Browse content similar to Episode 3. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Behind this fence lives a pride of lion,
headed by a magnificent male called Kabir.
With his harem of females, he's fathered lot of cubs,
-but now he's in danger.
-His sons are growing up fast,
and could challenge him or even kill him to take over the pride.
We'll be following his story today.
Today on Animal Park, we're going to try to get close to the hippos,
but this could be too close for comfort!
We'll be revisiting the tale of a life-and-death struggle
to save a red deer and her newborn baby.
And Ben gets the new keeper blushing
when there's trouble with a naughty snake called Dexter.
You're a bit red!
But first, we're going up to Lion Country,
because it's the end of an era.
In the safari park, the lions are kept in separate prides,
each with a dominant male and a number of lionesses and youngsters.
The newest pride male is Kabir.
He arrived almost three years ago
in order to bring a fresh bloodline into the Longleat lions.
But introducing a mature male to a new environment
is a tricky business.
No one knew how he'd react.
Are you all right, Leo?
Mind your fingers, mind your fingers.
Kabir is a rare Barbary lion,
a sub-species that comes originally from North Africa.
This is the kind of lion that used to eat Christians
in the Coliseum of ancient Rome.
But in the wild, the Barbary lion was hunted to extinction,
almost a century ago.
And now, there are only about 100 of them left in captivity.
Kabir was brought in on a kind of blind date.
The idea was that he'd form a new pride
with Longleat females Luna and Yendi,
but it was an anxious moment
when they were put together for the first time.
Because they might get on famously, or they could fight to the death.
-Blimey, she was so quick, going in there.
Is that the sort of reaction that you imagined, Brian,
that straight away, she'd go and sit down next to him like that?
I didn't know what to expect. They could have just stayed apart.
They seem totally unperturbed by each other.
Because they've been next to each other in the pens,
they've accepted each other and this is the best scenario so far.
This is great news, isn't it?
They look like quite a happy couple already, don't they?
To be introduced for the very first time.
And soon after, Kabir faced another new experience.
He'd never before encountered the wide open space
of a safari park enclosure. What would he make of it?
-Good boy. Good boy.
Now, we've got Craig down the end there, waiting with the last...
-I've let the girls out as well, so that he knows...
There he goes, off at a gallop. Look at that!
-Look at him go!
It must be such a relief to get out in the open.
To keep up with Kabir, we had to jump in Bob's four-wheel-drive.
Can you see him, over by the fence?
I hope he doesn't touch that, it's electrified! Oh, there he goes,
through the fence.
Electric fences only work as a deterrent
after you know about the shock.
And this was the first time Kabir had ever touched one.
What's on the other side of that fence, Bob?
That is like a no-man's area.
Right, so it's a double, he's not out as such?
No, he's still within our section.
Now, you can see the wolves on the other side.
He seems to be ignoring those. He didn't seem at all bothered
by the fact that it was an electric fence, either.
So you have a bit of a puzzle, to try to get him out.
We can get him out, it just means one of us has got to get out
and open the gate for him. Hopefully not me!
This is a dangerous moment,
because we don't know what he's like with people,
and obviously, we don't know what he's like with vehicles.
He doesn't seem too concerned with them at the moment.
No, but then, he hasn't been moved by one of them yet. Okey-dokey.
What we're actually going to do now
is send someone up to the wolf house and turn the electric off.
Can you keep an eye on the ones behind us? There's two more.
A tense moment here as they try and get Kabir back out of this section.
The females, luckily, are sitting very calmly
and I have to say, disdainfully, it looks like from here,
with their noses in the air - "Oh, silly boy."
-Oh, my word.
-The fence is open now. Is he started to panic a little bit?
He is panicking. You've got the wolves going now.
He's probably never ever seen anything like that before.
This is potentially a dangerous time,
cos we don't know what'll happen.
We're going to try and drive him towards that...
-But what we don't want him to do is go for the vehicle.
Hopefully, if he goes through that fence again, it's turned off.
-There we go.
Good job, Bob!
It was certainly a hairy start, but after that,
Kabir soon settled down to family life.
So far, he's fathered 10 cubs here with Luna and Yendi.
The most recent litter was born just a few months ago.
But the time has come for Kabir to go,
and it's because of all his children.
His eldest daughters will soon become sexually mature,
while in a year or two, his sons will be old enough
to challenge him for leadership of the pride.
And that would mean vicious fighting, even to the death.
It's time to sort of move him on, so we can either get a new male in,
or just hold our breeding programme for a little while.
It will be sad to see him go, but times move on,
and we've got to look after our bloodlines at Longleat.
One way of doing it is by moving the males on.
But, you know, he's had a fruitful time here. 10 offspring later,
time to go.
So tomorrow morning, Kabir is due to be picked up
and taken off to start a new life at Newquay Zoo in Cornwall.
But before that, Bob must bring him in for the very last time.
We'll be back in Lion Country later
to follow events at the end of an era.
There's more to Longleat than the great house and the safari park.
It's still a traditional estate, covering almost 9,000 acres,
and includes woodland, scores of cottages and tenant farms.
And for the sheep farmers, early summer is a busy time.
Well, I'm out with a tenant farmer on the Longleat estate, Simon Baggs.
End of shearing, Simon, I can see you've whittled them down.
How many sheep have you got at the moment?
About 850 ewes.
And these are nearly the last ones.
And clearly, you've been working very, very hard.
Yeah, not as hard as the chaps, though.
So this is how this works, you get in specialist shearers, do you?
Yes, they're a lot quicker than I am,
so we just get the job done as quick as we can, really.
And presumably, all this fleece,
let's have a look at it if we can, because it looks fantastic.
This then goes off to be cleaned, sold, what happens to it?
Basically, what we do is we'll fold it up in a minute
and put it in the bag and it goes up to Bradford to the Wool Board.
And it gets cleaned and sorted out, and then they grade it
and they do what they have to do with it, jumpers or whatever.
Shall we go over and have a chat to Alex,
who's sheared for you quite a few years, hasn't he?
He has, he's been doing it about seven or eight years now.
-How are you doing, Alex?
-Not too bad.
So, is this about, what, your 400th sheep on this farm?
Yeah, a few more than that, I imagine.
Well, you make it look incredibly easy.
How long have you been shearing for?
-About eight years.
How would you feel about me having a go, or at least watching?
-Are you sure?
I'm not going to kind of garrotte it or something by mistake.
I hope not!
-Do you want me to come in, Simon?
-Come and give me a hand.
Trouble is, it's a big pen, you don't know what's going to happen.
-You'll feel so much better when this happens.
There we go, right.
They don't seem to know what's good for them, do they?
How do you get them out without letting the whole lot out?
Basically, we just grab hold under the chin,
put some weight on its back and roll it over like that.
Wow, you made that look incredibly easy. So you start on the belly?
Start on the belly.
And you're putting just a gentle pressure against the skin.
Just a gentle pressure, you've got to be a bit careful on the belly.
Both you and Jack are making it look terribly easy,
but it must really take its toll on you physically, does it,
by the time you've done a few of these things?
Are you going to hold her, or should I do that as well?
If you want to hold her, I'll turn the razor off.
-And basically, step back, with your feet there and the head there.
She weighs a ton, just doing that!
-Can you manage to pick the handpiece up from there?
-I'll start it for you.
-Who wants a lamb chop?
It's not anything like as easy as it looks.
I think I could probably do one sheep in about 45 minutes
to an hour. I think I'm going to let you carry on, Alex,
-because I don't want to cut her.
-They make it look easy,
and when you come to have a go yourself, it's hard.
Look at that. Well, I'm sorry, madam,
that you don't look quite as neat as all the other ones!
But Alex, thank you very, very much indeed. Good job.
I'll let Jack carry on. Simon, I bet you're glad to see
that you've only got a couple left, aren't you?
-I certainly am.
-Well, think you very, very much
for letting me come along. It was an amazing experience.
But I won't be coming to you for a job, I promise.
Quite a few English stately homes
have some kind of ornamental lake in the grounds.
But this is the only one in the country
where you are likely to run into a couple of African hippos.
Their names are Spot and Sonya
and Mark Tighe is the man in charge of them.
We've had these hippos since they were two-year-olds.
They came here in 1976.
And, you know, they've been put out in this environment
which is a big lake, big field, big mud wallow.
And they've lived a near natural existence here.
They're completely hands-off.
You know, we have nothing to do with them at all,
and it's one of the things that makes them quite endearing,
is that they are so wild.
But being so wild also means that even after all this time,
they are still very wary of the keepers.
Well, they're very sketchy animals, very suspicious, very nervous.
Anything that's different, you know, they always try to run away from.
I mean, for vegetarians, they're incredibly dangerous animals.
Obviously, weight is a huge factor, and speed as well.
I mean, for an animal that weighs up to three tons with very short legs,
they can move incredibly quickly.
You know, up to 25mph on the land, even through thick mud.
So you have to be extremely cautious with these animals.
And that's something Mark knows only too well.
In his early days at the park, he had a very close call.
Well, it was when I first started work here
and I hadn't been doing this job very long.
We had a friendly one that was actually living in the house
and we used to feed her over the wall, round the side there.
And the two females we have now, Spot and Sonya,
were under these trees,
which I figured was quite a safe distance to be away.
And I was just shaking the hay up, and I heard a snort, turned round
and saw one of them just charging towards me.
And in the time it took me to get from the side of the house
to the truck at the front, she covered the distance
from the tree to where I'd been standing,
which, you know, if I'd slipped or fallen,
that would have been show over, flattened.
So, you know, that was a real wake-up call
and shows you not to take them for granted.
Apart from the occasional brush with death,
Mark has had very few opportunities
to get a really close look at Spot and Sonya.
And that's a problem, because as the keeper who's responsible
for their health, it's up to him to make sure
they stay in tip-top condition.
But how do you get close to a very nervous, very aggressive,
two-and-a-half ton animal?
Especially one that spends a lot time submerged in a lake.
Well, with the help of some of our filming equipment,
Mark's come up with a plan.
'What we're going to do is hide the camera into a mound of mud
'which we've placed next to their feeding site.'
Hopefully, we'll be able to get some really close-up shots
of their mouths, and inside their mouths.
They might even eat the camera!
The hippos get a lot of their food just by grazing.
But Mark also supplements their diet with hay and protein pellets.
This feeding time should give Mark the opportunity
to get the close-up shots he's after.
The miniature camera is protected in a heavy-duty casing,
should the hippos decide to trample or eat it.
The camera's connected by a short wire to a videotape recorder
they're installing at the water's edge,
in a place the hippos never use, because the bank's too steep.
Obviously, when they come down to eat,
hopefully they'll come down the road and eat
where Luke is standing, which will mean them putting their heads down,
down to the hay on the floor,
which is where the camera is at floor level.
So, hopefully, it'll be a nice close shot.
Depends whether they see the camera or not.
-How am I doing?
With this system, Mark will have to start the tape going,
hope the hippos come in close
and then come back later to retrieve the recording.
'Well, that's it, camera neatly hidden under a mound of dirt.
'I hope it does the trick.
'We'll just have to leave it now and wait and see.'
Because, of course, the whole experiment will only work
if Spot and Sonya are hungry hippos.
We'll be back shortly to see what happens.
New keepers to the safari park have a huge amount of information to take in
and Katrina here, who's only been here for two weeks, is no exception.
And I understand that Sarah, you're giving her a lesson
on how to handle corn snakes today.
So where do you begin?
How do you start a lesson like this?
Well, Katrina's already had some experience with the royal pythons.
So it's just kind of going on what differences there are between them.
With corn snakes, they're a lot longer and thinner
and a lot quicker in their movements.
So the best thing to do with handling with people
is to put them round the neck, especially if they're long ones,
because it means they're supported, their head's not kind of...
you've got a bit more control, if it's wiggling all over the place.
Katrina, you don't seem too scared about having a snake in your hand.
That's a good start, even though it's trying to go down your shirt!
How do you feel, are you quite comfortable?
Yeah. There's quite a difference
between the python and the corn snake.
You can really feel the power of them,
but also, as Sarah just said, the length of them,
there's quite a difference.
Sarah, are they constrictors or are they venomous?
Yeah, they're constrictors, so similar to the pythons,
they would wrap around their food and suffocate it to kill it,
so, yeah, that's the similarity with a python.
And Katrina, look at the crowds around,
how are you coping with all the public and lots of people?
-Are you enjoying it?
-Yeah, I really enjoy it.
Especially those people that aren't so confident with snakes,
I really do enjoy...
Do you need a hand there? There you go. It's got your microphone there.
Nearly, I'll just tidy that up.
There you go.
Kept yourself very composed.
But that's what it's all about, keeping on top of things
when things do go a little bit awry. You've gone a bit red!
But you do let the public handle these, do you?
Yeah, we do, yeah, definitely.
So do we have a volunteer? What about you?
Are you sure you don't? Do you want to have a quick go?
-So what would you do then?
-What's the best way to put this on?
Try to straighten them out as much as possible
and gently place it round the back of the neck.
-What's your name?
Have you ever had a snake around you before?
-You don't seem too scared.
-How does it feel?
What you can do, there, Josh, is if you hold him here,
very gently, and then his head can still move,
but it means that you've got a little bit more control.
He'll wrap himself around you as well
so that he feels a bit more secure.
-Wow, how does that feel?
-Strange, do you like it though?
-Does this one have a name, this corn snake?
-This is Dexter.
-So, the public handling them, and presumably,
lots of information about the snakes, so you've learnt
that it's a constrictor, not poisonous.
What other sort of information would you get across?
A lot of people ask about how long they live, how long they grow to.
So you could say, of course, they will probably live
about 20 to 25 years, and our longest one here is about 6ft,
but that is particularly long for a corn snake.
It's normally about five.
So you can say that as well.
Their diet, mainly mice.
The big ones can have a chick as well,
so it's just kind of matching up
the size of the food to the size of the snake.
How do you remember all of this? Is it going straight in?
-Are you good at retaining all that information?
I suppose you'll practice as well.
Sometimes I come in with the keepers and keep going over.
They're kind of getting, "Oh, not again," but they're fine.
I have to ask, do you have a favourite animal yet in Pets Corner?
I do, I really like the wallabies and the marmosets.
Fantastic. But the snakes aren't so bad, either?
-The snakes aren't so bad, no.
-Well, listen, good luck, guys.
And I think they're very popular with the kids.
Everyone likes to see babies,
whether they're cute and fluffy...
And since we first started filming in the safari park 10 years ago,
we've certainly seen a few.
This season, to celebrate our first decade, we're looking back
at some of the most exciting and dramatic events we've ever covered.
Any new arrival at the park is always important,
because many species just won't start a family
unless they are happy with the accommodation.
So if the animals are breeding,
it shows the keepers they're getting things right.
But the biggest problem with babies is sometimes the birth itself,
because while they usually go perfectly smoothly,
they can go horribly wrong.
A few years ago, we followed a life and death drama up in the Deer Park.
Tim Yeo is the keeper in charge of all the deer and he became concerned
when one of the red deer hinds
seemed to be having a problem giving birth.
After she'd been in labour for over 30 hours,
Tim had a decision to make.
Do you leave her a bit longer, or do you step in and act?
And that's what I'm faced with at the minute.
If left, there's a good chance that both mother and baby would die,
and that's just what would happen in the wild.
But intervening in a deer birth is a very risky business.
There are all sorts of potential problems.
But time was ticking away. With only a couple hours of daylight left,
Tim called in the vet, Nanja Werkel.
It could be that she just needs a bit more time
to make herself open.
That's what happens. By pushing the calf, she opens herself up.
So that could be that it's just a bit more time to get herself
to be opened a bit more, and then it can happen on her own.
But a long labour like this could also be because
the calf was breach, twisted in the womb
or caught with its head bent backwards.
If it is a head back, then we do have to interfere,
and actually get the head in a normal position to get her out.
But then, two feet started to come out
and that's just what's supposed to happen.
Except, they should be the front ones, and these were the back feet.
The baby was breach. At last, the problem was clear
and Tim and Nanja know they must act immediately.
I'm not completely convinced that the calf is still alive.
It might well be that she's been so restless and nothing's happening.
Also, the other reason could well be because the calf is actually dead.
The hind was suffering
but she wouldn't let them get close enough to help.
They would have to catch her,
and to do that, she would have to be darted with a sedative drug.
We're just going to go up to her and try to put the dart in,
so if the crew could stay here,
I think that would be the best thing, until we've done that.
Tim had to get as close as possible. For the dart to work properly,
it must hit the hind in the rear haunch.
Luckily, Tim is widely accepted as the best shot at Longleat.
Of course, any sedative would be passed
from mother to the unborn calf,
and if the baby was already weak, a full dose of the drug could kill it.
So the dart contained only a minimum dose
and it took 20 minutes before the hind went down.
To stop her from struggling, they've got a net to throw over her.
But the hind was more lively than expected.
We're never, ever going to get her!
The only way to catch her
would be to dart her again with another dose of sedative.
The longer the time goes, the more lively she gets, she works the drug
off, it becomes impossible to catch and, of course, more dangerous.
We've got to remove the calf.
She needs calving.
So the vets are just working out doses now to go again.
And we're going to try and dart her again.
For the second darting, they've got a stronger sedative
called Immobilon, a drug that's lethal to humans.
The tiniest of spillages can be fatal to us, so...I'm ready.
With just an hour left before darkness,
there was no time for any more second chances.
We'll find out very soon if they saved the mother
and perhaps, the baby too.
The settled life of Lion Country is about to change forever.
Tomorrow morning, Kabir, the pride male,
is due to leave the safari park, bound for Newquay Zoo.
Bob Trollope has looked after him since that day he arrived
and today, he's bringing him into the house for the final time.
This is going to be the last evening that he's with his family,
so-called, so it's a poignant time, I think, for us.
Everything now is doing it for the last time.
In the wild, there's not much job security for the pride male.
He's constantly being challenged by newcomers and youngsters.
That's how nature keeps the gene pool fresh.
We can't bring a new male in and put him with Kabir,
because they would fight to the death.
And sooner or later, he would start picking on these
to push these out of the pride.
So, by actually moving him on, we eliminate that problem.
Hopefully, it's going to be an easy operation.
We'll put these out into the section, so there's no distraction.
You know, it might stress him up a little bit,
because normally, as soon as we let these out, he's with them.
He'll be wondering why he can't, that's for sure.
Kabir is a real favourite. He's even got a silly nickname, Cabbage.
Obviously, we'll miss him.
You do grow fond of them.
You do get a little bit of bonding.
The sad time will be tomorrow, obviously,
when he's in the back of that van and off down the road.
So, we'll see you in the morning then, Cabbage?
The next morning, the team from Newquay Zoo have arrived early
to take Kabir to his new home in Cornwall.
Getting a lion into a travel crate can be very difficult,
but Kabir plays ball.
There's no problem at all.
-Is his tail clear?
That's the easy bit.
So how secure is that crate exactly?
No, he's fine. This is as strong as anything, trust me.
-One, two, three!
-What do you reckon he weighs, then?
Get down that end.
It's slightly sad, because that is the last we'll see of Kabir.
But it's brilliant, you know,
he's got a young lady down there, so he'll be happy, I'm sure.
As the head of the pride and father to so many youngsters,
Kabir's time at Longleat has been a fantastic success.
It's a shame he's got to go,
but head of section Brian Kent knows there's no alternative.
In the wild, because he's about 15 years old,
probably another male would have come along
and tried to take over the pride.
And more likely, he probably would have killed him.
In his new home, Kabir will be looked after by keeper John Meek.
Well, we're just about to head off down to Newquay,
so hopefully, we'll get him down in four hours
and then he'll be going into the enclosure
almost as soon as we get back. Yes, you can see the van's rocking!
He's certainly lively, so it's going to be a long trip.
But we'll be glad to get him there.
I suppose it is, in a way, retirement for him. Down by the sea.
I mean, that's what we all want!
It'll be nice for him, I expect.
We'll be back in Lion Country later
to find out how Kabir's pride is coping without him.
They call it Pets Corner,
and while some of the animals here make terrific pets,
others are really not the sort of thing
most people could keep at home.
Then, there are the creatures, like the corn snakes we saw earlier,
that can be kept as pets but do need very special care and attention.
And not all of this sort are creepy-crawlies,
some are actually rather sweet.
This is Pickle the cockatoo and I've joined her keeper, Jo Hawthorne.
What kind of character is Pickle?
Well, as you see here, cheeky, lots to say, very inquisitive.
You know, wants to actually get to know you
and will kind of communicate back in her own way to you.
Normally can't shut her up, to be honest.
Really? She looks quite young, if you can say that about a parrot.
She's extremely young, Ben, she's two years old.
So if you imagine she's two now,
she'll live somewhere between 60, 65 years of age.
Isn't it incredible?
That's something to think about when you take on a bird like this.
I know, presumably, there's a lot you're going to have to take on
over that 60-year period.
What sort of daily routine do you have to do if you have a cockatoo?
Pickle, obviously, lots of stimulation.
From the minute you see her in the morning,
10, 15 minutes of "hello", feeding.
Stimulation for parrots, I've got to say,
is probably the most important thing.
You know, leaving a bird like this all day in a cage
is just not good.
So you need to leave a radio or something
if you are out all day, if you can't, give her some time
when you get in at the end of the day.
They're not really, ideally, a pet
that you would want to leave all day long.
She's absolutely great at Longleat and she enjoys it here
because she is out most of the day, meeting and greeting people,
so, you know, that's her stimulation.
They do get bored very easily, because they are so intelligent.
What about the feathers, is there much grooming you have to do?
She pretty much looks after herself, but on a day like this,
we get the birds out and give them a spray.
They have to keep their feathers in immaculate condition
to keep them clean and waterproof.
So, you know, a sprinkle every day helps them. As they're rearranging,
you'll notice they go through every feather, cleaning meticulously,
picking out bits, so that helps with the grooming.
Do you think she'd sit on my shoulder?
I think she probably would, you know.
Shall we see? Look at that.
Eating my shirt already. Let's see how clever you are, Pickle.
Are you were to say hello again? Hello?
No, I think she's more keen to eat me.
Well, while we bond, here's what's still coming up on today's programme.
What are you up to?
The old king is gone,
but now, which of his two sons will try to step up for the top job?
Catching the pregnant deer was difficult and dangerous,
but the real drama starts after the baby's born.
It's got dead eyes, hasn't it?
And down in the Bat Cave, there's a tricky operation underway
to give the residents their MOTs.
-You got it! Isn't that incredible?
I don't think I've ever seen the bats this closely before.
But first, we're going back down by the lake
to see what's happened with the secret hippo cam.
The problem for the keeper who's in charge of them, Mark Tighe,
is that because hippos are surprisingly dangerous,
it's hard for him to get close enough
to give them a visual check up.
So, today, he's hidden the camera
to get a good view of them while they're eating.
And when they've finished and gone back to the lake,
he retrieves the tape and heads back to HQ to see the results.
Right, let's have a look at this footage.
Really nice to see them up close like this and to see them
so relaxed about it, as well.
This is the greediest one. This is Sonya.
You'll see her stomach's almost dragging along the floor.
And she's always got this habit, as you'll notice here, of standing
along the line of food, so that her mate doesn't get so much.
It's quite nice to see that they did actually notice the camera,
but didn't freak out about it and still carried on eating.
And, obviously, we got really close up there
of the impressive tusks that they have, which is ivory.
Which is one of the reasons they get poached quite heavily
in the wild, for their tusks.
Though it's interesting to see these very hands-off animals this close,
Mark was also hoping the shots would help him with a health check.
It's been really useful, really nice to see them up close like that.
And it's just a shame we couldn't see quite inside the mouth,
because that's not something you often see.
Because it'd be nice to see if there were any
underlying tooth problems or anything like that,
but it's a good start. We could always try it again
and perhaps put a different angle on the camera or something.
Perhaps get one in the water with them would be nice,
if we could get them swimming along in the water.
Well, that's an idea, but how would we do it?
Submarine-cam, perhaps? Look out for that later in the series.
Next door to Pets Corner is Old Joe's Mine,
an area they keep nice and dark,
especially for those animals that are most active at night.
It's check-up time for Longleat's Egyptian fruitbats,
and Kate and I have come to help.
But first of all, we've got to locate the two keepers,
Darren and John over here. Hi, guys.
How on earth, for a start, are we going to even get to catch a bat?
-You look like you're fishing!
-This is our bat movement device here.
What we have to do is, with your help,
what we're going to do is we're going to try to move
the bats back and forward in this exhibit here.
They hang from the ceiling.
Seeing as I'm not 15ft tall, we have the poles here.
And what we're going to do is, eventually,
when we get one low enough to scoop up in the net
or by hand if we can,
we give them a good going-over, basically, a good investigation.
So, we need to know condition.
We need to know the level of teeth and whether they've got
any scratches on their eyes or holes in the wings.
Well, you've got more pairs of hands.
Look at us, we're armed and ready to help out.
So just give us instruction. What do you want us to do?
Well, one of you, Ben, you probably take one of the poles
and go with John.
What we need you to do, we need you to move the bats back and forward,
just to bring them a little bit lower.
And the knack is not to scare them,
but to shoo them. Shoo them down here.
-This is almost like being a bat shepherd now.
-I'm very impressed.
Just think of your CV.
-There you go!
Isn't that incredible?
I don't think I've ever seen the bats this closely before.
These are Egyptian fruitbats, and they're found
throughout North Africa and the Mediterranean, down through Africa.
I'm just going to open this. We're looking for wing condition.
This is full of tiny little nerves.
Extraordinary, it almost looks like a leaf,
-with the veins running through the leaves.
-It's so thin!
We're looking for rips and tears and holes.
Also, as they get older, they sort of get these...
This gets worn and it gets a bit flaky.
That, to me, is a very good condition wing there.
It looks in very good condition. I mean, presumably, wings,
they do look delicate, presumably they can tear.
-Can they fix?
-Very much so.
We think that the membrane... if you free that
and gently pinch that and pull that out.
Gosh, they are sharp, aren't they?
Look at that, that's the little fingers, is it?
That's what they support themselves with.
And it's such a useful tool.
They can walk by using that and hanging on.
They hang to the branch or whatever they're landing on.
What are we looking for in the face?
What we do is we've got to look at these teeth.
These are fruit eaters,
they've got sharp, canine, needle-like teeth.
They've got to get through hard skin of the fruit.
-Those look like meat-eating teeth!
Are you happy with those teeth?
They're really good. See how clean and white and long they are?
We have to make sure if somebody here has worn-down teeth,
we have to add them supplement food. They can't get through the skin.
We don't want to cut and pulp everything up.
-The last thing's the most difficult, the chest muscles.
If I take that, and then you tip for me,
Kate, move your hand. There we are.
The claws get really into everything, don't they?
Ben, through the thickness of that glove,
if you rub it on his chest muscle, you should feel a good covering.
-Can you feel that?
-He's a good weight.
We don't have to put him on any scales,
that's his muscle and that's his fat reserve there.
He's eating well, he's a good, fit bat, that one.
And I'm really happy with that condition.
-Are we ready, then, to release the bat?
If you unfold your hand, he might hang on here. Turn him upside down,
and he'll hang on to you, probably.
And then release.
-Up there, gone up with his friends.
-Look at that, that's fantastic.
So, not particularly stressful.
Done, and now you know, clean bill of health.
We're going to get a couple more done
and if it's as successful as that, we might rope you in!
Thank you both very much, it was a real privilege. So thank you both.
Good luck with the next two.
Gloves, you really might need them!
See you later.
A few years ago, we followed the dramatic events
when a pregnant red deer hind got into difficulty giving birth.
When Tim Yeo and the team finally got her sedated,
it was clear that the baby was the wrong way round in the womb.
So, vet Nanja Werkel had to try to guide it out.
In the wild, both hind and calf would have died.
This way, there was at least some hope for the mother,
perhaps even an outside chance for the baby.
Nanja was joined by her colleague, vet Martin Bores.
At last, the calf was born.
It wasn't breathing.
It's got dead eyes, hasn't it?
While Martin tried massage to get the heart going and stimulate breathing,
Nanja gave an injection to reverse the effects
of the sedatives the mother had.
Just lift it up again, Martin,
and I'll try to see if we can get some more...
It wasn't working. The baby was still lifeless.
Come on then, little one.
There was just one thing left to try.
As a last resort, Nanja gave the kiss of life.
And the baby took a breath.
Now, that's all fine.
The legs didn't stretch, so it was stuck on this.
Right, yeah, yeah.
But Tim Yeo was still worried about the baby's health.
Well, we've got a calf that's been through one hell of a lot of trauma,
really, but the calf is breathing independently.
But there is a concern at this time, because it's been so long
in the calving problem, and coming backwards,
that the calf has been starved from oxygen,
and there may be some brain damage that we've got there.
But it's a bit early to sort of be sure on that.
If the calf suffered brain damage,
then it probably just wouldn't wake up.
Find out later if it ever did.
Nico the gorilla lives alone on the island in Half Mile Lake.
At 48, he's one of the oldest western lowland gorillas
in captivity anywhere.
In human terms, he'd be well into his 90s.
He used to have a companion, Samba.
They were together almost their entire lives.
It's hard to tell if animals are able to experience
emotions such as grief, but perhaps gorillas do.
When Samba died last year, it certainly seemed to hit Nico hard.
Today, I've come over to Gorilla Island
to help Michelle Stevens with something to keep him occupied.
Now, Michelle, before we do anything,
I just want to look at Nico, because I can't believe
this is the same gorilla that I saw so sad and so kind of...
actually, sort of looking very old and rather pathetic last year,
after Samba died. He's looking great.
He's looking really good. Actually, he's come through it better
than what we could have imagined. Now it's coming into summer again,
he's looking good, he's looking really healthy.
He is, his coat looks good, his eyes look bright.
He's getting a bit slower in his old age, but it's what you expect.
He'll be 48 this year, so, you know, he's no spring chicken.
But he's doing very well and we're really pleased with him.
Hi Nicks! It's great to see you.
So, we've got this curious looking contraption here.
Yeah, one of my mad inventions.
I'm always coming up with something strange!
Yeah, "What is she coming up with now?"
So, what are we going to do with these broom heads?
Well, what I do is take small items of food, like peanuts,
pellets, we've got some dates here as well,
and we just literally stuff them down here.
And it just gives Nico a bit more of a challenge to kind of...
he has to really use his fingers to pick them out.
And it'll take him longer to get the food as well.
I think it's always a good idea just to keep his mind active
and indeed, to keep him active as well.
When we put this up outside, he'll be stretching and moving around
and it keeps him more active, keeps his brain active
and his body active as well.
When Samba was around, did you find that she would take the lead more
and he would kind of follow in her footsteps?
How did it work with the two of them?
She was the clever one out of the two, I think.
She would find the food and he would kind of steal it from her.
They would actually take it in turns.
He'd follow her around and then she'd follow him around.
She'd constantly be looking behind her back to see where he was.
If she found something nice to eat, she'd hide and try to eat it.
So we'll hang this out, shall we?
-Can you manage?
-Yeah, it's fine.
Right, what a treat.
So, do you put this in the same place every time?
Not at all. We've got a space over here which is actually quite low,
so he will actually be doing quite a lot of ground feeding.
We will actually put it in different areas throughout the island,
so we can put it up higher as well to make him stretch,
which is always really good, just to make him stand up
on his back legs. Keep him strong.
So you're putting it in different positions to work different muscles?
Yeah. I also put different things in there.
He loves strawberries in there as well.
He'll spend ages, he will make an effort to get the strawberries out.
Well, we'll leave that hanging there,
so presumably, you're going to let him out
and we need to vacate their island.
Yeah, we'll look from the other side.
Fantastic, well, join us in a little bit when Nico is let out
and we'll see just how clever he is at finding dates in broom heads.
It's been a few months now since Kabir left the safari park,
bound for a new life at Newquay Zoo.
After he went, his old pride had a busy season
just looking after the last litter he fathered,
because cubs are always full of fun.
But it's not just the youngest cubs
who are finding their place in the pride.
For two of the older boys,
Kabir's leaving has raised a much more serious issue.
When Kabir was here, he was the pride male
and he was in charge of all these youngsters.
Since he's gone, obviously,
the males have been able to sort of develop at their own pace.
There's no threat to them and they're sort of in the process
of taking over the pride, as such.
And it's very interesting at this moment in time, because obviously,
they're both two-year-old males and very equally matched.
But it's very interesting to see who exactly is coming out on top.
The two boys are brothers from the same litter,
named Nookie and Mr Dudley.
Mr Dudley seems to be the gentler of the two,
which doesn't necessarily mean he's going to be the weaker of the two.
But he seems to be a more placid one in comparison with Nookie,
who seems to be a little bit more intimidating towards the others
and he's a little bit more aggressive,
which is what a pride male needs.
We don't know which one is going to be top cat at the end of the day.
And, you know, it is very interesting to watch.
The best time to observe the behaviour of the lion pride
is when they're feeding.
There's plenty of food to go round,
but it's a free-for-all as to who gets the best bits.
So a feed-up will show which of the brothers is the more competitive.
As you can see, the lions know it's feed-up time
and they're coming up to the gates, getting ready for it.
The two boys are up here. That's Mr Dudley, messing around.
who you're going to see start to chase the feed wagon there.
The difference we can see at the moment between them
is Mr Dudley is so much more laid-back.
He's a lot more playful, doesn't seem to have a care in the world.
And Nookie is a lot more serious
when it comes to sort of pride matters.
You'll more likely find that, if any of the lions go
anywhere near him, he'll growl at them.
Everything indicates that he is the stronger one out of the two.
But issues of dominance don't need to be settled quite yet.
The brothers still have time to enjoy their carefree youth.
These two are still very, very young.
They're only just round about two years old.
They won't mature much before four.
Another year or two before they're fully mature.
And as things are going, it does look like
possibly Nookie will be the dominant animal, but things could change.
It is early days yet.
We'll be back in Lion Country later
to discover the latest developments in the pride that Kabir left behind.
Earlier, Michelle and I stuffed that curious bit of sculpture,
which is actually three broom heads put together, with fruit and nuts
and all sorts of treats for Nico the gorilla.
Are we ready to let him out, Michelle, and see if he likes it?
I think we're ready. Shall we give the all-clear?
Let's see him come out. Will he go straight to it, do you think?
I'm hoping he will. He did see us put it together and normally,
anything new on his island, anything different, he'll go straight to.
There he goes, racing out.
Once he calms down a bit, he should go over there.
But look at that, that's a 48 year-old gorilla.
-You must be really pleased, aren't you?
I mean, we just hope and pray every day
that he's going to keep going on, fit and strong.
And he's doing really, really well.
We're so pleased with him.
He knows he's got all the time in the world, though.
Sometimes he'll go to it, he'll take a bit,
then he'll leave some and come back to it later on.
Which is really good because, you know,
no one else is going to take his food, so he can take his time.
That's quite leisurely now.
Let's watch him, what does he do?
Let's have a little look, see what goodies are inside.
Even if he doesn't get the food out,
at least he gets his fingernails nice and clean!
Well, that's true, yes, it's like a giant nail brush.
There's so much about gorillas that are so like us,
it's like looking at your great-uncle or something!
I'm not sure your great-uncle would be terribly pleased
about that, Michelle!
The eyes as well, the eyes tell you so much about them as well.
Do you think, I mean, you've looked after him for a very long time,
it must be very difficult not to read in human emotions
and kind of put those onto him.
But do you think, in the case of a gorilla,
because they're so close to us, that actually, quite often,
what you imagine they're feeling, they really are?
Yeah, you can kind of tell if he's annoyed
or if he's a little bit depressed.
When you work with him for so long,
you can see all of his different facial expressions
and body language and everything.
So, yeah, definitely, you do kind of know when he's happy and sad.
He's not really sad very often, to be honest.
He's either grumpy or happy.
Well, that's because he's spoilt rotten, let's face it!
Michelle, it is lovely.
We're going to spoil ourselves a little bit now
and just stand in the sun and watch that magnificent sight
of a proper, ancient gorilla having a great time with a broom head.
Today, we've been looking back at one of the most dramatic births
we've ever seen in 10 years of filming at the safari park.
Vet Nanja Werkel finally managed to get the red deer calf out.
It was a long time before it began to breathe, so it was likely
that the lack of oxygen had already led to brain damage.
If the baby was healthy, then it should soon start to come round.
Meanwhile, Tim Yeo was making sure
the mother could smell the afterbirth,
so that she would recognise the calf
when she came round from the sedative.
It's very weak.
Hopefully, with putting some of the afterbirth on her nose,
she'll get to her calf and sort of have the smell of that in her,
if the calf survives. Because we're not sure
if the calf will actually survive.
We've given it, because mum, of course, has had so many drugs
to dope her, the calf will get that as well via the bloodstream.
And we've given mum something to wake her up and we've given
the same, a tiny bit to the calf as well, to see if that will help.
And we've given it something to stimulate the breathing.
There's not a lot more you can do, really.
It just has to do it himself now.
Slowly, the calf started to revive.
And then, the rest of the deer herd came over to see what was going on.
Although the calf was still weak, it was quite alert,
and it looked like the baby was going to be all right.
It was going to go either way there,
and fortunately, I mean, there was life there.
For all the calf's been through, it's been through
a tremendous amount of trauma,
it's quite amazing that it's managed to come through like this.
We'll be revisiting more of our most dramatic tales later in the series.
Now we're going back up to Lion Country
to find out the latest news in the old king's pride.
For three years, this was Kabir's pride,
but sadly, he had to move on to improve the bloodline.
We are here with Bob. It was a pretty tough time for you, wasn't it?
It is a sad moment when we have to get rid of our animals.
Even though he's going to a nice home, it is still sad.
But he did leave you with the most fantastic legacy, didn't he?
In such a short time, basically,
all the lions that we're looking at here are his offspring.
Yes, there's only two that aren't, and that's the two old females.
And that's the females that also helped produce.
So these are his lads, aren't they? These are the two boys.
So, who have we got at the front here?
Nookie at the front here,
got a bit of a Kabir trait, as you can see, grumpy.
That's Mr Dudley at the back there.
And is there any resemblance that you notice? I don't know whether...
Well, it's a bit early to say,
but he's got a nice mane coming on, just as Kabir did.
Kabir really was a very magnificent-looking lion
and that mane was his crowning glory, wasn't it?
If anything, I think he's going to be a lot bigger,
because obviously, he's half Longleat and half Barbary.
Of course, of course.
And then down this way, we've got this magnificent collection.
Of these beautiful, beautiful cats.
So we've got cubs in here from this year?
-Yeah, they're just coming up to a year old.
And you've got previous cubs, which are just slightly bigger ones.
And there's another lot as well.
So he was active.
He really was active.
So when Kate says he leaves his legacy, you know,
really, it couldn't be more real, really, could it?
No, this is it, his genes will follow through.
You do see things that he used to do in these lot,
so yeah, it is reminded every day.
And have you developed a new soft spot
for any one particular lion here?
Well, I actually quite like Nookie, because he's a bit of a so-and-so.
Well, I remember, even when he was a tiny cub,
you had a bit of a soft spot for him.
So that's where your affections have been transferred.
Well, Bob, they are, as I say, a really fantastic family,
a fantastic pride of lion.
A great pleasure to be here and see all of this lot.
Sadly, though, we've run out of time,
but here's what's coming up on the next Animal Park.
The monkeys are up to their old tricks.
But we've got a surprise for them.
A keeper has a narrow escape from the jaws of death.
All I saw was a face full of teeth and claws.
And I'll be getting our first look at the park's newest arrivals.
All that and more, next time on Animal Park.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail us at - [email protected]