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If this gate wasn't here these tigers could kill us in an instant.
It would take just one bite from those incredible jaws to finish us off.
But just how powerful are the jaws of a big cat?
On today's show we are going to attempt to find out,
but who, or what, will these tigers be sinking their teeth into?
Coming up on today's Animal Park.
Lords-a-leaping is one thing but hurling oneself
out of an aircraft is quite another.
Find out if Lord Bath held his nerve at 4,000 metres.
I hope I do it.
Raisha the camel gets the hump.
Wow, that's a powerful kick.
And with all the exotic creatures down in Pets' Corner
we find out why a pig, that thinks is a dog...
Sit, Bruno, sit!
..is keeper Darren Beasley's all-time favourite.
Last series on Animal Park we attempted
to discover just how powerful a lion is.
We used a unique pull-o-meter device and it turned out
that they're ten times stronger than their keepers.
But now, we've decided to get even closer to the big cats
and measure the power of their bite.
The mouth and their teeth are the most terrifying part of any big cat,
designed to catch, kill and rip through raw flesh.
Here at Longleat keeper Bob Trollope
sometimes finds himself staring straight into their awesome jaws
and he'd like to know how much power is harnessed in their bite.
The whole idea of these powerful teeth here
is to actually bite on their prey and pierce the hide
but we don't know how powerful their bite is.
So we're going to do a test.
So that we can get a really close-up shot
what I'm going to do with Adam, the cameraman, here,
is to fix this stick just underneath the lens, put a chunk of meat on it,
and get a really close-up shot of her mouth.
And if you do get this close to a tiger's mouth
you can see just how perfectly designed they are.
They've got four canines that you can see here at the front but
the most powerful teeth are at the back and they cut through the flesh.
These canines are for piercing and holding on,
the actual back teeth are where all the pressure is
and that's the ones that will bite clean through bone.
They are incredibly strong and powerful.
Not surprisingly the meat stick hasn't lasted too long.
OK, its only a bit of wood but seeing the ease with which it
was snapped off has whetted Bob's appetite for gauging their bite.
We've never had the opportunity to measure
the bite pressure of any of our big cats so we will
be very interested to find out what it will be.
Whatever method we use, it's going to have
to be extremely strong, without a doubt.
The big question is,
how do you harness the biting power of a big cat?
One way is to be attacked by a lion and find out for yourself.
The other, more preferable option, is to join forces
with a team of experts in the world of pressure gauges.
In charge of the project is engineer, Len Baker.
Our pressure gauges are normally used in industry.
This one is unusual
we haven't had experience of animals biting our gauges.
So this is very new to us, because these aren't controlled conditions
they might be biting and snatching, doing all sorts of things,
so we could get anything from really good results to biting straight
through our gauge and it not working at all. It's really quite exciting.
Len and his team have designed a brand new and unique piece of kit,
the big cat bite-o-meter.
The principle we're working on is we're going to have
a sealed piece of tube, and then on the end of that tube
we're going to have a pressure gauge. Because it is
completely sealed when you squeeze the tube you will generate pressure.
But what we don't know is how much pressure we're going to generate,
how big the tube needs to be, we have no experience of this
and it's really quite exciting.
Without a lion or a tiger on hand in the workshop Len and his team
have been road testing their pressure gauges in a vice
to simulate the closing jaws of a big cat.
So this is what we've come up with. This tube has steel on the inside
of it, so hopefully they won't bite through it,
and rubber on the outside to protect the lion.
However the vice doesn't have the big cats' razor sharp teeth
that could potentially pierce the tubing.
If this happens the cat would get a mouthful of glycerine,
a sweet, syrupy liquid not at all dangerous to the animal,
just not to their taste.
Big cats have incredible jaw power. You can hear them crunching through
bones on a feed, two or three inches in width, it's nothing to them.
This bite-o-meter, it's going to have to be something pretty special,
it would have to be quite strong. I'd like to see
how they're going to do it
We will be back with the big cats later in the programme
when the day to put the experimental bite-o-meter to the test arrives.
Keeping the parks 900 plus animals fed is no mean feat
and they don't get served up any old leftovers.
It's cordon bleu, top quality nosh bursting with goodness
to ensure the animals thrive.
They have organic oats and plenty of exotic fruit.
However, down in Pets' Corner today keeper Jo Hawthorne has whisked up
a dish that would make most people's stomachs churn.
Mealworm porridge, yum, my favourite, Jo,
what are we doing with this now?
Basically we've got a lovely mixture here, Kate, of organic oats,
mushed-up banana, and of course the mealworms.
Yum. It all sounded great until you got to the mealworms.
What are we doing with this here?
What we are going to do is we're going to make some dumplings
and I've got this fantastic tree I found a couple of weeks ago.
-I thought it'd be great for marmosets?
So what are we doing, stuffing those into these different knots?
We stuff some of this in. We've got some fruit there as well.
-Fruit to go on top of it?
-You can put some separate,
you can put some in with it, whatever you want to do.
-If I just take a bit of that.
-It's very sticky.
-It is. Just shove it in there like that?
-Yeah, put it in the holes.
OK, now why bother to do this for three little marmosets,
because, A, there looks like a lot of food here and, B, its quite
a complicated enclosure here, will they ever find it?
OK, basically it's going to stop them from getting bored
and make them work for their food which in the natural world
we wouldn't have to worry about but in here it's nice to give them
-the choice to actually look and work for their food.
And look, Michelle's coming down as well.
Yep, This is Michelle, she's coming down.
There you go, I knew they'd be interested.
It's the mixture of the fruit, the banana and the mealworms.
You've obviously thought quite carefully about this mixture,
it's not you being beastly
and slipping mealworms into their porridge?
Why this particular mixture? They wouldn't find porridge in the wild.
No, exactly. Basically what we have got in this mixture...the oats,
in captivity primates can get into trouble with the intestines,
they can get blocked. They haven't got anything to naturally
stimulate the intestine walls. So the fibre and the roughage
they get from the oats is going to help stimulate the intestinal walls.
That helps them go to the toilet,
-and do all the things that we have to do.
-Right. Keeps things moving!
Exactly! The banana gives them potassium which is great
for blood circulation, as it is for you and me.
-The mealworms are protein.
So they've got an all-over good mixture.
It's like a nice muesli, if you like.
Yeah. Now they're trying to eat off my fingers which,
that's not really stimulating you, you're supposed to work hard for it,
you're not supposed to just take it off me now. Come on!
Jo, thank you very much indeed. Enjoy your porridge!
Come on, now, work a little bit harder for it, guys. Come on!
With a family tree that goes back to Alfred the Great himself,
it's fair to say that the blood of Kings flows through the veins
of Alexander Thynne, the 7th Marquis of Bath.
Nevertheless, over the years we've been there to discover Lord Bath
isn't everyone's idea of a blue blood card-carrying aristocrat.
He's certainly a colourful character who's always defied convention
and stereotyping. For example, a few years ago we followed what
happened after he accidentally bought himself
the adventure of a lifetime.
I went to a charity lunch and they were auctioning off promises
for the charity, and I thought I've just go to do something
that would be possible when I put up my hand. The other things were
holidays in Ibiza, I don't want to go to Ibiza,
all this sort of thing, or a lovely slap-up dinner at a restaurant.
None of it, did I think, was something I wanted to do
in anyway at all so when this one came up, I thought
if I fling up my hand for the first bid then others will take it over
and then I've still done something.
But I flung up my hand and nobody bid after that.
So I suddenly ended up, what, I've got to jump out of plane?
That's how it happened.
So Lord Bath had bought himself a parachute jump.
But not just any old parachute jump,
this was the ultimate skydiving experience.
With extended freefall at terminal velocity from three miles high,
in the company of the Parachute Regiment's
world-beating display team, the Red Devils.
Do parachutes always open? The answer is, apparently, no!
It think it's a, "good-to-have-done,"
but we're not there in the situation of having done it.
Lord Bath had never done a parachute jump before but then the Red Devils
had never had a 71 year old Peer of the Realm jumping with them either.
So captain Ed Paxton, and Ian McAuliffe, came along to discuss
the practicalities of the jump with Lord Bath and land agent, Tim Moore.
Have you got any questions for us?
Roughly what happens, you fly up to what height to jump me?
13,000 feet, round about three miles.
Once we're more than 50 feet off the ground its all the same.
-I've flown a micro light.
-We've heard about that.
-We'll give you 15 minutes of ground training.
-On that day?
-Yes. It's very simple stuff.
-And as we come down,
am I doing a forward roll or a backward roll?
You won't be doing any rolling, hopefully.
-I'll just be holding on!
-If you've got visions
of the old round parachutes, the way they used to do
the old military rolls, it's nothing like that.
-Its more of a tiptoe landing.
-Like stepping off a kerb.
-I'm strapped to whoever, I'm in front of them.
And I suddenly have second thoughts? I don't have second thoughts!
-Who pulls the ripcord?
-Your instructor will.
He will allow me to pull the ripcord if I'm pleading to?
-It's actually out of your reach from on the front there.
Oh, I can't pull the ripcord, then.
-A double tap on the shoulder means the ripcords coming.
How many have been lost on this exercise?
Tell me afterwards and not before!
Lord Bath had hoped to do the jump over his home,
but that wasn't allowed, so it was set to take place
at nearby Netherhaven, the Red Devils' base.
Hope I don't disgrace the regiment.
No, you won't. Nice to meet you.
We will find out how Lord Bath got on later in the programme.
At this time of year the camels are not looking
their best they're moulting, so huge clumps of their coat
are just hanging off them. Normally this isn't a problem
but there's been a rather unpleasant outbreak of diarrhoea
and they need treatment fast, so keeper, Kevin Nibbs, has called in
Paul, the vet, and Ben is lucky enough to be lending a hand.
-We're up at the camel house today.
-So what's going on?
We've had some problems with these camels for quite a long time really
and they just have sort of mild, squitty diarrhoea. It's not terrible,
they're not losing any weight over it, but, you'll see in a minute,
they have got quite a bit of a mess around their back end.
Kevin, you're their keeper, so you've obviously noticed
-this out in the field?
Normally at this time of year they'd be living outside but because
these have got bad tummies, through eating too much lush grass,
we've brought them in overnight to try and dry them out.
So the idea is to get the camels into this area, is that right?
-Is this easy, or is it a difficult task, Kevin?
-Who's this coming in now?
-This is Jasmine.
Oh, look, that's clever, basically you've just got a small area
-where you can control the camel.
-That's right. Unfortunately
she's not not quite long enough so it's going to make it
a little bit tricky for us. I'm going to swap places with you
and go in through the back.
We are going to find a nice bit of rumpy muscle.
Just while he's doing that, Kevin, the coat's looking a bit straggly.
That's right. At the moment they are moulting, they do this every year.
Actually what we could do is probably pull some of this out.
-It just pulls out in your hand.
-So eventually they'll almost be bald.
They will. They've got a nice sort of downy hair underneath.
Once this has all gone they'll have very fine wispy hair underneath
-and they'll grow a new coat for next year.
-Right. You're going to...?
I am going to try and go in there, but she's managing to get a bit
far away from me. We might have to shove this closed a bit, Kevin,
if that's all right. she might knock that against us.
I can try to get in on some muscle on her front, we'll try that.
We are risking her face...spitting. You've just popped the needle in.
-Popped the needle in.
-And remind me what this is?
This is steroid injection, she is not liking that.
You have to stay still, darling.
It's a steroid injection. It's designed just to take
any inflammation away and works particularly well against any
times when the body is attacking itself, in a way.
-particularly in these cases...
-Well, done, you've done it.
-I'm very impressed.
..where we're not sure exactly what's going on.
The steroid does have an action, and it's likely because the body's
set up an immune reaction to the gut.
-So that's why its not working properly.
-So who is mum then?
Mum is called Raisha.
Come on, Raisha. How old is she?
She's middle-aged for a camel,
camels live up to about 50 years so she's kind of middle aged.
She's not sure about going in sees all of us hanging around
which probably doesn't bode well.
-She's looking at us, she's counting us,
saying, there's far too many of you.
-Gosh, she is a big girl, isn't she?
and her coat, if I may say so, is looking particularly bad, wow.
That's comes out really easy.
That just comes away, doesn't it, that's incredible.
Same problem here, same injection?
She's a bit bigger, so I think we might find it a little bit easier
to get her in the rump which is safer for us
from the spitting point of view.
-Wow, that was her kicking?
-That's her kicking.
Wow, that's a powerful kick that she's got there.
That's why she's in a restraint. So that she can't do that.
She knows what's coming because she's had a few of these.
She really doesn't like that but it's for her own good, isn't it?
She's got thick skin, there. So we'll just give her another.
Well, done. So, that's just in...
That's just in and put that on, there we go.
I can't get over the power of that kick.
Is that what they do in the wild if there's a predator?
They do, what normally happens is when the males are feeling
a little bit frisky they'll..
-There we go again!
.. bite the back legs to make the females lie down,
and then mate them. They've got a massive powerful kick and when
the boys are round their ankles, if she's not wanting anything,
she'll kick out and push them away with that.
OK, Raisha, we can let her out now. You've been very good,
don't spit at us please, you can see all the foam around the mouth.
OK, certainly very different to cattle and sheep.
Thanks very much, thanks, Kevin.
As head of Pets' Corner, Darren Beasley is responsible
for hundreds of animals and most of them are exotic.
However, Darren's biggest love is a couple of slightly
more down to earth animals.
Bruno and Blossom joined us at Longleat back in 1996.
They were litter-mates. They were actually
brother and sister from the same parents.
They were lovely from the off.
Really, really intelligent, wonderful creatures,
great personalities. They were like the deadly duo, they were brilliant.
And every day I'd come into work in Pets' Corner there they were,
sort of grunting away, happy to see you, tails wagging,
just like having a couple of Labradors. Just really lovely.
They just were there for each other. They'd fight over a piece of apple
or the best bit in the sunshine if they were doing some sunbathing
but they were there together and wherever one went the shadow went.
Of all the animals that I've ever worked with really,
I took a great shine to these and really bonded with both of them.
And Darren was so keen to develop the bond with Bruno and Blossom
that six years ago he started working with the young Bruno
to train him in obedience skills.
Bruno, you heel.
Good boy. Sit, sit.
I read a book once that stated pigs were as clever as dogs.
They are that much more practical, playful and clumsy
and they tend to think with their bellies rather than anything else.
Well, they are not called pot-bellied pigs for nothing.
But nevertheless, Darren was keen to keep Bruno fit
so he also taught him how to play football but with mixed results.
Bruno, come on.
Get your ball,
where's the ball. And again,
and again, once more for luck.
Darren and Bruno loved every minute together
and they soon became inseparable.
I treat him like one of the gang, really.
Some say there's a bit of similarity as well.
So perhaps we were separated at birth...pig and Darren.
But the dynamic duo were to bring their skills to a wider audience
as Darren decided to perform with Bruno at a country show.
Now, this is the bit that proves how unfit I am.
You get him to come to you at a bit of a pace.
I've got to run now.
Oh, just as I thought, he's cleared off.
Right, next thing you start making him think he's a dog.
For instance, heel Bruno, heel. And there we go.
'Lot of distractions, there's a lot of people here.
'I've changed the football, I thought it might look better
'with a yellow football. I think he did us proud.'
He's a very happy pig, aren't you?
'Didn't score a goal though which is a bit disappointing.'
But it's not all been a bed of roses.
Bruno and Blossom have been through a lot in their lives,
including surviving the foot-and-mouth crisis back in 2001.
But sadly, last year, Blossom was showing signs of getting old.
Quite sadly as time ticked by
Bruno and Blossom began to feel their age.
And Blossom three or four times. was unable to get up.
Her legs had just gone from beneath her, really. It was a combination
of arthritis, or rheumatism and sealed-up joints and stiffness.
Generally all the horrible things that come with age.
Blossom was 11 years of age, that doesn't sound that old
in human terms but with the average lifespan of a pot-bellied pig
being 13 years, she was doing well. But as her health was deteriorating
so quickly Darren knew that the end was not too far away.
We came in one morning and poor old Blossom was down on her legs again.
It was a Friday morning, I remember.
We tried to get her up and she couldn't get up.
I called the vet, and Keith, the head warden, down to have a look
and we decided that the fairest thing we could do at that time
was to help her pass away nice and peacefully.
For Darren making this decision was incredibly tough
but seeing Blossom in so much pain he had little choice.
Having worked with animals all my adult life,
the one time you dread is when animals pass away.
You dread not being able to wave that magic get-better wand.
Blossom had been with us 11 years, 11 years, that's a long time.
And that's six days a week, 52 weeks a year.
And you are very, very close.
You are closer to some of these animals that you are your family.
Blossom's death was not just a tragedy for Darren
it also left Bruno on his own without his sister.
How would he cope without his soul mate, Blossom?
We will be back at Pets' Corner later to find out.
It's the day of our big cat bite-o-meter test and engineers
Colin Long and Len Baker arrive at the park to meet Bob and Brian.
They've brought with them the pressure gauges they've built
exclusively for this experiment.
This is the kit we've got and how it's going to work
is this is a hollow tube, reinforced, full of liquid.
When they bite on it, it will generate a hydraulic pressure
to come through this tube and displayed on this gauge here.
The black one will give us the pressure
and the red one will stay at the maximum reading.
-So, we don't have to watch the gauge every second.
Now we don't how strong their bite's going to be so we've made two.
This is the nylon reinforced one, this is the steel one.
They could bite straight through the nylon but the steel's
very, very strong and they might not getting a reading on it.
-You can actually see that one move.
-Which way do you think we should go?
What if we go with that one with the lions and if they do break it
we can have a changeover in a safe area and then use that one,
and then if we don't get a reading
we'll have to go back to the drawing board.
For the experiment the bite-o-meter will be attached to the back
of a feed wagon because the cats associate it with meal times
and always follow it.
Bob and Brian are hoping they'll get close enough to grab hold of it,
out of curiosity if nothing else.
-This is what we thought we would put it on.
-Mouth like that,
do you think they'll go for that?
-I think they will.
-Time for the gauge team to go to work.
So that's it. What do you think? It's on really rigidly.
We'll just have to give it a go, see if it's lion or tiger proof.
I think that's going to stay there, definitely.
Whether the tube survives or not we don't know.
With the bite-o-meter firmly fixed in place
it's time to head into the park.
First up are the young lions.
They are interested in the feed wagon,
they can obviously smell all the meat.
After we stop, I am sure they will take an interest in it
because we've got a lot of youngsters as you can see in here
and they are going to be quite inquisitive.
Come on, then. They don't seem too keen at the moment.
Hey, we want the rubber round here, please.
In anticipation of being fed the cats love to sharpen
their teeth on the feed wagon,
but frustratingly, so far, there are no takers for the bite-o-meter.
Come on. What's this?
It seems this morning the youngsters are only interested in breakfast.
So time to move on to the next section.
The fully grown mature lions of Charlie's pride.
But before heading in, for a little added incentive
Bob smears the bite-o-meter in meat juices.
Hopefully that will have Charlie and his ladies bite that.
Keep our fingers crossed.
Weighing in at over 200 kilos
Charlie is by far and away the biggest big cat at the park.
It was he who helped himself to one our tyres last year
and recorded the biggest reading on our pull-o-meter experiment.
-Two and a half, three kilometres...
-Can feel the whole truck moving!
So Bob is confident he will be the star once again.
And straight away the bite-o-meter is generating a lot of interest.
Oh, yes, we've got someone sniffing it. Are you going to bite it?
Yeah, not much of a bite. Go on, bite it.
Go on grab hold of it, not the tyres.
Charlie is here now he's going to come over, have a look
It was Charlie, the lion king, who put the bite-o-meter to the test.
-What's that, 100?
-Bite it, go on, mate.
-He's punctured it.
-Has he, already?
-Didn't like the taste of it.
-Too sweet for you, mate.
Charlie now has his mouth full of thick sugary glycerine,
totally harmless, but seemingly not to his liking.
Just over 100.
That's pounds per square inch.
He's got such a big jaw.
Every single inch he's biting 100 pounds he's pushing down.
100 pounds per square inch is more like a human bite.
Scientists estimate that a lion's bite should be around 700 pounds.
So those may be the figures we should be trying to get
but our problem is actually getting a reading. Is there a material that
can withstand, not only the force of the bite
but the sharpness of the teeth.
Cut it straight through
-and that's really thick.
-Yeah, that's amazing isn't it?
Do you think because Charlie punctured it, the reading...
Could have been on its way up, that's as far as it got,
as soon as it punctured it, it stopped going up. It could be double that,
-we just don't know.
-Get the strong one on.
Yeah get the big boy in there.
We are going to change this quickly put a new one on and see what the
tigers can do, get a reading and see if Soundari can beat Charlie.
We'll be back with a new tougher bite-o-meter later in the programme
as the experiment continues in the tiger enclosure.
I have to confess this probably is my favourite corner of Pets' Corner,
this is where the ferrets live and I'm here with Alexa.
They're a bit sleepy at the moment, aren't they?
A little bit, yeah. Hopefully they're going to wake up in a minute.
You've got this intriguing parcel on the bench between us,
-what's going on in here.
-This is called our bumble ball.
Basically what it is, it's a child's toy, we've wrapped it Hessian.
Hessian's good, it keeps a lot of different smells in.
-And we're going to turn it on, put it on the floor...
-So, it moves does it?
It wobbles, it vibrates.
Now why on earth would you do something like this for ferrets?
Anything to enrich their lives, really, lots of different things.
We've seen how children react with these things and they love it
and hopefully they will too.
So you've never tried this before, this is a first?
Not with this one, no.
Right, shall we see if it wakes them all up because ,as I say,
you are all looking a little bit sleepy, aren't you?
Going to pop you down.
Oh, gosh, it makes a noise and it really does move around.
What do you think of that? That's hilarious.
-They can't quite make that out at all.
That is brilliant, that's really good.
They are completely intrigued by it, aren't they?
Its got lots of different smells on it,
lots of the keepers have been handling it as well.
I think this is an absolute success although I have to say if you spin
round there's another little bit of enrichment in the form of Stewart,
our sound man, and I think he might be after the cables.
-Yeah, they do love Stewart, don't they?
-Yeah, they do.
-Will they chew through the cables?
-They shouldn't do, no.
They are usually really good with things like that.
They tend to try and grab things and run off with them.
So if it is attached might get a bit of jolt.
I think they would have a bit of a struggle grabbing Stewart
and running off with him.
Well, I think this is a fantastic success, they obviously love it.
We are going to leave them to play. Alexa, thank you very very much.
We've still got lots more on today's programme.
Lord Bath gets probably the most important lesson of his life, but he doesn't appear to get the message.
-Arms like that.
-That's it. Keep in.
And back in Pets' Corner Darren has to make a decision
that any keeper of animals hopes they never have to make.
What about that?
We're looking back at when Lord Bath prepared to throw himself out of an aeroplane with the Red Devils.
He arrived at their headquarters, the Joint Services Parachute Centre at Netherhaven
and was going to jump in tandem with Sergeant Steven Blee.
That's the exit there, you can see that the legs are right up there.
-That's where yours need to be, right up underneath.
That's going to be us for the next 45 seconds,
falling at 125 mph, maybe a bit quicker.
At about 6,000 feet we will then pull the parachute.
The next step was for Lord Bath to be kitted out for the practical part of the training.
And as it wasn't everyday that a septuagenarian aristocrat
jumped with the Red Devils, there was a lot of press interest.
-OK. I didn't do anything.
Right. For the exit phase you're going to have your arms across your chest.
-Yes, and hold on to these two grips,
that one there, and there. Take your weight off your feet.
That's it. That's how we're going to go out of the aircraft.
Yeah. What I'm gonna say then, sir, is, "Head back, feet back, arch".
-That's it. Keep in, and then we are going to go out the aircraft
and it will be, ready, set and out we go.
Once out of the plane there was another new position for Lord Bath to learn.
OK. That's the position... that's better.
-That's the position that you need to be in when we're in freefall.
What I'm going to do once we're in freefall - give you a tap on the shoulders.
-That's your signal that you can bring your arms out.
-Bring your arms out to that position there.
-Happy with that?
I think it's now to go out there and do it.
I hope I do it.
The die was cast, the hour was here and the plane awaited.
But Lord Bath was still entitled to chicken out even up to the last moment.
We'll be back later to see if he did.
The feed wagon with the reinforced bite-o-meter attached is heading towards the tigers.
Earlier in lion country, the big adult male, Charlie,
destroyed the first bite-o-meter with one powerful crunch.
So, now its time to put the second, stronger bite-o-meter to the test.
The question is, is it tiger proof?
There she is.
This is Soundari.
She's normally the most mischievous tiger.
Soundari has a habit of attacking the rubber bits on the feed wagon, namely the tyres and the matting
which protects them, so Bob is hoping the rubber ring of the bite-o-meter
will also prove to be irresistible.
No, don't eat that.
-At the back.
-They do prefer that.
Get off it.
Do you think it's the lion scent they pick up on?
She's sniffing it, but she prefers... Oh, you dozy mare.
Come on. Bite that.
Despite Bob's encouragement, Soundari only has eyes, or should that be teeth,
for the wheels of the wagon.
Hey, hey! She's just had a tyre.
-That was like a little nip at it and she went straight through the car tyre.
I'll just chuck some meat out.
She may have demonstrated her strength on the tyre, but sadly the bite-o-meter didn't get a look in.
So, it's back to the drawing board then, Len.
Outside of the enclosure Len and Bob inspect the damage.
-You can see she's been biting this, right through there.
-And then right through the tyre.
Oi! Hey, hey!
Slicing the tyre with her teeth was effortless for Soundari
and only goes to hint at what her true biting strength might be
if she had also bitten the bite-o-meter.
Once again Charlie has proved himself to be the undisputed
king of the Longleat cats, but having pierced the tube so quickly
his true strength still remains a mystery.
But Bob and Len are not giving up that easily.
-The second bite-o-meter is still intact and therefore lives to be bitten another day.
Join us later in the programme when we make the brave decision
to take the bite-o-meter off the feed truck
and place it in the heart of tiger territory.
It's not every day that the park welcomes a new species of animal
through its doors, but ten years ago a South American tapir arrived.
Jethro was just five months old when he trotted in and for most of the keepers
this was the first time they'd ever seen this species of animal.
They are closely related to horses, but while they are plentiful in numbers,
the tapir is an endangered species
so it was great news when Jethro was joined by a female companion, Jessie.
Over the years they've had several babies, the most recent being Gomez and Hugo
and the whole family are firm favourites with the visitors.
So, how do you keep a tapir that's been here for ten years, busy and interested in life?
Well, Bev has the answer - lots of enrichment ideas, and lots of fruit that Jess here is after as well.
-Yes, she certainly is.
-Ten years - a fantastic kind of time frame here isn't it?
Yes. Jeth and Jess have been with each other the whole time as well.
-They both came around at a similar time.
-I'm wondering who this other one is.
This is Gomez. He's about two-and-a-half and in the distance
we also have Hugo, and he's our little baby, a year old.
What are we going to do with this fruit?
-We've got bananas, apples, carrots and they obviously can't wait for them.
-Jess is very, very keen.
Basically just scatter it about, so grab it, fling it, hide it.
-Do they have a particular favourite out of this lot?
Bananas, OK, let's leave some there.
This is all part of how you keep them busy and occupied.
You don't just put the food down in a trough and they all go and eat it from there.
Exactly - you put the food down in a bowl,
they are just going to eat it and then be bored for the rest of the day,
so what we try and do is hide it, fling it down...
Sometimes we throw apples into the water, things like that, just to get them looking around.
Apple will float. Shall I do it?
-Go for it.
-There we go.
Oh, they'll enjoy that when the sun comes out.
-I don't know I'd like to go in today, necessarily.
-It's a bit cold.
Presumably we want to pop some of this around the trees?
They can reach quite high, and stand up onto their back legs using their front legs, climbing up.
Do you want to take some pieces?
You are obviously close to all of them,
but what about Jethro in particular? Is he your kind of...?
He was the original really, wasn't he?
Yes, and he's the most loveable.
Jessie is very food orientated but Jethro will ignore a banana for a bit of a cuddle and a tickle
and to be honest when we're out and about he's the one that everybody knows.
So, he's quite famous really.
-Has he become famous in his own right?
Do you find people lining up asking where he is?
Yes. They always ask how he is and how he's doing. It's lovely.
How high can we go? We can't go up into those...
Probably not too high, but we could go on round and see if we can find any...
-I don't know how you can tell them apart. They are so similar. This must be Jess.
-This is Jessie.
So she's bigger than Jethro.
Yes, females always are. And also she's darker and got a bit of a bigger mane.
Jeth's actually quite grey in the face.
-Do you want one of these? Can I actually give it to her?
Do you want one of those?
Amazing. Not many animals that can eat a whole apple in one, eating part of it.
No, they've got incredibly strong teeth and jaw as well
so they can cope with big melons, pineapples as well.
-Now, presumably that's Hugo eating on the banana there?
-Yes, that's our little baby.
Little baby! Look at him grow. He's lost his spots since I last saw him.
That's right. He still has a few faint spots on his tummy when he rolls over,
but apart from that he's a little bit all grown up now.
-Shall I put some more in here do you think?
-How often do you bring the food out like this?
-We do this every morning.
-Shall I give you a few more pieces?
Carrots as well and I'll just pop these in here.
Presumably they would forage around for fallen fruit on the floor of wherever it is.
Yes, out in Brazil they would be foraging most of the day and if we didn't do this,
our tapirs would sleep most of the day rather than forage like the wild tapirs.
We are just trying to get them interested and active and acting more like your wild tapir really.
And keeping them active that's very important
because there are no predators here for them to run away from,
so they don't need to do a huge amount of exercise.
No, they don't necessarily, although it is quite hard to keep a tapir trim.
They do put on weight quite easily.
Are these...? It's hard to tell whether they are looking on the porky side or whether...
She's a little bit tubby on the tummy, but I'd rather have her this way
than a little bit thin. They are all looking really well at the moment.
-We are really pleased with them.
-And Jethro happy going on strong?
Yes, he's doing well. We've had no medical problems with them at all.
They are just really healthy. So, we are really happy with them.
-What is the life expectancy of a tapir?
-Could be as much as 30 years.
-Jessie, she's 12 and Jethro's 11.
-So, many more years to come?
-Well, listen, good luck for the next ten.
Back down at the pig enclosure, Bruno, the pot bellied pig,
has been pining after his sister and soul mate, Blossom, who passed away last year.
Pigs are highly intelligent animals
so Darren has been very concerned about how he is coping without her.
For a short period after Blossom had passed away,
he was a very, very different pig.
You know he wasn't active he wasn't out playing, he wasn't out sunbathing,
he was a bit sad, forlorn, a bit mopy.
He notices that thing he snuggles up to every night has gone.
He notices the one he barges out of the way to get the apple cubes in the morning has gone.
Bruno is now 12 which is a very good age for a pot bellied pig.
But sadly, like Blossom, he too has arthritis.
Darren is desperate not to let him suffer and is becoming increasingly concerned
about how much pain the condition is causing his old friend.
He's beginning to feel his age as well now.
He's got the wobbly front legs.
He's on medication for his joints
just to help him up in the mornings and help him through the day and stuff.
But, I think he's in his twilight years.
So now my mission in life is to just try and do what's best for Bruno.
So, this morning Darren's called in Paul the vet to have a look at poor old Bruno.
He just seems to be spending more time... If I get him to walk over here...
Bruno, come over here sunshine.
-..in that sort of crouched forward position.
He doesn't want to put the weight on that.
He's struggling very much to bend those joints at the front there isn't he?
He's just not looking very comfortable at all.
The problem is, it's going to be arthritis and that's the problem and that's just not reversible.
And so I think he's probably in quite a lot of discomfort now
and it's not something we're going to be able to do anything about long term.
Eventually at some point, and it looks like in the very near future,
you're going to come in and find that he just can't get up at all
and that's the last thing you want to find
because it would be a distressing situation for both of you.
We can't continue with him in pain can we?
No, that's the last thing I want. I wouldn't want that on any animal
and particularly our mate Bruno here.
I'll take that on board, thank you, and we'll have to decide.
Yeah. Poor little chap.
Of all the animals in Pets' Corner, Bruno has always had a special place
in Darren's heart, so seeing him in this condition is devastating.
He is one of my all-time favourite animals.
He's my little mate really.
I would defy anybody, anybody, to say they don't get attached to certain animals.
And the cowardly thing to do is hope that one day I'd come in to work
and he's already passed away in his straw bed.
But that is a cowardly thing.
He's been with me longer than nearly all the staff I work with down in Pets' Corner.
He's a big part of this section.
It's always a tough time when you get animals in this condition.
My job is to give Darren all the information about what their condition is doing to the animal
at the time and how it's going to progress
and whether that animal is going to get better or not.
And particularly whether that animal is distressed or in any pain.
So, that can make the decision for them, if I let them know I do believe they are suffering.
What Paul's saying is 100 per cent right.
It's what you don't want to hear, on the other way it's nice that someone else
is speaking aloud what you've been thinking all along.
This poor chap is in pain now. I think its time to do what's right
and what's right for Bruno is that I do the kindest thing.
And I think it's time to say goodbye.
And what better way for these old friends to say goodbye than with one final gentle kick about.
It's now the moment of truth as we take a trip down memory lane
to discover what happened when the Marquis of Bath attempted a parachute jump.
The plane climbed to 4, 000 metres
before Lord Bath and Sergeant Blee would jump out, strapped together in tandem.
If all went well they were due to perform a 50 second freefall
reaching terminal velocity at about 125 mph.
# I'm travelling at the speed of light,
# I wanna make a supersonic man out of you
# Don't stop me now I'm having such a good time
# I'm having a ball Don't stop me now
# If you wanna have a good time,
# Just give me a call
# Don't stop me now, Cos I'm having a good time
# Don't stop me now Yes, I'm having a good time
# I don't wanna stop at all
# I am a sex machine ready to reload
# Like an atom bomb About to oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, explode,
# I'm burning through the sky, yeah!
# 200 degrees
# That's why they call me Mr Fahrenheit... #
None the worse for taking a bit of a tumble at the end,
the press wanted to know what was the most frightening part of the experience.
Well, the door opened and then one knows that within a few seconds you are suddenly going to discover
if you are OK for going forward,
or whether you will be suddenly clambering backwards and calling for mummy.
Those moments of, "Am I going to behave? Am I going to behave?"
were perhaps the most alarming in potential.
But I didn't. I behaved quite all right.
He did very well. He was a good student.
Tandem passenger. He was very with it. He was actually very supple for his age
and he could get into the positions that I told him to get into
when we were in the door and when we were in freefall,
and as you saw, when we came into land he got his legs right up for me which was good as well.
I don't think I did a ten out of ten landing,
but I've still got two out of two feet!
So, Lord Bath was all right, but Sergeant Blee didn't know the danger he'd been in.
I was feeling a bit queasy.
If I had been sick it must be horrible for the person strapped to you.
Yeah, but I've had that before so don't worry about it.
-We're gonna take one more photograph, if that's all right.
Lord Bath certainly looked a lot happier with his feet back on terra firma, but would he do it again?
Oh, I don't know about that. We'll think about that in due course.
# Having a good time I don't want to stop at all. #
We had a great idea, to test the bite power of the big cats.
However, we didn't get off to a very good start.
King of the lions, Charlie,
broke the first unique bite-o-meter machine as if snacking on a fillet steak.
And Soundari, the tiger, was only interested in having a chew on the feed truck.
Hey, hey, hey!
But we're giving it one more go.
It could all go horribly wrong.
Soundari could again completely ignore the bite-o-meter,
but on the other hand
we could capture on camera the true biting power of a tiger.
No-one knows what will happen. So, let's head back to tiger territory.
Well, the moment of truth has come.
Ben and I are up in tiger territory with Bob and Ian
and this fantastic piece of kit.
I'll tell you what. Do you want to go and sweet talk Soundari
and see if she's in good fighting spirit?
And we'll just finish off this and make sure she's going to be ready for it.
Shall we go in?
Do you think because it's a curious thing,
that isn't normally in here, that curiosity will be enough to encourage the cat?
Or... We've got a bit of meat here...
What we're going to do is we're going to smear this all around here
just to give it a bit of a taste.
-She might come up to it.
-Just kind of...
Just smear it all around there just so she can get a smell.
-We won't leave the meat here because...
-She'd just eat the meat.
And not bother with this.
-So, it's just putting a bit of flavour so she's not just eating rubber tyre.
You spoil your tigers, Bob, I have to say!
-That looks, pretty much nicely marinaded.
Good, we'll check that Ben and Ian have briefed Soundari properly
and come back and see what the results are.
I've joined Ian, deputy head warden, to catch up with the tigers inside.
Now just remind me who we have here from left to right.
Soundari, Svetli and Shouri.
Right. And they are quite calm right now, given that they can be quite temperamental these guys.
-And Bob's outside.
-And they don't like Bob!
Obviously out in the wild these are incredibly dangerous animals.
They prey on almost everything don't they?
Powerful jaws, absolutely amazing,
and they take their prey down
literally by snapping its neck.
They will grab hold of a prey
by the neck,
and into the jaws - they'll just clamp around the neck and that's goodbye.
If it was going to attack a human being it would be on the neck
and straight through and the claws are used to rip open
and then they can start eating.
And just like a domestic cat or dog
they just have one set of teeth
once the baby ones fall out.
-So, if they lose those, that's it.
With Soundari raring to go
all that's left to do
is let her out.
But will our steel reinforced bite-o-meter withstand her bite?
Before we begin is there anything we need to be aware of?
Obviously we're going to be quite close to the fence
and if Soundari does decide to totally ignore that and come for us,
what I want you to do is just go for those Land Rovers.
The doors are open. Jump in wherever you can, crew and all,
straight in, and shut the doors and we will be all right.
Yes, she's a good climber, isn't she?
-She's quick as well.
-And a small fence.
And a small fence.
So, I suppose we need to let her out and see if she goes for it.
Let her out, please.
So, who's coming out?
We're just going to let Soundari out. Hopefully she's going to rush out and go straight to it and bite it.
This is the end of the day, Bob,
and she's probably thinking, "It would be quite nice to settle down and have a bit of a sleep now".
Do you think she might be a little quieter than if we were doing this at the beginning of the day?
Well, I think curiosity might take over.
We just hope that she bites the right piece and not the scaffolding bar or the strap.
Here she comes. She's coming straight over, no hesitation.
She is quite normally nosy.
-Is she going to be more nosy about us or that?
She's spotted that, so hopefully she's going to go straight to it,
sniff the strap...
No, don't bite that. We don't get a reading from that bit.
-Do you think our meat trick will have worked, Bob?
She's sniffing around it, but whether she's going to bite it or not...
It's quite alarming don't you think to have a small piece of wire
between us and something that... Oh, that's good.
Are we getting a reading?
No reading yet. She's hasn't got quite a hold of it.
Here we go. It's beginning to go up.
-We're starting to go up.
-But not by much.
Not at the moment. Maybe it's a little too tough.
She's gonna try pulling it and biting it.
She's actually using her leg for a bit of leverage there as well.
Don't bite that, that's too hard!
Hopefully she'll go back to... Yeah, she's just trying to...
-Here we go. And that's using the...
She's breaking right through it.
-She's broken right through it.
-Right through it.
I think in fact, she's done more damage than Charlie in a quicker time.
Well, we've got ten psi so far...
-We haven't got any pressure yet.
-..which isn't a huge amount.
An average car tyre is about 30, I think.
-Just one small canine tooth went... just like it was butter.
Now because she's split that...
We probably won't get another reading
because the pressure will have gone.
That's incredible isn't it?
Well, she's giving it a really good go, but sadly there's absolutely no reading.
So she's obviously broken through and all the kind of works
that we needed to happen have just gone.
I think we've established what we knew - she's very strong.
And probably would be stronger than Charlie, if only the technology hadn't let us down.
Bob, Ian, thank you.
It was an experiment worth doing.
Sadly that's all we've got time for on today's programme,
but here's what's coming up on the next Animal Park.
A keeper used to looking giraffe and zebra
has to blow dart a whole pride of lions.
Not easy when you smell of their prey.
We look back at the time 300 kilos of sea lion took a ride on the tour boats.
And the baby otters are just about the cutest things at the park,
but Ben becomes just about the most unpopular
when he gives them their first jabs.
Hold it like that...?
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