Episode 5 Animal Park


Episode 5

Kate Humble and Ben Fogle look behind the scenes at Longleat Safari Park. Kate prepares a thorny treat for the giraffes and Ben is on the run with the pygmy goats.


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With 900 animals, 60 different species and over 30,000 metres of fencing here at the safari park,

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the keepers of the most dangerous animals have one massive fear, and that's of escape.

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We're going to find out how the keepers have managed to keep the animals inside over 40 years,

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but also what happened when one of the biggest and most ferocious got out.

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'Coming up on today's Animal Park...

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'I try to play goat herder, but the kids run me ragged.'

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-Go on, Ben.

-Thrapper really doesn't want to be caught, does he?

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'I try to reunite a one-day-old ankole with her mum.'

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Oh. "Can I find my mum?"

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'And find out what happened when Africa's most dangerous animal

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'escaped into the Wiltshire countryside.

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'But first, it's straight over to Pets Corner,

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'where Kate already has her hands full.'

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Now, these wriggly things

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are not the latest residents of Pets Corner,

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but they are a favourite

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of one of the favourite residents of Pets Corner, the meerkats.

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What are we going to do with them, Darren?

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Hopefully, Kate, we're going to try and present them in a different way.

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If you can't have a picnic, if you always eat in front of the telly,

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life can be a bit boring.

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Meerkats are active creatures. They like to look and hunt for their food.

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They spend the best part of their life digging for grubs and bugs.

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They've got very long extended claws,

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a great sense of smell and good eyesight,

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so rather than just scatter-feed them like we normally would do...

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Actually, this is brilliant.

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This is one that Darren set up for us

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and our camera team came up and put a camera right in by it

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and you can see that exact behaviour that you were talking about, Darren.

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Putting his paws right in. And he obviously can't see the mealworms.

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-They're right down at the bottom of that tube.

-It's all sense of smell,

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and you've got to think that if they're looking for termites...

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-He just got one.

-Yeah. Absolutely brilliant.

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He's almost like using those claws like an extended fork

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and impaling the mealworms on it, isn't he?

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-Well, shall I take some and fill up others...

-Please.

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..because, if you come with me, we've got a camera over here.

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Sorry, guys, I know, I know you're in the middle of your feast,

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but we've also set up, as well as this camera,

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if you look down this tube,

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there's a little camera down there, so if I turn it to me...

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Hello, you should be able to see me on this camera,

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and if I drop in a couple of these mealworms,

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which really are very wriggly indeed,

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and I'm going to try and get a sort of worm's-eye view of the meerkats.

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I might try it. They're being so tame, Darren, these days.

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They're really chilled out.

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Even the ones that aren't full they want to have a go at.

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The thing to remember is they're naturally very cautious creatures.

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I mean, they've got to look out for predators

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because we're in here and the food's on the go...

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Oh, can you see this, Kate?

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-Look at the babies! Oh!

-This is why they're still being...

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They're OK with us but if there was a bird to fly over, or a plane,

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they'll all disappear, they'll dive back into the tunnel.

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See this one, not eating, keeping guard, watching out for danger.

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So doing that classic meerkat thing of standing on their back legs,

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being the kind of guardsman of the whole lot.

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And you have Mum over there, in front of you right now.

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-This is mum right here.

-Yeah.

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She's got to take this opportunity, she's got to fill her tummy,

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she's got to produce the milk for the babies still and... Oh, well done...

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She'll go back and she'll keep one eye on the babies at all times...

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Oh, have some more. And again, the thing is that we can...

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It's such a mobile feeding technique.

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We've got bamboo sticks all over the place now.

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We can move these around, so they'll never know

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which tube's going to have bugs in and where the tubes are going to be.

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You are being very cheeky indeed. Let's put some more down here.

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This camera, Darren, is working really well.

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I mean, it is this sort of absolute natural curiosity

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that they want to be in everything, finding out about everything.

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Kate, we've got a baby here, just coming over, just helping out, look.

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I was just looking at them all.

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-Brilliant.

-Look at them.

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They're all intently watching.

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Presumably, they're going to learn a huge amount...from adult behaviour.

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Without a doubt, it's how they learn.

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Most animals learn from, you know...

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These animals that are reared in this social group,

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it's crucial they learn from their parents and brothers and sisters.

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It's all about feeding and what's safe and what's not safe

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and I suppose it's... every day's an adventure for them.

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Well, it's an adventure for me, too.

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I've never seen them so tame and so happy and they all look so healthy.

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You must be completely delighted about their progress.

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I'm really pleased. The keepers do a great job and the results are there

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and if we keep their minds active as well... Look... Wait!

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I was going to say, you say...not dinner on a plate,

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-but look, dinner on a hand. Does that count, Darren?

-Superb.

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Ah.

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Longleat is home to some of the world's deadliest

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and most ferocious beasts,

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free to roam around in their secure enclosures,

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but what would happen if one of these creatures

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broke through the barriers?

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An animal escaping from its enclosure

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is the absolute worst case scenario for any zoo or safari park.

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Today, the huge perimeter fences are checked daily by patrols

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and a head count is done over all animals

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at the beginning and end of each day.

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However, in 1966, when Longleat opened as the first safari park

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in the country, the fences weren't quite what they are today.

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So, greeted with famously ferocious lions,

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the first thought in everyone's head was, what if they escape?

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No-one had ever built a safari park before, so everything

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had to be worked out on the job, including the fencing.

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The man in charge at the time was ex-serviceman Mike Lockyer

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and he had to strengthen these defences

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to make sure the wild beasts couldn't get out.

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This fence is higher than the first ones we put up.

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We had fences that were about two metres and honestly, it wasn't enough

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and they did occasionally go over.

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We weren't that worried because they were still within the main reserve.

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To this day, none of the famous lions

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have ever made it out of the reserve, but unfortunately

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the same cannot be said about the animals kept at Half Mile Lake.

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You would think that an island in the middle of the lake is

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a nice safe place to keep animals.

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It certainly works with Nico the gorilla, who is resident today.

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But, back in Mike's time, deciding which species to keep on the island

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involved a little trial and error.

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At one stage we tried baboons on the island

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and they all swam away, they all swam off.

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We knew they could swim

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but we didn't think they would probably go that distance.

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But, anyway, that didn't work.

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Then we had chimps, of course,

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because chimps really do not like water, at all.

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And they don't go into it unless there's

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a very, very good reason.

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They were put on on a daily basis and taken off

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and we would put them in a boat,

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row over, put the chimps on the island for the day.

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They only funny instant I remember about that

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is one day when the chap was servicing the island

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and they looked out and the boat had gone

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and the chimp was rowing back to the mainland

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and the fellow was stuck on the island!

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It was quite amusing. The idea that the chimp had worked out...

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"This is what you do - get in, unhook that bit of rope and off you go,"

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and what's what it was doing.

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The chimps were relocated

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but they weren't the last to make a glorious bid for freedom.

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I'm out on the rounds with vet Paul Higgs and keeper Andy Hayton

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and today helping out with the pygmy goats.

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So, what's going on here, Paul?

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Today we're going to be giving all the goats

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a dose of two separate wormers.

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We're going to do injections for all of them

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and also try and get some down their throats, as well.

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And I'm assuming, Andy,

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that's why they're corralled into this small area here.

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It's a lot easier to chase them around in here than out there.

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I can imagine. I can see three extra keepers,

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so this is why we need lots of people.

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It's easier for us and the goats. The more people, the faster we can do it.

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It's less stress on the animals.

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-I will volunteer an extra pair of hands.

-Fantastic.

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We'll stand back and watch you do it, Ben. Brilliant.

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So, Paul, what's the process then? What's the plan?

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The plan is, we just need to get some goats caught really, Ben,

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-and then we'll get stuck in.

-OK.

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You try sticking this down their throats and I'll do the injections.

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Great. Lucky me. OK. So let's get going, then.

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The biggest brown one there. Good luck, Ben.

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Nearly. Come on. There we go.

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This is Marcia. Do you want to draw the injection up for me, Ben?

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OK. Do I just pop this in here?

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Pop it in there, yeah. That's it.

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-I want to make sure there's no air. Is that right?

-Pretty much. Yeah.

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-There we go.

-Pull that.

-We need to be at 0.3.

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Oh, 03! I was going to give her slightly too much, there.

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I don't think I'm quite qualified to do this, yet.

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Nearly.

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Shall I do this for the first one?

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-Have a go at the first one, and I'll do the injection.

-Yeah.

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So, pop your fingers in the side there and then syringe down there.

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-Tilt their head back and off you go.

-So this is an anti-wormer?

-Yeah.

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-Is that what you'd give your dog or cat at home?

-Yeah. Absolutely.

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-There we go. That's it.

-That wasn't so bad, was it?

-Lovely job.

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-Who's this?

-That's Quaver.

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He was called Quaver cos he had a big curly ear when he was born,

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but unfortunately it's straightened out!

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-Cracker's a little bit nervous, I think.

-Open wide.

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There we go. Good Cracker.

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Get Quaver, there. He won't run off. That's made you look good now, Ben.

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There we go. A bit of goat wrangling.

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-Shall we swap goats?

-You can. Yeah.

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-You feel better if you're holding onto a big one, don't you?

-Yeah.

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-I'll let you have Quaver.

-There we go.

-That one can go.

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Is someone keeping tabs on who we've done?

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Hopefully someone is, cos I've already lost track.

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-We haven't done you yet.

-OK!

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Take your job over.

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Always wanted to be a vet.

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-Just one more.

-One more. Who's that?

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-That grey and white one down there.

-Grey and white one.

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-What's this one called?

-He's called Thrapper.

-OK, Thrapper.

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-Go on, Ben.

-Thrapper really doesn't want to be caught, does he?

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-That's why we left that one for you, Ben.

-Thank you, Andy(!)

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-That's OK, mate.

-Well done!

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I couldn't bear to see you running around any longer.

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That was my exercise for the day!

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-We could always let him go again.

-So you left the hardest till last.

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There you go.

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-Very good.

-Well done.

-Wow.

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That was actually surprisingly efficient.

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-How many sheep have we just vaccinated?

-Goats.

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-We haven't done any sheep, Ben.

-There you go. That's how tired I am.

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-How many goats have we just vaccinated?

-That was 14.

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-Not a bad job.

-You can imagine how it'd be with a herd of 300.

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-Thanks for your help.

-If you need an assistant in future, I'm your man.

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-Absolutely.

-Thanks, guys.

-OK, Ben.

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The worst case scenario for any keeper of dangerous animals

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is one escaping

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and today we're looking back at some occasions

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when exactly that happened.

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But, of all the animals,

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there is one that you really don't want to make it out of the park.

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The hippopotamus is the most dangerous creature of the lot.

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They're extremely grumpy, have teeth like pickaxes,

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weigh in excess of two tonnes, and they're fast, running at 20mph.

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So, all in all, not the friendliest of animals.

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And, if one escaped, it would be an understatement to say it would be bad.

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In fact, it would be a nightmare.

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But, as former head warden Mike Lockyer recalls,

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some years ago, this nightmare did become reality.

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The lake wasn't as well shone up as it is now and it was relatively,

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I suppose, easy for them to get out and go walkabout.

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And when one's missing, an animal, it's quite used to people shouting

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and saying come on, give them a loaf of bread and that sort of thing.

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If suddenly one's missing, you think, where's that one?

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And we start looking further

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and as the time goes on and you think, "It's gone,"

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and wonder where it will turn up next.

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About a mile from the safari park is the village of Horningsham,

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where farmer Steve Crossman made a peculiar discovery.

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I came out one morning to check my cows...

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about 7.30...

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and I was walking down where I'm walking now

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and I came to the gateway

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and I noticed that there were some very odd-looking footprints on the ground.

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And they obviously weren't anything to do with my cattle.

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So...I went and got Father,

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and we had a look and we couldn't quite work out what was going on.

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Anyway, we followed the tracks and they went up to the pond,

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up at the top there by the bridge...

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Something quite large had obviously got into the lake

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and then came back down and the footprints went back down there.

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Worryingly, the footsteps led straight back to Steve's own farmyard.

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We had a phone call, I think it was someone called Crossman down at the farm here,

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who said I've got your hippo down here, I've shut it in the yard.

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Well, of course, he'd shut it in the yard in the same way that he would shut cows in a yard,

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by simply closing a wooden five-bar gate.

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So we went rushing down there

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and there was the sort of hinges on one side and the gate latch on the other

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and a more or less hippo shape in the middle where he'd walked straight through it.

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And eventually ended up in this wood here and then came back down into the lake again, cos he was only really

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interested in getting back to the water or coming out for grazing.

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He broke a couple of fences. Coming through a barbed wire fence is nothing to a hippo.

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But he didn't cause any lasting damage.

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Caused a bit of a laugh, bit of a stir around the village.

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With the hippo safely back in the lake,

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the keepers could breathe a sigh of relief.

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But that wasn't the end of the escapes from Half Mile Lake,

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as another resident would soon answer the call of the sea.

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Well, I'm out in the new area with deputy head of section Kevin Nibbs,

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who is a very, very excited man

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because on this beautiful spring day, Kevin, I gather that there is a new arrival.

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There is. We've had a baby ankole, as you can see, just over here.

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Oh, my goodness. That's fantastic, but it's all by itself.

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-Where's the parent?

-Mum is actually with the herd, just up here.

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She's probably taking a rest. It's similar to the antelope,

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they'll go and visit a couple of times a day.

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And then within a few days it will stay with the herd by itself.

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But, surely, if it's left by itself for most of the day,

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it's then in real danger

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because there are a lot of other animals in here.

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I mean, there's the rhino, the oryx, there's all the deer in here.

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I mean, doesn't it stand a risk of being attacked by something else?

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There is a small risk, yes.

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During the day we've got the rhino patrol on,

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making sure that the rhinos stay away from ANY baby, really,

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but this one as well.

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But also the oryx seem to have taken

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a real dislike to anything smaller than them,

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so any baby, even the Pere David baby, the ankole baby,

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and even when we had the baby camels

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they kind of went round and just bullied them.

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You'd think of the oryx, of all the animals in here,

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they look so sort of delicate and lovely

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and they're real playground bullies, are they?

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They have quite horrible characters sometimes, but we don't know why.

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At night, we'll put the oryx away,

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so that the baby is safe out here during the night, as well.

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And presumably, even if the herd are a bit of a distance away,

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they'll still be keeping an eye on it, will they?

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Yeah. If baby just makes one little squeak out here, they'll come running

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and they'll be there very quickly, which is why we're in the truck.

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If we were on foot and it made a little squeak...

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-Then we'd be trampled by a furious protective herd of ankole.

-Exactly.

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I'm quite pleased to be in here, I have to say. Oh, it's so sweet.

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He's just walking up towards us now,

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right next to the bull, who's huge,

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the big kind of slightly paler chestnut fellow

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with the straighter horns.

0:17:590:18:01

Is she going to Mum? No. Doesn't look like it.

0:18:010:18:04

Come on, little one.

0:18:040:18:07

-Is that the right one?

-No.

0:18:070:18:09

No. "Oh, can I find my mum?"

0:18:090:18:13

Oh, she's so sweet. Have you named her yet?

0:18:130:18:16

I know you're slightly suspicious, and how old is she, in fact?

0:18:160:18:20

This is her second full day, really.

0:18:200:18:22

-Wow, so she's really new.

-She's 48 hours old.

0:18:220:18:25

But we haven't got a name yet.

0:18:250:18:27

We'll wait maybe a week to make sure everything is OK.

0:18:270:18:30

So this is Mum here, turning round.

0:18:300:18:32

I think she's going to try and find her herself.

0:18:320:18:35

Actually, she's going away from her.

0:18:350:18:37

Come on, tiny. Go and find your mum. Is she going round to see it? Yes.

0:18:370:18:41

There's a little call there just to call baby to her.

0:18:410:18:44

Oh, look at her.

0:18:440:18:46

What a lovely, lovely sight,

0:18:470:18:49

on a spring day, in Wiltshire, to see a young ankole.

0:18:490:18:52

That's very, very special.

0:18:520:18:54

-That is what spring's all about.

-No, you've got to go the other end.

0:18:540:18:59

It always amazes me that,

0:18:590:19:00

you know, young animals are sort of like babies.

0:19:000:19:04

I mean, they are amazingly helpless

0:19:040:19:06

and you'd think that something like an ankole would immediately know

0:19:060:19:11

who its mum was and where the others are,

0:19:110:19:13

but this one is proving perhaps not the brightest cookie in the jar.

0:19:130:19:17

Absolutely adorable, though.

0:19:170:19:20

Let's hope that she flourishes and does well and Mum looks after her

0:19:200:19:26

and she finds the right end to feed from, eventually.

0:19:260:19:29

-Keep us posted, Kev.

-We will.

0:19:290:19:30

But now we're heading straight up to Wolf Wood,

0:19:340:19:37

where big changes are afoot.

0:19:370:19:39

The young wolves from the last two years' litters have grown up fast

0:19:390:19:43

and are now reaching maturity.

0:19:430:19:45

But, whilst they are a success story,

0:19:450:19:47

they're threatening to destabilise the pack.

0:19:470:19:50

Wolf packs have a very clear hierarchy, from the top alpha dogs

0:19:500:19:55

to the lowest ranking omega dog.

0:19:550:19:57

And as the youngsters become adults they'll want to establish themselves

0:19:570:20:02

in this pecking order and this could mean fighting for position.

0:20:020:20:06

For deputy head of section Bob Trollope, there's only one way to avoid this.

0:20:070:20:12

Remove the young wolves from the pack and send them to a new home.

0:20:120:20:16

It may sound like a drastic solution,

0:20:160:20:19

but it's the only way to maintain harmony.

0:20:190:20:22

It takes away a lot of tension because sooner or later

0:20:220:20:25

these youngsters are going to have to find their way in

0:20:250:20:28

and that will cause friction,

0:20:280:20:30

because older wolves won't want them to step up into their place,

0:20:300:20:35

younger wolves will want to go up into their place,

0:20:350:20:38

so the middle-ranking animals tend to fight more.

0:20:380:20:41

So, hopefully, that will avoid all that.

0:20:410:20:44

There's also one other cause for immediate concern.

0:20:450:20:48

It's breeding season, and if there's fighting in the pack

0:20:480:20:52

it could seriously affect the chances of a successful litter,

0:20:520:20:56

so Bob has had to act quickly and remove the wolves.

0:20:560:20:59

It may encourage Freda to actually give birth to more youngsters.

0:21:010:21:06

They tend to sort of curtail their own numbers

0:21:060:21:10

in the way that they breed.

0:21:100:21:12

If we have a big pack, you generally find we have fewer pups born.

0:21:120:21:17

Hopefully, we'll get another nice size litter this time.

0:21:170:21:21

So, what we've done now is

0:21:210:21:23

we've separated the youngsters from the main pack,

0:21:230:21:27

which wasn't an easy task, I must admit.

0:21:270:21:30

The hardest bit was getting them into the house,

0:21:300:21:33

because they don't like going in there.

0:21:330:21:35

The wolves are the wildest animals at the park and have almost

0:21:350:21:39

no direct contact with the keepers.

0:21:390:21:41

So, rounding them up was a risky operation

0:21:410:21:44

for head of section Brian Kent and his team.

0:21:440:21:46

We weren't allowed to film it

0:21:460:21:49

because our presence may have added to their distress.

0:21:490:21:52

Obviously, they'll be upset,

0:21:520:21:53

cos you've got a whole pack and then suddenly you've taken six away.

0:21:530:21:57

They can't work out why they're suddenly split up from the others,

0:21:570:22:00

so there's going to be a few problems.

0:22:000:22:03

The young wolves will remain in house

0:22:140:22:17

until they've moved to their new home at Dublin Zoo in a few days.

0:22:170:22:21

But Bob is concerned about their welfare, so he's checking on them regularly.

0:22:210:22:26

Steady up. Steady. Steady.

0:22:260:22:28

But, whenever he's around, they're displaying clear signs of agitation.

0:22:290:22:34

They don't know how long they're going to be here for.

0:22:340:22:37

Taken away from the rest of the pack. They don't know what's happening.

0:22:370:22:41

Obviously, they can hear the rest of the pack outside.

0:22:410:22:44

They know they're still out there.

0:22:440:22:46

The rest of the pack outside

0:22:460:22:47

know they're in here, so there's a little bit of uncertainty

0:22:470:22:51

in their behaviour. You know, they're a little bit stressed

0:22:510:22:54

and they're bouncing off the walls.

0:22:540:22:56

We don't know whether it's just because whenever the keepers come in

0:22:560:23:00

here they react like that, or whether they're doing it all the time.

0:23:000:23:04

You know, for our peace of mind as much as anything, we want to know whether it is like that all the time.

0:23:040:23:11

But hopefully it's not.

0:23:110:23:13

Bob is also worried that without the protection and order of the pack, they may fight amongst themselves,

0:23:130:23:19

so he's setting up surveillance cameras,

0:23:190:23:22

which will monitor them undisturbed around the clock.

0:23:220:23:25

These wolves are totally wild, so it's a unique opportunity for Bob.

0:23:270:23:31

This is his chance to observe their behaviour without disturbing them by his presence.

0:23:310:23:37

To set the cameras up, he needs to get all the wolves into the den at the far end of the house.

0:23:370:23:43

But they're visibly nervous, and one of them doesn't want to go in.

0:23:430:23:47

Go on.

0:23:470:23:49

That's it.

0:23:490:23:50

Good girl. Stay there.

0:23:500:23:53

With the last wolf finally secure in the den, Bob can set up the cameras.

0:23:570:24:02

With infrared lenses and a running time of nine hours, they'll be able to record the wolves all night.

0:24:070:24:14

What I'll do is I'll set it running now to record and check it tomorrow morning.

0:24:160:24:22

All that remains now is for Bob to let the wolves back out of the den.

0:24:220:24:26

We'll be back with Bob later in the programme when he returns to analyse the footage

0:24:310:24:35

and discovers how they behave through the night.

0:24:350:24:39

It was about 200 years ago that our native wolves died out in Britain,

0:24:500:24:56

so they've been greatly outlived by another native species -

0:24:560:25:00

the fallow deer.

0:25:000:25:02

Fallow deer have been encouraged on the Longleat estate for nearly

0:25:020:25:05

half a century and today, there's a herd of over 100 animals.

0:25:050:25:10

Ben is down in the deer park meeting some of today's young bucks.

0:25:100:25:15

I'm out with this magnificent herd of fallow deer.

0:25:150:25:18

-Now, Ross, they really are looking spectacular at this time of year.

-They look fantastic.

0:25:180:25:23

The most striking thing is their horns or lack of them.

0:25:230:25:26

They look like just little furry stumps right now.

0:25:260:25:28

Yeah. Each year, they shed their antlers for the rut season

0:25:280:25:32

when they're fighting each other,

0:25:320:25:34

to get higher up in the hierarchy and get the females, obviously.

0:25:340:25:38

And then after a certain period of months, they'll shed their antlers

0:25:380:25:42

where they'll fall off and then they'll grow back up with this velvet...

0:25:420:25:45

-Which you can see is on the top.

-That holds in the nutrients that helps the antlers grow.

0:25:450:25:50

And then when they're fully grown, the velvet will fall off.

0:25:500:25:53

So this is all the males over here, is it?

0:25:530:25:54

-These are all the bucks. Yeah.

-Where are the girls, then?

0:25:540:25:57

The does...just over in the distance all down there.

0:25:570:25:59

-They're all on their own.

-Fallow does, there.

0:25:590:26:02

-It's like segregation.

-Yeah, it is.

0:26:020:26:03

-Men and women are definitely separate.

-Yeah. They do separate.

0:26:030:26:07

It's only during the mating season that they get together, they mingle.

0:26:070:26:10

And do their coats tend to change much?

0:26:100:26:12

They've got these fantastic spots. Do they moult like a dog?

0:26:120:26:15

They do moult, not as much as say the camels would.

0:26:150:26:18

-They moult slightly for the seasons - in the winter they have a thicker coat.

-Brilliant.

0:26:180:26:22

Well, thank you very much. Don't go away cos here's what's still to come on today's programme.

0:26:220:26:27

Jo in Pets Corner has to blow the whistle as one of her monkeys makes a bid for freedom.

0:26:320:26:38

-New head guide of the house Ruth Charles goes potty for her favourite things.

-Ta-da!

0:26:400:26:46

And with the hippos safely back home, find out what happened when

0:26:460:26:51

a sea lion not only made it out of the park but out of the county.

0:26:510:26:55

A few years ago, Mike and Michelle came to live in Pets Corner.

0:26:550:27:00

They're Geoffroy's tufted-ear marmosets,

0:27:000:27:02

an endangered species from Brazil.

0:27:020:27:05

This pair were part of the international captive breeding programme,

0:27:050:27:09

but at first, they weren't too successful in raising a baby.

0:27:090:27:13

That was until 2004 when Mandu was born.

0:27:130:27:16

So, a happy ending for the marmoset family?

0:27:180:27:22

That was until Mandu did something totally out of character.

0:27:220:27:26

There are no bars on the marmoset enclosure as they're naturally very territorial

0:27:270:27:32

and so won't venture out of the area they think of as their home.

0:27:320:27:35

Or that's the theory, anyway.

0:27:360:27:40

But last year, their keeper Jo Hawthorne got some news she hoped she'd never have to hear.

0:27:400:27:46

Mandu had escaped.

0:27:460:27:48

Oh, you're joking! Where is she now?

0:27:480:27:52

It was early one afternoon last year.

0:27:520:27:54

I'd been talking in the mine, in the bats, and I got this phone call

0:27:540:27:58

from Bev in Pets Corner to say that Mandu, my youngest marmoset,

0:27:580:28:02

had panicked and suddenly ran around in Pets Corner, ran over the parrot seating and escaped.

0:28:020:28:09

She made a run for it, past the barn owls, towards the otters.

0:28:090:28:14

She actually went into the otter enclosure, briefly, which was a bit scary.

0:28:140:28:19

At this time there was a parrot show going on, which didn't help, so there was a lot of people around.

0:28:190:28:24

And she went up behind the parrot seating and over the wall.

0:28:240:28:27

For her to actually leave the enclosure that she loves

0:28:290:28:32

and knows, with Mum and Dad, it had to be something really scary that scared her.

0:28:320:28:36

At that moment in time, I thought, "God, she's only little,

0:28:360:28:39

"she's two and a half years old, really scared without Mum and Dad, never before been away from them

0:28:390:28:46

"and out of this little enclosure here, you know, and she must be so scared."

0:28:460:28:50

And it was getting towards the end of the day, so that bothered me as well.

0:28:500:28:54

Luckily, however, last year Jo had trained the marmosets to come to her when she blew a whistle,

0:28:540:29:00

so that she could get them back into their house straightaway if there was an emergency.

0:29:000:29:04

Now it seemed like this was the emergency she'd been preparing for.

0:29:040:29:08

And Jo was hoping the whistle was the key to getting Mandu back.

0:29:080:29:12

I thought I'd be able to find her by the end of that day, but...I was mistaken.

0:29:160:29:21

Poor little Mandu was going to have to stay out overnight on her own -

0:29:230:29:27

a big worry to head of section Darren Beasley.

0:29:270:29:30

I was ever so concerned at that point, because to have the decision

0:29:300:29:34

to leave an animal out overnight is a heck of a worry.

0:29:340:29:37

I mean, there are foxes and buzzards and all sorts of things round here.

0:29:370:29:41

The next morning, came in very early, went up again to the top of the parrot seating

0:29:430:29:48

with my whistle, called her name,

0:29:480:29:50

whistled and, at that point in time, I wasn't hearing anything still, so of course I was even more worried,

0:29:500:29:56

cos I thought, "She really has panicked - she's gone away further than I think she's gone."

0:29:560:30:01

I went with Jo and we walked down the railway track into the woods -

0:30:010:30:05

there's a large wooded area - and the best thing we thought, really, was to listen.

0:30:050:30:11

You use your ears, really, because this is thick woods

0:30:110:30:14

down there and to see a very small monkey, small marmoset...

0:30:140:30:18

almost impossible.

0:30:180:30:20

Couldn't really pick anything up at all,

0:30:200:30:23

so I sort of resigned to the fact that unless it makes a sound or makes a movement,

0:30:230:30:28

who knows? I mean, at that point, it could have gone three miles from Pets Corner, let alone 300 yards.

0:30:280:30:34

As another day passed with no sign of Mandu, Jo and Darren had to

0:30:340:30:38

resign themselves to the fact that the young marmoset would have to spend another night out on her own,

0:30:380:30:44

whilst Mum and Dad continued to pine for their precious baby.

0:30:440:30:49

But then, next day, there came a small ray of hope.

0:30:490:30:53

So in the early afternoon of the third day, when Darren had said to me, "Go and find her,"

0:30:530:30:59

I came back down here and I stood out on the front here by the lake

0:30:590:31:04

and I could hear her calling, very distantly,

0:31:040:31:08

and it seemed like she was way down here,

0:31:080:31:10

almost kind of at the end of the lake.

0:31:100:31:13

And it was such a very faint sound but I could hear it.

0:31:130:31:16

So I thought, "OK, this is no good, cos if I walk up and down whistling, she's just going to get so confused.

0:31:160:31:22

"Best thing to do is just stay in one place."

0:31:220:31:25

So, this is the very tree that I sat on for hours and hours, whistling.

0:31:270:31:32

The time relapse between me whistling and her calling me

0:31:370:31:42

got less and less, but louder.

0:31:420:31:46

And then, I probably heard the most amazing sound I've ever heard in my whole life,

0:31:460:31:50

and it was the cry of a marmoset above my head. And I looked up and I heard this "rustle rustle rustle"

0:31:500:31:57

and I saw through the branches when I looked up, her little face looking down at me.

0:31:570:32:03

She came down this branch.

0:32:030:32:05

Really hungry,

0:32:050:32:07

I could tell, you know, and kind of looking at me as if to say, "Oh, it's you, got food?"

0:32:070:32:12

I held my hand out with some food in, and she was only too pleased to see...

0:32:120:32:17

I'd like to think she wanted to see me but it was probably the food.

0:32:170:32:20

I was over the moon, really over the moon. Probably crying a little bit.

0:32:200:32:25

I didn't think she was going to get it. I phoned the head warden

0:32:270:32:31

and as I'm on the phone, I looked on our CCTV monitor...

0:32:310:32:35

"Oh, my goodness, hang on!"

0:32:350:32:37

Jo's walking across with a big grin on her face, carrying this cage and she'd got it.

0:32:370:32:41

You know, amazing to get a very tiny, tiny, smallest, one of the smallest monkeys in the world, you know,

0:32:440:32:50

from hundreds of acre of forest, Longleat estate...

0:32:500:32:54

getting her back in that carrier was, for me, the best thing that

0:32:540:32:59

I could ever have done, really.

0:32:590:33:01

There are millions of trees on the estate and they're home and lunch to countless native species.

0:33:090:33:16

But there's a rather exotic animal,

0:33:160:33:18

who enjoys a good munch on some home-grown vegetation, as Kate is about to find out.

0:33:180:33:25

Now, why are we destroying this perfectly nice tree, which I have

0:33:250:33:29

to say, given that you are Mr British Conservation now, is a very, very good species?

0:33:290:33:36

It's a hawthorn. It's a very good species for British wildlife, so why are we cutting it down?

0:33:360:33:40

-Well, one, the giraffe like eating it.

-Right.

0:33:400:33:43

Two, the giraffe lean over this fence here...

0:33:430:33:46

You can see the top of the fence is crushed. ..and eat them,

0:33:460:33:49

so what we do is we cut them every couple of years, trim them down.

0:33:490:33:52

They'll shoot back up. In fact, hawthorn, the more you batter them, the better they

0:33:520:33:56

come back and it'll thicken the bottoms out, so it won't damage the tree.

0:33:560:34:00

So we're basically doing two things here. Pruning.

0:34:000:34:03

-And feeding giraffes.

-And food for the giraffes. Yes.

0:34:030:34:06

-Can I just...? This bit that we've just chopped down...

-Yep.

0:34:060:34:09

Let's just have a look at it, cos we're wearing quite thick gloves.

0:34:090:34:13

-Yep.

-I mean, this is spiky old stuff, hawthorn, isn't it?

0:34:130:34:16

-And you can see the thorns...

-Yeah.

-..just in there.

0:34:160:34:19

I mean, they're not enormous, but they're very, very sharp.

0:34:190:34:23

-They're pretty savage when you get one jammed in your arm or leg.

-Yeah.

0:34:230:34:26

So what are you doing feeding this to a giraffe? That seems...

0:34:260:34:31

Compared to acacia, this is baby food, to be honest.

0:34:310:34:34

Acacia thorns that they would eat in the wild...

0:34:340:34:37

-are kind of this long, they're really savage.

-Really?

0:34:370:34:40

Yeah. And a giraffe would get in there and strip the leaves off.

0:34:400:34:43

So the hawthorn's good cos it takes them a long time to eat it,

0:34:430:34:46

because they're obviously quite respectful of the thorn.

0:34:460:34:49

So it kind of replicates what they'd eat in the wild.

0:34:490:34:51

-So they don't actually eat the thorn at all?

-No.

0:34:510:34:54

They'll work their way in here and they'll pick through and strip the leaves off it.

0:34:540:34:59

They will take some thorns, but a giraffe is actually

0:34:590:35:02

designed to deal with food like this - really, really sharp stuff.

0:35:020:35:05

So the plan now is to go and take this into the enclosure, is it?

0:35:050:35:09

Yep. We'll bundle it up into a great big bundle, tie it all up,

0:35:090:35:13

-because we have to tie this to hang it from the hangers.

-OK.

0:35:130:35:17

Plus we don't want it falling on the floor because of the camels.

0:35:170:35:21

-They've got quite soft feet.

-Right.

0:35:210:35:23

So we don't want the camels jumping around in the middle of a load of hawthorn and getting spikes in them.

0:35:230:35:29

Well, join us later on to see if the giraffes really do appreciate all our hard work.

0:35:290:35:34

Earlier in the show, Bob set up infrared cameras to watch

0:35:390:35:43

a young pack of wolves at night, but this was no reality TV stunt.

0:35:430:35:47

There was an important reason behind it.

0:35:470:35:50

You see, these young wolves have been separated from the main pack in Wolf Wood,

0:35:500:35:55

prior to being moved to Dublin Zoo.

0:35:550:35:58

Bob has been checking on them, but they were showing classic signs of stress as soon as he went near them,

0:35:580:36:03

so he wanted to find out if they calmed down when they're alone.

0:36:030:36:07

If they didn't, the move may have to be reconsidered.

0:36:070:36:11

It's the next day and it's time to review the footage, but what will he find?

0:36:140:36:20

Well, what I'm noticing at the moment is

0:36:200:36:23

it seems to be there's a couple more stressed than the others.

0:36:230:36:30

They're pacing up and down.

0:36:300:36:31

It doesn't seem frantic pacing, but, you know, they ARE pacing.

0:36:310:36:35

They've worn a bit of a pathway in the straw, that's for sure.

0:36:350:36:38

They don't seem too fussed.

0:36:380:36:40

It's very rare for Bob to get such an insight into the nocturnal activities of these wild wolves.

0:36:400:36:48

But his secret filming may have been rumbled.

0:36:480:36:52

Brilliant! He obviously can tell where the camera is and wants to stick his nose in there.

0:36:520:37:00

So this one isn't pacing as much as they were earlier.

0:37:000:37:04

It seems to me that they are much more relaxed when there's no-one around, obviously.

0:37:040:37:10

But, you know, I'm quite pleased. They're not...

0:37:100:37:13

too bad. Not as bad as I thought they would be at this stage.

0:37:130:37:17

There's definitely a noticeable difference in behaviour between the wolves.

0:37:170:37:21

This may be due to the fact that they all have different personalities,

0:37:210:37:25

but Bob has his own theory.

0:37:250:37:26

What you can actually see is not too dissimilar to what would happen in the park, anyway.

0:37:260:37:32

They form their own little pack.

0:37:320:37:35

And they have like a pecking order within that pack.

0:37:350:37:38

Maybe the ones that are left in the box are quite relaxed.

0:37:380:37:41

Maybe they're higher ranking than the ones out here pacing up and down in the pens.

0:37:410:37:47

It's nothing...

0:37:470:37:49

to worry about, I wouldn't have thought. Just nature.

0:37:490:37:52

The journey to Dublin Zoo by road and ferry

0:37:570:38:00

will take around 24 hours, so it's crucial that the wolves remain calm.

0:38:000:38:06

It's therefore a great relief to Bob to see them finally looking more

0:38:060:38:10

settled in time for their collection by the team from Dublin.

0:38:100:38:14

We've done all the stressful side of things.

0:38:180:38:21

Getting them in and separating them from the others. All that's out the way,

0:38:210:38:26

so, hopefully, everything will go right and get them on their way.

0:38:260:38:30

It's hard to move your animals on, but we know full well that we have to,

0:38:300:38:34

to stop in-breeding and things like that.

0:38:340:38:36

It'd be nice to get them in the boxes and on their way. Yeah.

0:38:360:38:40

The plan is to load the wolves into the transportation crate one at a time.

0:38:410:38:45

That's it. OK. That's good.

0:38:450:38:48

The crates are positioned at the end of the run, while Bob and Brian encourage the wolves in.

0:38:480:38:54

But coming into contact with humans again, how they'll react is unpredictable.

0:38:560:39:02

The only problems that we can foresee is the fact

0:39:020:39:05

that they won't go in the boxes, but hopefully that won't happen.

0:39:050:39:08

Come on. Come on, mate.

0:39:100:39:13

Clear.

0:39:150:39:17

Clear. Thank you.

0:39:170:39:18

Once all the wolves are loaded, they'll begin their journey.

0:39:190:39:23

Gerry Craten from Dublin Zoo is in charge of the move.

0:39:230:39:27

It's a long journey by road, so we plan to drive as far as Chester.

0:39:270:39:31

Tonight, we'll stay in Chester Zoo, just overnight and then head for the ferry early

0:39:310:39:36

in the morning which is only an hour and a half drive from Chester Zoo.

0:39:360:39:40

When we get to Dublin, we're literally only 15, 20 minutes from the zoo.

0:39:400:39:44

Come on, then. Come on. That's it. Good on you.

0:39:440:39:48

I don't think the journey at all will be stressful. They'll be in boxes.

0:39:480:39:53

They'll be in a dark environment, which they like.

0:39:530:39:56

'They feel secure in an enclosed space.

0:39:560:39:59

'Be glad to get out the other end, but I don't think they'll be stressed.'

0:39:590:40:02

'We'll have regular checks on them over the night-time'

0:40:020:40:05

and make sure everything is OK and we'll check them yet again before we set off in the morning.

0:40:050:40:09

We've done a lot of animal moves and we're confident that once they're in the boxes, they settle down.

0:40:090:40:14

With most of the wolves loaded, the operation is nearly over.

0:40:160:40:20

But the trickiest bit is always getting the last wolf into the crate.

0:40:200:40:25

Alone in the house, it's feeling nervous and threatened.

0:40:250:40:30

Go and join your mates. Go on.

0:40:300:40:33

It's up to Bob to encourage him through the chute into the crate as quickly as possible.

0:40:330:40:39

Come on.

0:40:390:40:41

Come on.

0:40:420:40:44

Good boy. Good boy.

0:40:440:40:47

That's it.

0:40:470:40:50

-All clear.

-Clear clear clear. Excellent.

0:40:500:40:52

That went really, really well.

0:40:550:40:58

Walked straight in... how we wanted it to happen, really.

0:40:580:41:02

Yeah. Brilliant. Really, really good.

0:41:020:41:04

-Thanks very much.

-Have a good trip.

0:41:040:41:08

Thank you.

0:41:080:41:10

You can hear it's dead quiet in the back in the lorry,

0:41:100:41:12

so that's a good indication that they just sit down, they rest, they'll be very calm,

0:41:120:41:16

very relaxed and the next time that they'll see out the box is when they're in Dublin,

0:41:160:41:21

so something to look forward to.

0:41:210:41:23

As the young pack of wolves leave the park and head to their new home,

0:41:230:41:27

the keepers hope that the remaining pack will start to breed.

0:41:270:41:30

We'll be returning to Wolf Wood later in the series.

0:41:300:41:34

With packs of wolves, prides of lions and troops of monkeys,

0:41:390:41:43

it would be very easy to forget what's at the heart of the estate -

0:41:430:41:47

the great house itself.

0:41:470:41:50

Now over 400 years old, it's not only home to Lord Bath himself,

0:41:500:41:54

but also thousands of priceless treasures stuffed into no less than 128 different rooms.

0:41:540:42:02

As a guide, the first job is to stop getting lost.

0:42:020:42:06

The second is to learn as much as you can about the treasures inside,

0:42:060:42:11

which is exactly what new head guide Ruth Charles has had to do.

0:42:110:42:16

-So this is the Prince of Wales' bedroom.

-That's right.

0:42:160:42:19

The bed in here is huge.

0:42:190:42:21

-So high!

-So high.

-Look at that.

0:42:210:42:23

You'd need a good sort of hoick up.

0:42:230:42:25

Or a pair of steps. A set of steps to get in.

0:42:250:42:28

-But the magic of these steps is they hide a secret.

-Right.

0:42:280:42:31

-And I'll show you the secret.

-OK.

0:42:310:42:33

Because in here, there's something special that you might need at night-time.

0:42:330:42:37

-Right.

-Remember, no toilets in the house until about 1875.

0:42:370:42:42

This has a potty inside.

0:42:420:42:44

-Oh, wow, look at that!

-Ta-da!

0:42:440:42:46

Isn't that incredible? What a clever idea.

0:42:460:42:49

What a very clever idea, as long as you remember to put the lid back on before you get back into bed again.

0:42:490:42:54

-You'd really mess up your feet doing that.

-You would.

0:42:540:42:58

So, do we think any nobility would have actually used this, then?

0:42:580:43:01

The bedroom's named after Prince of Wales, but it's named after

0:43:010:43:04

the portrait, not after the fact that the Prince of Wales came here.

0:43:040:43:07

So we can't say that the Prince of Wales sat on this potty.

0:43:070:43:11

I don't think we can. No.

0:43:110:43:13

So there's no proof that nobility used Lord Bath's secret latrine, but Ruth's next stop is a treasure

0:43:130:43:20

that only the most eagle-eyed of top nobs would have spotted.

0:43:200:43:23

What are you showing me in here, then? Where are we?

0:43:230:43:26

-We're in the breakfast room, but what's very special in here are these door knobs.

-OK.

0:43:260:43:32

What's so special about these, then?

0:43:320:43:34

Look closely. Can you see the face in the door knob?

0:43:340:43:37

-Isn't that amazing?

-Very, very special damascene lock plates.

0:43:370:43:41

An ancient Islamic technique of creating a water effect on precious metals.

0:43:410:43:47

And the only way I discovered them was because a little boy

0:43:470:43:50

was looking at them one day, he was about eight years old, and asked me what they were.

0:43:500:43:54

-I've been here five years and never noticed.

-And are there similar door knobs like this across the house?

0:43:540:43:58

There are a few downstairs, but the great comparison is to the wooden door knobs

0:43:580:44:03

the servants had to use, which are over in the corner there, on the gold wall.

0:44:030:44:07

-Right.

-A wooden door knob leading into a servants' corridor.

0:44:070:44:10

Completely different class.

0:44:100:44:12

At one time, there would have been 50 servants working in the house and before modern plumbing was invented,

0:44:120:44:18

a lot of their time would have been filling baths by hand in the bathroom, which is the next stop.

0:44:180:44:23

So this is the bath bedroom suite.

0:44:230:44:25

Yes, that's right. My favourite piece in the whole house has got to be this wash stand.

0:44:250:44:32

-Wash stand.

-Yes.

-Very simple.

0:44:320:44:34

Very simple, but look down the legs to the very bottom and look at the detail on the end of the shoes.

0:44:340:44:40

Isn't that amazing? Like a three-legged person!

0:44:400:44:43

-Yes. It's great.

-In britches, I think.

-Britches.

0:44:430:44:45

Buttons on his britches and a garter.

0:44:450:44:47

And we used to think it was a wig stand.

0:44:470:44:50

I'm not sure how true that is, but wouldn't it be great

0:44:500:44:53

if it had a wooden head in the middle and a big curly wig and then feet as if it were going to run away?

0:44:530:44:58

And if you could have hung your jacket on this, on the outside, you've have had a mini person.

0:44:580:45:03

-Yes.

-With three legs.

0:45:030:45:05

I look forward to catching up with you in another few months to find out what else you've come across.

0:45:050:45:09

-It's a deal.

-We'll shake on that.

0:45:090:45:11

Earlier on, Andy and I risked life and limb to cut down large bits of hawthorn.

0:45:190:45:26

A good pruning for the tree, but even better, as far as the giraffes are concerned, to eat,

0:45:260:45:31

which seems extraordinary to me, but this is what they like.

0:45:310:45:35

They can barely wait. We've got a camel coming in as well!

0:45:350:45:38

I suppose camels would eat quite thorny deserty stuff, wouldn't they, in the wild?

0:45:380:45:42

They say it's only sharks that have a feeding frenzy! I'll go for this one as well, Kate.

0:45:420:45:46

So this is now winched right up onto this kind of, well, old tree trunk,

0:45:460:45:52

but this obviously mimics a live tree, rather cleverly.

0:45:520:45:55

Yeah. It's a lot easier, or better, for them to eat up high.

0:45:550:45:59

That's what giraffe are meant to do.

0:45:590:46:00

Well, as this is being winched up, there's actually a little camera hidden in here.

0:46:000:46:06

And hopefully, what that will mean, if it doesn't get eaten itself,

0:46:060:46:10

is that it will give us a great view of a giraffe's tongue.

0:46:100:46:15

So where are we going to sit to be able to watch this?

0:46:150:46:18

-We'll drive a little way away and then the giraffe will come in and we can watch them eat.

-Brilliant.

0:46:180:46:23

Well, as you say, it didn't take them long to gather up around that, did it?

0:46:230:46:28

No. As soon as it comes... They hear it coming now cos the trailer rattles.

0:46:280:46:32

..they'll all start pounding down, so we've got three hangers. We try and confuse them,

0:46:320:46:36

but they normally get there before we're ready to start hoisting it up.

0:46:360:46:39

It's just nice to see the giraffe gathered round and eating as they should do. It's pretty depressing -

0:46:390:46:44

-the time we've taken to cut all that and they'll make really short work of it.

-They'll strip it.

0:46:440:46:48

You can see there's the one that... Poor old Henry!

0:46:480:46:51

He's sort of left with the one that has been stripped,

0:46:510:46:54

but it is extraordinary because they really are doing that, aren't they?

0:46:540:46:58

They're stripping the leaves off, but leaving all the wood there.

0:46:580:47:01

That's right. They'll work their way around the thorns, and you can see, a lot of the time,

0:47:010:47:06

they'll work away with their tongue and just grab it and pull it.

0:47:060:47:09

Well, you can see the one on the left, there - tongue coming out and it is sort of pulling the leaves

0:47:090:47:17

away from the bark. It is amazing, even from a distance, watching that tongue.

0:47:170:47:22

As you said, prehensile tongue, it really is.

0:47:220:47:25

They really do use it like another limb, don't they?

0:47:250:47:28

Yeah. And it's also blue.

0:47:280:47:30

-They've got a blue tongue.

-I always thought it was black.

0:47:300:47:34

Bluey-black kind of colour.

0:47:340:47:36

Let's not split hairs!

0:47:360:47:38

One of the theories is a giraffe's tongue is black, or bluey-black, so it doesn't actually get sunburnt.

0:47:380:47:44

-A sunburnt tongue must be a nightmare.

-Very painful.

0:47:440:47:47

Maybe that's why lions have always got their tongues stuck out cos they're actually sunburnt!

0:47:470:47:51

-There's another theory.

-And they have a special saliva as well.

0:47:510:47:54

Very thick saliva, so the saliva acts as a slight barrier inside their

0:47:540:47:59

mouth when they're chewing big mouthfuls of thorny food.

0:47:590:48:03

And grooves on the roof of their mouth as well.

0:48:030:48:05

That helps when they're chomping away.

0:48:050:48:08

But their diet in summer - we feed them nettles as well.

0:48:080:48:11

We go out and pick nettles and put those in boxes for them.

0:48:110:48:13

It's good enrichment. That's full of iron.

0:48:130:48:16

It's free. It doesn't cost us anything, and it's the best for them. This grass is absolutely fantastic.

0:48:160:48:22

In fact, we need a lot more animals out here to knock this

0:48:220:48:25

-grass off.

-And they do obviously work very, very well as a herd.

0:48:250:48:29

I mean, they are, obviously, naturally herd animals,

0:48:290:48:33

but again, most of these animals have been born in captivity.

0:48:330:48:37

-All of them?

-All of them.

0:48:370:48:39

They are all English giraffe.

0:48:390:48:41

But that natural sort of herding instinct, that looking out for each

0:48:410:48:44

other, is clearly very much part of that DNA that they're born with.

0:48:440:48:49

Absolutely. We deal with them in as wild a way as possible. We want them to be giraffe.

0:48:490:48:54

We want our visitors to come here and see giraffe and zebra acting as natural as we can...

0:48:540:48:59

And watching this, I mean, you know, you could almost be in the Masai Mara, couldn't you?

0:48:590:49:04

Almost. Just need a gin and tonic to sit watching them!

0:49:040:49:07

I don't know what sort of safaris you've been doing - not like mine!

0:49:070:49:11

Well, I'm very, very glad that all our hard prickly work has been

0:49:110:49:15

-as appreciated as it is obviously being. Thank you very much, Andy.

-OK. No problem.

0:49:150:49:19

I'll stand up.

0:49:340:49:36

The Californian sea lions that live in Half Mile Lake have always had a reputation for causing trouble.

0:49:380:49:45

But one of the creatures that lurks in the lake has gone down in history

0:49:470:49:51

as being the worst-behaved sea lion ever.

0:49:510:49:54

As head warden Keith Harris's staff were doing their daily rounds, it was just going to be like any other

0:49:540:50:00

day, but there's one July morning in 1988 that he will never forget.

0:50:000:50:05

Every morning, all the staff in all the different sections go off and do a head count.

0:50:050:50:10

So, the people that are looking after the lake at the time came down,

0:50:100:50:14

counted the sea lions, noticed one was missing.

0:50:140:50:18

For a sea lion, there was only one possible escape route.

0:50:180:50:22

Normally, the water comes over and cascades all down this concrete.

0:50:220:50:27

We think that she came down into the stream, and this stream goes into the

0:50:270:50:33

River Frome, so we thought, "Oh, dear, we've got a chase on our hands."

0:50:330:50:37

The missing sea lion was a female called Laddie.

0:50:450:50:49

And as sightings came in from the public, deputy head warden Ian Turner was despatched.

0:50:490:50:56

We got a call that a sea lion had been spotted in Frome,

0:50:560:50:59

which obviously was a bit of a weird thing,

0:50:590:51:01

so we rushed down here to see if we could see it and there was nothing.

0:51:010:51:05

I spoke to a member of public that was here and he said the sea lion was last seen swimming that way.

0:51:050:51:11

We couldn't quite believe what was going on, but we had a really good look round here.

0:51:110:51:18

The chase was on to try and find out exactly where she is now.

0:51:180:51:22

We had to try and follow her as best we could, which was not too easy because she can

0:51:220:51:26

-move a darn sight quicker than we can getting round the roads.

-We were just looking at every stream we could.

0:51:260:51:31

We called at people's houses, knocking on people's doors.

0:51:310:51:34

"Have you seen a sea lion?" Which obviously, some people thought we were, you know,

0:51:340:51:39

from a funny farm. And we went to this house and we said, "Have you seen a sea lion?"

0:51:390:51:44

He said. "Well, there's a bloke down fishing at the bottom of our trout farm and he said he saw the sea lion

0:51:440:51:49

"there and he grabbed this massive big trout and just played with it."

0:51:490:51:52

And literally, we went and saw the bloke and he said,

0:51:520:51:55

"Yeah, he just came swimming along. I've been here fishing for hours and caught nothing -

0:51:550:52:00

"the sea lion comes up and grabs this massive great fish, plays with it,

0:52:000:52:04

"throws it to one side and just carries on." This bloke was starting to get worried,

0:52:040:52:08

because she could end up following this river all the way and this goes to the sea,

0:52:080:52:13

and once she gets that far, we'd never ever catch her.

0:52:130:52:16

So, this was starting to get quite a bit of tension and a bit nervous.

0:52:160:52:19

A sea lion's natural home is the sea, but just like the other ones

0:52:190:52:24

in the park, Laddie lives in fresh water, so is given a daily salt tablet to compensate.

0:52:240:52:31

If the keepers could not get Laddie back soon, she would start to become very sick.

0:52:310:52:37

But suddenly, another tip-off came in.

0:52:370:52:40

We had a phone call that she was in an ornamental pond in Trowbridge.

0:52:400:52:44

How she got there, that bit we don't know, but she obviously followed the stream somewhere along the line.

0:52:440:52:50

By this stage, Laddie had caused quite a stir and even cropped up on the local news.

0:52:500:52:58

After swimming more than 17 miles, helping herself to fish on a trout farm and commanding the attention

0:52:580:53:03

of the crowd of spectators, Laddie the sea lion wasn't about to give herself up easily.

0:53:030:53:09

Are you optimistic that she's going to come back?

0:53:090:53:11

We'll get her sooner or later.

0:53:110:53:13

First, they tried to appeal to her maternal instincts.

0:53:130:53:17

Her pup Lindy was brought in, but that didn't work.

0:53:170:53:22

Eventually, it was fish that tempted her close,

0:53:220:53:25

and then they soon had her cornered in a side channel.

0:53:250:53:29

At the time, we were so relieved that we got her back without any injury or damage to her,

0:53:290:53:35

but I think in some ways she was relieved to be back.

0:53:350:53:38

As soon as we put her back out with the other sea lions, she was fine.

0:53:380:53:41

So, with Laddie safely back in Half Mile Lake, Keith had to come up

0:53:410:53:45

with a new way of keeping her there, and his idea was electric.

0:53:450:53:49

Well, the sea lions have got extremely sensitive whiskers,

0:53:490:53:53

probably one of the most sensitive whiskers of the animal world.

0:53:530:53:57

And when we put an electric fence there, to this day I don't think one's actually touched it.

0:53:570:54:02

Their whiskers are actually telling them that that is electric and they don't go near it.

0:54:020:54:07

This might have worked for the sea lions,

0:54:070:54:09

but it just goes to show that the keepers always have to be on their guard.

0:54:090:54:14

As the park closes its gates for the day,

0:54:230:54:25

Kate and I are out on one of the lake boats to help deputy head warden Ian Turner

0:54:250:54:29

-with one of the most important jobs of the day - ensuring the animals are tucked up safely.

-Correct.

0:54:290:54:35

And of course, this is one of the most notorious areas for escape artists.

0:54:350:54:39

Sea lions, yes!

0:54:390:54:40

I can't believe she got to Frome!

0:54:400:54:42

And further. Went towards Bath, then came back towards Trowbridge.

0:54:420:54:46

We didn't spot it until the next day, so that was a major escape.

0:54:460:54:49

-So this has become a ritual really, since then. Coming in, counting all the lake animals.

-Yeah.

0:54:490:54:54

And making sure everything's fine. Check you've got six sea lions. Check the hippos are in the lake.

0:54:540:54:58

I can see both of them, actually, just tucked under a tree.

0:54:580:55:01

Two sets of ears, so that's good news.

0:55:010:55:04

Once the last boat's gone past, we'll give 13 a shout and they can put Nico to bed and make sure...

0:55:040:55:08

This is of course the island where he lives, so presumably, Mark Tye is somewhere around there.

0:55:080:55:14

-Waiting for the call.

-Let me give him a shout.

0:55:140:55:17

-Mark Tye, Mark Tye, this is Kate on the boat. Do you read me?

-Yeah. Come in, Kate.

0:55:170:55:23

Mark, we've had the clear for Ian that Nico can go to bed.

0:55:230:55:28

-OK. Thanks very much.

-OK. We're going to just sneak round the corner.

0:55:280:55:32

He's usually just hiding under there, isn't he? That's where he'll go in.

0:55:320:55:35

I have to say, Ian, just looking at the electric fence around here and the size of Nico, there he is...

0:55:350:55:39

-that doesn't look like that would keep Nico on the island, though.

-They can't swim.

0:55:390:55:44

I mean, literally, it's a deterrent to stop sea lions jumping onto the island and upsetting him.

0:55:440:55:50

-And just a warning for him when he's running about...

-There he goes!

0:55:500:55:54

-There he goes.

-That's him into bed.

0:55:540:55:57

We can see him. He's gone in from this side, Mark.

0:55:570:56:01

Have you tucked him up nicely with his favourite television programme? That's what we want to know.

0:56:010:56:07

That's our secret. You're not going to find out.

0:56:070:56:11

Thanks, Mark. Good night.

0:56:110:56:13

So, Ian, everything now is accounted for, present and safe.

0:56:130:56:17

-Yeah.

-Good. Good. Any little final escape stories you want to tell us?

0:56:170:56:22

One of the ones that springs to mind down at the lake here,

0:56:220:56:26

is we had some Cape buffalo, which we put in the hippo field.

0:56:260:56:29

Now, Cape buffalo are big animals,

0:56:290:56:33

-with those huge horns, like that, very dangerous, and you put them in this field here.

-Yeah.

0:56:330:56:38

-Then what happened?

-They walked straight into the lake and swam off.

0:56:380:56:41

-All the way down the lake.

-Straight to the end to Lord Bath's lawn.

-No!

-Straight got out.

0:56:410:56:46

Is that why you don't have Cape buffalo any more?

0:56:460:56:49

We had to take them back into the lake, back into the hippo field and take them back to the jungle.

0:56:490:56:54

-Send them back.

-It's amazing! Just seems such a lovely tranquil place, doesn't it, and it has been

0:56:540:56:59

the scene, as you say, of many, many great escapes.

0:56:590:57:03

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:57:100:57:13

E-mail [email protected]

0:57:130:57:17

Kate Humble and Ben Fogle look behind the scenes at Longleat Safari Park.

Kate prepares a thorny treat for the giraffes, Ben is on the run with the pygmy goats, and a keeper's worst nightmare unfolds as an animal escapes.


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