you manage it?

-I know!

-This is going to be cleaner than my own home!

0:47:230:47:29

Well, hurry up. We've got two beautifully-groomed girls

0:47:290:47:34

-waiting for their nice, clean house.

-How's that? Does that get...?

0:47:340:47:38

-That's OK.

-And this bedding?

-Shavings in.

-OK, here we go.

0:47:380:47:43

It would be good if you made the bed like this at home! Bed's all made.

0:47:430:47:48

-Spread it around.

-OK. Where do they get their dinner served?

0:47:480:47:52

-If we do it in front of the house...

-Come on, girls.

0:47:520:47:56

-Now you're all ready and brushed up for dinner.

-Lots of visitors.

0:47:560:48:01

-Just...

-Spread it out. And they should come over.

0:48:010:48:06

-They definitely know that tea's up.

-Fantastic. A nice clean home and plenty of dinner.

0:48:060:48:12

-That's brilliant.

-Impressed, Kate?

-I'm very impressed. I need a cleaner.

0:48:120:48:17

-Are you free tomorrow afternoon?

-What have I done?!

0:48:170:48:21

-Bev, Alexa, thank you very much.

-There you are, happy guineas.

0:48:210:48:25

Back over to the camel house now where the saga is still unfolding.

0:48:330:48:38

Elvis is meant to be heading off to a new home, but he clearly isn't in any rush.

0:48:380:48:44

-Well done...

-Obviously, his new owners can't drive down the motorway

0:48:440:48:49

with a camel hanging out of the back, but Tim has a plan.

0:48:490:48:53

-If we try to cut it right, we could know a hole in it and tie it onto here.

-Yeah.

0:48:530:49:01

This should be easy enough. All they have to do is measure the gap and cut a board to fit.

0:49:020:49:08

-Hang on.

-Whoa, whoa.

0:49:140:49:16

-Leave the boards there.

-Put it in.

0:49:160:49:21

-Can you push it in?

-Get in.

-Push it in.

0:49:210:49:25

-Take the boards back, take the boards back.

-In!

0:49:250:49:29

-That's it, OK.

-Yeah, I've got that.

-Well done.

0:49:310:49:36

Now that is good. Come on - that is good.

0:49:360:49:41

I could give up this job and become a carpenter.

0:49:410:49:45

Now with just a little bit of very careful drilling, Elvis should be good to go.

0:49:450:49:51

For now, though, he's sensibly moved to the front of the horse box, safely out of harm's way.

0:49:510:49:58

The keepers are keen to get him on the road as then he will sit down,

0:49:580:50:03

which is safer for him than standing and shake, rattle or rolling around.

0:50:030:50:07

-It's silly of me not thinking of that. I have a board that fits the back of this.

-Right.

0:50:070:50:13

But we've not had such a problem for such a long time.

0:50:130:50:18

So, finally, it's taken two hours, but Elvis has left the building.

0:50:180:50:24

After all that, let's just hope his new owners don't decide they want to return to sender!

0:50:240:50:31

We're now just moments away from seeing how the tigers react to their brand-new paddling pool.

0:50:420:50:50

It's now full of water and, dressed in some rather fetching fishing gear, Kate's been adding goodies.

0:50:500:50:57

Have you tried them with fish before or this a new thing for these three?

0:50:570:51:02

We have tried them and they do love it.

0:51:020:51:06

The shine on their coats is ideal.

0:51:060:51:09

And now with Bob and Kate safely positioned in the vehicle, the tigers have been released.

0:51:090:51:15

Is this Sindari? Of course. Of course.

0:51:170:51:22

The braver one. Now she is going straight in. Look at that.

0:51:220:51:27

They're very strong swimmers and they will regularly swim four miles.

0:51:270:51:34

-Really?

-Anything up to about 20.

-20 miles is an extraordinary distance for anything to swim!

0:51:340:51:41

And it doesn't really matter about how strong the flow of water is. They are very powerful swimmers.

0:51:410:51:47

-They're very powerful animals.

-Yeah.

0:51:470:51:50

She didn't seem to mind getting the bottom half of her head wet. Would they submerge their whole heads?

0:51:500:51:56

-Well, they don't like it getting into their eyes.

-No.

0:51:560:52:00

But she's classically going in forwards. A lot of tigers will reverse into water.

0:52:000:52:07

Really? Sindari's right up... We've got a camera tucked round the side of that waterfall.

0:52:070:52:13

Hopefully, we'll be getting some nice close-up shots of her.

0:52:130:52:17

-She's sort of fishing for it, using her claws.

-Or she puts it to the side and picks it up with her mouth.

0:52:170:52:25

-Was she going for the camera, do you think, Bob?

-She noticed it.

0:52:250:52:30

It's something different than the enclosure. We've hid it under a big rock.

0:52:300:52:36

-She's sniffing that.

-Sindari, that isn't in the plan! Don't play with the camera!

0:52:360:52:44

-Go and play with the water!

-Who is that on the top there, Bob, looking on enviously?

0:52:450:52:53

-This is Svetli.

-And Showri walking along the back of the fence line.

0:52:530:52:59

So it really does look like Sindari might finish everything before the other two brave the water.

0:52:590:53:07

It's not a main feed, obviously. This is just titbits we've chucked out for this purpose

0:53:070:53:13

-to see them in the water.

-Oi! Not the camera!

0:53:130:53:18

She knows she's being naughty. No...she's got it.

0:53:180:53:23

If she doesn't kill the camera, we'll get some unique footage!

0:53:250:53:29

Oh, no! It's in the water.

0:53:290:53:31

-She's dismissed it now. Now she's...

-She's such a great tiger.

0:53:310:53:38

-She's a real character, this one.

-She's a little darling.

0:53:380:53:42

She is like a giant oversized kitten, isn't she?

0:53:420:53:46

-Yeah, she is. She just stuck her nose under.

-She looks very happy in there.

0:53:460:53:52

Oh, now, look. It looks like Svetli could be...

0:53:580:54:04

feeling brave enough... Oh, the other one.

0:54:040:54:08

Bob!

0:54:080:54:09

That is such a lovely sight.

0:54:160:54:19

-I think this is the most animated I've seen all three of them out in the park.

-Yeah.

0:54:190:54:25

You can see how well they get on together. They are playful.

0:54:250:54:29

They don't mind each other's company. As a solitary animal, you'd expect them to have their own area.

0:54:290:54:35

But you can see they enjoy their own company as well as the others'.

0:54:350:54:40

Oh, it's an absolutely fantastic sight.

0:54:400:54:45

Look, head straight in! She didn't like getting her eyes wet.

0:54:450:54:49

She's sort of blinking there.

0:54:490:54:52

-She's been in there ages now.

-Yeah.

-She's enjoying it.

0:54:520:54:56

Obviously thoroughly enjoying it. Bob, thank you very much.

0:54:560:55:01

What a lovely day, watching a tiger looking blissful in a paddling pool.

0:55:010:55:06

Enjoy it, Sindari.

0:55:060:55:08

Well, we are here in the goat enclosure, as you can tell, with senior warden Bev Evans.

0:55:220:55:28

Almost the end of the day. Always lovely to cuddle the goats.

0:55:280:55:33

-There's been a bit of a sadness this year.

-Yeah.

0:55:330:55:37

We haven't bred our goats this year, so we haven't had any babies.

0:55:370:55:41

-Is there a reason for that?

-Yeah, we couldn't bring our Billy down from Mid-Glamorgan

0:55:410:55:47

-so we weren't able to breed.

-Why couldn't you bring him down?

0:55:470:55:51

At the moment, there's a disease around called Blue Tongue. We're classed as an infected area.

0:55:510:55:58

Mid-Glamorgan isn't. We could bring him down to us, but not send him back.

0:55:580:56:03

-What are the effects of Blue Tongue?

-A lot of animals, if they get bit by midges, flying insects,

0:56:030:56:10

they can get a swollen tongue, nasal discharge, and it wouldn't necessarily be fatal,

0:56:100:56:17

-but it wouldn't do them very good.

-Not a pleasant-sounding disease.

-No.

0:56:170:56:22

This was one of the success stories of last year. This is Bubble.

0:56:220:56:27

Really, it's thanks to you and all the staff here that Bubble is alive at all today.

0:56:270:56:33

Yeah, she didn't do particularly well. Her mum concentrated on the other two babies she had

0:56:330:56:39

and left Bubble for dead, really. So Andy and I had to come in

0:56:390:56:43

and give her colostrum and just really warm her up. She got cold.

0:56:430:56:48

Once an animal gets cold that's just been born, it takes a long time to warm them up again.

0:56:480:56:54

Hot water bottles, towels, everything, just to get her up on her feet.

0:56:540:56:59

-She's looking a bit plump!

-She's quite round, yeah!

0:56:590:57:03

-She's just come from the winter diet to a grass paddock, so she's actually a bit gassy.

-Thank you(!)

0:57:030:57:09

I'm glad Kate is holding Bubble.

0:57:090:57:12

Bev, thank you very much for letting us catch up.

0:57:120:57:16

Sadly, we've run out of time. Here's what's coming up next time.

0:57:160:57:21

-Two spiders got on.

-He's doing it, he's doing it!

0:57:220:57:26

But is she pregnant?

0:57:260:57:29

Our attempts to get close to the hippos doesn't go to plan.

0:57:290:57:34

There is a pile of logs that has broken down.

0:57:340:57:39

And we look back to the terrible day when almost every animal faced being destroyed

0:57:400:57:46

thanks to a relentless disease closing in on the estate.

0:57:460:57:51

Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd - 2009

0:58:030:58:07

Email [email protected]

0:58:090:58:12

Elvis the camel gets all shook up when it is time for him to leave the building and the tigers go for a dip in their new pond.

Kate Humble and Ben Fogle have all the news from behind the scenes at Longleat Safari Park.


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