Episode 9 Animal Park


Episode 9

Behind the scenes at Longleat Safari Park. Ben Fogle is on hand when a veterinary emergency threatens the life of a rare species of deer. Kate Humble meets the new sea lion pups.


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Transcript


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Pere David's deer are extremely rare and are on the critically endangered

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list, but Longleat is involved in a vital reintroduction programme.

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So, as the birthing season approaches, the keepers are

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bracing themselves because every live birth could well contribute

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to the survival of the species.

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Coming up on today's Animal Park...

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there's an emergency in the deer park, as the vet battles to save

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the life of an unborn calf.

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I get a good look at the meerkat babies,

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but they just show me their teeth.

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Gorgeous, even though you want to kill me.

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And down at Half Mile Lake,

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keeper Mark Tye's preparing for two precious new arrivals.

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

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Up on meerkat mountain, life is good.

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Ever since Basil turned up, it's been a happy place,

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as they've been having lots of babies.

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The most recent additions were born a few months ago,

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so Kate's gone to see how they're getting on.

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It's great great news this year.

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It's been the most successful breeding year so far.

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Yeah. These four are doing really well,

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so we're looking forward to the future,

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and these ones are growing stronger by the day.

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So, presumably, we've got these gloves on because they need handling.

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What are you doing with them?

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Today, we're going to attempt to sex them.

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OK, but how do you catch a meerkat, John?

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Basically, you've just got to be very quick.

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-Do you get in?

-Yeah. You can get in.

-Shall I try?

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-Do you want to have a go at getting in?

-Shall I have a go?

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I'm going to make a complete mess of this, I imagine.

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But, let's see, cos the last time we were with them...

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You've got to be very brave and go straight for one.

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Gotcha.

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Oh, look at you!

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-So, presumably, you need to look under the tail, do you?

-Yeah.

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And what are you actually looking for?

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-Any signs of testicles, or anything like that?

-Yeah.

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Males have particularly large scent glands, as well.

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OK, John.

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-That's fairly big.

-That's the scent gland...

-Could possibly be.

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-opening at the bottom there.

-Yes.

-OK.

-So that's possibly a male.

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All right. Do you want to hold on to that one?

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-Now, this one, by contrast, is a lot quieter.

-Yeah.

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Very sweet. A little bit smaller.

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Yes.

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-There we go. That does look smaller, doesn't it?

-It does. Yeah.

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That little opening at the back, so we think this one is probably female.

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-Possibly. Yeah.

-And that one male.

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-So you put them back in with the adults.

-Yes, we will.

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Just wait. MEERKAT SQUAWKS

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You are fierce. Come on.

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A little fighter with you.

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I know. Oh, yes. Look at those teeth.

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It's always the last one, isn't it?

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-Wow.

-Little drawing pins.

-I'm very glad I am wearing gloves.

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Look at you. Don't be so cross! Look at those amazing teeth.

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And these teeth presumably, very important for catching insects,

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holding on to wriggly prey.

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Yeah. Ripping up meat.

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Now, I'd like to say you're probably a male. What do you think?

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-It is fairly big and substantial, isn't it?

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

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So we think you might be a boy.

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-Yeah.

-So two boys, so far. What do you think? And that's...?

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Could possibly be a boy, as well.

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So you think three boys...

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-And a girl.

-And a girl.

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Is that going to be a good mix in with the family?

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It should be. Yes. They should get on quite well together.

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Well, they're quite sociable animals, aren't they?

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In the wild, they would live in big groups.

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Yeah, in big groups and then as and when they need to, they'll either

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-kick members out their group or members will leave.

-Right.

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John, that was a real treat.

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I know you're furious with me but I'm just going to enjoy the moment

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and because it's not every day you get to hold a tiny little meerkat,

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and again, congratulations for such a successful breeding year.

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You're all gorgeous, even though you want to kill me.

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From one animal that's certainly not endangered in the wild to one

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that's on the brink of extinction...

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the Pere David deer.

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The name Pere David comes from a 19th century French missionary...

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Father David, who told the western world about this new species of deer

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found in China.

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Just 100 years later and the entire Chinese population of Pere David deer

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had totally disappeared. And it's only still on the planet today

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thanks to another English animal park.

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This herd of about 300 lives on the Duke of Bedford's estate at Woburn,

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but they died out in China when the walls of the park were beached

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by floods in 1894.

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There were only five left in the world

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which were all collected at Woburn

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and from them, the present flock has grown.

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In 1980, Woburn gave Longleat 20 of their herd so that they could

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do their part in saving this species.

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Today, they're still part of a successful breeding programme

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and they've just been celebrating the birth of a new male calf.

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He was born a week ago and for head of section Tim Yeo,

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this baby is extra special.

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I think the calf is so terribly important to our very small herd

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here simply because our numbers have decreased to the level now.

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There are now only seven Pere David deer left at the safari park.

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Some were actually reintroduced to China, while others sadly died from

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disease and natural causes.

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It's not the easiest animal to raise and with only two females now capable

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of breeding, the keepers are desperate to increase the herd.

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One of the biggest problems they've had over the years has been

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with the females giving birth.

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They're able to carry a lot of fat reserve and it's stored around the

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animal's birthing canal, causing huge problems when they go into labour.

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If these hinds carry the foetus to full-term and they're ready to calf,

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when it comes out it has to go through a very narrow canal.

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And it's there it gets stuck because there is too much fat lying there

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and then you're left with the nightmarish situation where

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the mother, whatever she does, she can't deliver the calf,

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so you've got to get in there quickly and deliver it.

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So, the recent healthy birth was a fantastic boost.

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But this morning, the park's on red alert as there's an emergency

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with the other breeding female.

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I've just heard that one of the Pere David deer is

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going into labour, but there seems to be a complication,

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so I've come up to try and find keepers Tim and Kevin

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and safari park vet Duncan to find out what's going on.

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It appears she went into labour last night but there's no sign of a calf.

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The deer is clearly distressed,

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so Tim and Duncan are having to act quickly.

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Taking aim from a car, Tim is using a tranquiliser as a gun in an attempt

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to temporarily knock out the deer.

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Ben has joined them back at the yard to get the latest.

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Hi, there.

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I don't want to disturb too much. Obviously, something's going on.

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What's happened?

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We're trying to knock out the Pere David deer and we think

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she's got a baby stuck inside her.

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And presumably, it's pretty important

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that you get to her as soon as possible, I imagine.

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Well, the chances of having a live baby now are probably pretty remote,

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I think... She should probably have had it last night, or overnight.

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So this morning, by now, it's already too late.

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We've probably already got a dead calf.

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-Her own health is obviously...

-We want to save her, really.

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And Tim, I don't want to disturb you

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too much, but obviously, quite a tense time for you, really.

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One of your precious deer.

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Yeah. It's an awful shame, Ben,

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because this was a first-time calfer and as you say,

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we need every Pere David we can get and so, it's not good.

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-Yeah.

-But the sort of emphasis now is just sort of tunnel vision

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and you're just trying to capture her really, as quickly as we can.

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'Before Duncan can start treating the deer,

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'he needs to be sure that she's fully sedated.'

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Well, we're following behind Tim, Duncan and Kevin,

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who are all in the park vehicle.

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It's now just a case of getting as close to the Pere David deer

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as we can.

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Always a very tense time for any of the keepers.

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They might have to dart it anyway, just to ensure that...

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They're getting very close to it.

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Tim is just touching it, but a tense moment because the safari park vet,

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Duncan, doesn't know if he should administer any more medicine or not.

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It's strange that they're moving on, but we should probably

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follow suit, do the same thing.

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So, Tim, can I quickly ask whether

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it has been successfully anaesthetised from before?

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At the moment, Ben, we don't really know.

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Kev's going to rush off and get a net and we'll put a net over it.

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-Right.

-I've prodded her and she's not reacted to that.

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-You would have thought she'd have got up and gone off.

-Yeah.

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But we have to move quite quickly now because obviously,

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we don't want the anaesthetic to wear off, you know,

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then she could be up and away again.

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So, it's a race against time to save this precious deer

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before the anaesthetic wears off.

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But will they be able to save the calf or even the mother?

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One hugely important role many animal parks now concentrate on

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is conservation.

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Longleat is home to many animals, like the Pere David,

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that are perilously close to extinction,

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due to hunting and the destruction of their habitats.

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Soundari, Svetli and Shouri are Amur tigers

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found in North Eastern Russia.

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There are just 400 left in the wild.

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Rothschild giraffe, like Imogen, have been breeding well at the park,

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but there are less than 500 of these left in Africa.

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And barbary lions, like Kabir, were hunted so viciously

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that today, this species of lion is actually extinct in the wild.

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But one species at the park has been to the edge of extinction

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and actually come back.

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The white rhino.

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The slaughter of white rhinoceros in

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Africa for their highly-prized horn was so ruthless that 100 years ago,

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there were only 14 individual white rhino left in the world.

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But, thanks to pioneering protected breeding and careful animal

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management programmes in South Africa, the species just survived.

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And head warden Keith Harris knows that captive breeding has never

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been so important for this animal.

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What they're doing is they're moving rhinos all over the world,

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starting new breeding groups, so if anything ever happens again, either

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poaching, disease, there are stocks from the breeding captive population

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that can then be taken back.

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So it's almost a safety valve for the future of these beautiful animals.

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And we're going to take a look back to a time when Longleat

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played an important part in securing their future.

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White rhino have been at the park since 1970

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and there were many successful births,

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but by 2004, there was a problem.

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Winston, Babs and Gingen were all wild-born rhino from South Africa,

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but they were becoming too old to breed.

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Keith needed some new blood and that was going to come from South Africa,

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where saving the rhino all started.

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He embarked on an incredible mission, to capture three wild rhino

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and bring them back to Longleat.

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I haven't done this for many years, so it's bringing back the memories

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of all the planning and getting everything right, which is

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the most important thing. Doesn't matter how long that bit takes...

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it's better to do the planning than something go wrong on route.

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So, yeah, just building up now.

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In South Africa,

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the white rhino were breeding well, but raising some young calves

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in captivity would secure the species an even brighter future.

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The capture team, lead by Dr Charles Van Niekerk,

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had done this many times, but they had to be careful.

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The sedative they use is extremely powerful.

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The sedative we use is highly highly toxic to humans.

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We as a species are very very susceptible to it and,

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as a result, I've just got to be very careful when I work with it.

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We've got specific antidote for humans on standby,

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as there's a risk you'll end up dead!

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We don't want any casualties.

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Vet Will Dowling was in charge of the ground team.

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I'm going to be...

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obviously in contact with Charles who will be in the helicopter

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and they'll give us an indication of when the animal's gone down,

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in which case we'll move in quite quickly.

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Charles used a gas-powered gun

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to shoot the rhino with a sedative-filled dart.

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It wasn't easy.

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For the ground team, it was a bumpy two-mile ride through the bush to

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where the young female they planned to capture, was last sighted.

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Charles spotted the target.

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A young female with her mother.

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RADIO: OK, you guys, you can come down.

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RADIO CHATTER

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It was the daughter they were after.

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But getting a clean shot was not easy.

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They're struggling to get in a shot at the moment. She's either...

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planted herself under a tree and is not going anywhere

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or they're just struggling to get in a shot.

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The calf was approaching two years of age,

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the time when in the wild, the mother would drive the baby away.

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RADIO: OK, dart's in.

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'Copy that.'

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Having got the news that the dart was in, a race against time

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began to get to the sedated rhino as quickly as possible.

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Meanwhile, the chopper attempted to shoo the mother away.

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Cotton wool was put in the rhino's ears and a cloth over her eyes

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to keep her calm.

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It looks like a textbook catch by the look of it, so far.

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Ever so good condition.

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Very good.

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She seems to be pretty stable.

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She's lying OK so we don't need to panic too much about that.

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So far, I've just treated the dart wound and I've given her

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a small dose of a partial reversal.

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And that basically just

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stimulates their respiration, keeps their respiration going.

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But she's fairly stable at the moment. The respiration is OK.

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She went down in the middle of the bush,

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so to get the crate to her,

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they had to hack a path through to the capture site.

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The mother could have returned at any minute.

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One two three four, up.

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To get the young female into the transporter,

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she was given an injection to bring her round.

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But only enough so she could be led into the transporter.

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This was still a totally wild animal.

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Just given it the reviver to wake it up properly.

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And then I think they'll just leave it quiet now, not interfere any more.

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With a successful capture under their belt,

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the team breathed a sigh of relief.

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But three rhino were going with Keith,

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so there was plenty more work to do.

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Back now to the dramatic events up in the deer park.

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One of the incredibly rare Pere David deer has gone into labour,

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but it's in trouble

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and the keepers and safari park vet Duncan are having to intervene.

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Here comes Kevin.

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Now, hopefully, he'll have a net.

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And a...

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tense moment now...

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for all the keepers because they don't want

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to harm the deer and they don't want to be harmed themselves,

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so they're just being very slow...

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pulling the net over.

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And they're on it.

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We'll wait for a minute. I don't want to interfere.

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Can we come out now? Yeah. We can get out now.

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See if I can be of any help.

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All right. Please tell me if I can help with anything.

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-Do you want me to?

-Could you grab the bucket and the water?

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Yeah. Sure.

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So we think she's successfully sedated enough

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-to be working on her now.

-It appears so. It appears so.

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So you've put the cloth on her eyes.

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That's just in case her eyes open up and she becomes distressed.

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It helps an awful lot if they're not aware of what's going...

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movement and different things around them.

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So, presumably, this is some iodine

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you've put in there for sterile water.

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Yeah, for disinfectant.

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So should you be able to feel almost straightaway?

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Can't even get my hand in.

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I can't feel a calf yet.

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Oh, yeah, here it is.

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-The calf's there, is it?

-Yeah. The calf's here.

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Cos she's never had a baby before, it's just ever so tight.

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God...

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I can hardly get my hand in,

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but you know the size of calves that come out of these.

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-They're huge compared to...

-So do you think that's the problem?

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Yeah.

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And do you think the calf is dead in there?

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With the discharge like that coming out, yeah.

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Be surprised if it's still alive.

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It's not moving.

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-Can you tell which way the calf is inside?

-Yeah.

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This is the back end I've got here.

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-Right.

-Is it?

0:20:480:20:50

These legs are so long it's hard to tell. No. It's a front leg.

0:20:500:20:53

There we go.

0:20:560:20:59

-You can see the size of it.

-It's enormous.

0:20:590:21:02

That's just a foot there.

0:21:020:21:05

So have you basically got to gently try and...

0:21:050:21:09

Try and find the other leg and head...

0:21:090:21:12

It's right in. My hand's all the way down there.

0:21:140:21:17

You can probably take the net off now.

0:21:170:21:21

Can we shift her?

0:21:210:21:23

If we put her downhill.

0:21:230:21:26

Shall I give you a hand?

0:21:260:21:29

Where do you want her moved to?

0:21:290:21:31

Where shall we move her head?

0:21:310:21:34

Leave her head where it is. We'll just turn the back end round.

0:21:340:21:37

-Just use gravity, basically.

-Yeah.

0:21:430:21:46

-Can somebody watch?

-Keep an eye out.

0:21:460:21:49

Absolutely. Yeah. Keep an eye out.

0:21:490:21:51

I will keep an eye out for anything.

0:21:510:21:54

-Why is there so much blood there?

-That's just...

0:21:570:22:00

the fluid around the placenta.

0:22:030:22:07

So that's not too bad for her.

0:22:070:22:10

Oh... I've pulled the legs out,

0:22:120:22:16

and I can't get my hand in far enough to get the neck.

0:22:160:22:20

'Duncan is having trouble getting the calf out because its head is bent

0:22:200:22:24

'back instead of facing forward.'

0:22:240:22:28

I think, basically, it hasn't had it because the head's bent back and

0:22:280:22:33

I can't get my hand in far enough.

0:22:330:22:36

As you can see, things are not looking good, at the moment.

0:22:360:22:39

The calf, sadly, did die inside the mother, but they're working to get

0:22:390:22:44

the calf out and hopefully, the mother will make a full recovery.

0:22:440:22:47

Join us later in the programme when we find out what happens.

0:22:470:22:50

Every morning, at the beach on

0:22:590:23:01

Half Mile Lake, the six Californian sea lions come for their breakfast.

0:23:010:23:06

It's a great opportunity for head of lake animals, Mark Tye,

0:23:060:23:10

to see them all out of the water and make sure they're all healthy.

0:23:100:23:15

But in early summer, there's an extra-special reason

0:23:150:23:19

to keep a close eye on the girls.

0:23:190:23:22

We've hopefully got two pregnant sea lions.

0:23:220:23:26

This one here, Sealia,

0:23:260:23:28

and one of the other young females in the pen next door, Zook.

0:23:280:23:32

That'll be her first baby.

0:23:320:23:35

The ideal case scenario for us is that both of them give birth

0:23:350:23:40

down here, either on the beach or in the pen, there.

0:23:400:23:43

Preferably, one here, one there, because mums

0:23:430:23:46

can get a little bit anxious with each other when they've got babies.

0:23:460:23:50

Sealia, I have no real worries with, at all. She's such a good mother,

0:23:500:23:54

you know, an old hand at this, done it plenty of times before.

0:23:540:23:58

My only concern is Zook and how she takes to a new baby.

0:23:580:24:04

She's a little bit skitzy, you know, a bit young

0:24:040:24:07

and sometimes, a firstborn can be a bit shocking for them.

0:24:070:24:10

They're not really sure about it.

0:24:100:24:12

In that case, the ideal scenario would be that she had it in there,

0:24:120:24:16

cos we could then shut her in with it and give them time to bond.

0:24:160:24:20

Sea lions are born on the land and it may be a few days before

0:24:200:24:25

they even get close to water.

0:24:250:24:28

Whether they go in the water is normally dependent on the mother.

0:24:280:24:32

Some mums really don't mind, like Sealia, she's such a good mother,

0:24:320:24:36

she knows it can go in the water.

0:24:360:24:39

They can swim, instinctively, from birth.

0:24:390:24:42

They're not very good at it but they can do it.

0:24:420:24:46

Whereas some mothers can be a little bit neurotic.

0:24:460:24:48

I had one mum, years ago, who didn't let her pup near the water

0:24:480:24:51

for nearly a month and as soon as the baby was inquisitive,

0:24:510:24:55

wanting to go and have a look, she'd drag it away.

0:24:550:24:57

Mark can't wait to see the new pups and this year he has a secret wish.

0:24:570:25:04

It would be really nice to have some females for a change.

0:25:040:25:07

We had two males last year.

0:25:070:25:09

Females would be nice,

0:25:090:25:11

because we've got

0:25:110:25:13

our old girl, Ozzie, who probably won't see out many more years.

0:25:130:25:17

She's coming up to 30, which is a very good age for a sea lion,

0:25:170:25:20

so it would be nice to have young females to bring on, once she goes.

0:25:200:25:25

And we'll keep you posted on Sealia and Zook's imminent arrivals.

0:25:250:25:31

Is this a face only a mother could love?

0:25:400:25:42

Well, Sarah certainly loves her.

0:25:420:25:44

This is Gladys, the iguana and we're here in the iguana house which is a

0:25:440:25:48

-very lovely warm place to be, Sarah.

-It is, isn't it?

-Woo!

0:25:480:25:51

Now, I know these animals look absolutely spectacular,

0:25:510:25:57

but they're not the ideal pet, are they?

0:25:570:26:01

Not really. I don't think so.

0:26:010:26:03

As you can see, they grow to quite a substantial size,

0:26:030:26:07

so you would need a lot of space if you were going to have one at home.

0:26:070:26:10

So if you went in to a pet shop

0:26:100:26:12

and saw an iguana, what would it look like?

0:26:120:26:15

Usually, the little baby ones are absolutely tiny and they're a lovely

0:26:150:26:19

bright green colour because in the wild they need more camouflage.

0:26:190:26:23

So, they're really cute, really small, lovely colour and people

0:26:230:26:27

tend to fall in love with them on first sight, take them home.

0:26:270:26:30

They don't realise that they do grow to that size... His size.

0:26:300:26:34

So it's quite a large animal to have in your house, I think.

0:26:340:26:38

It is a very large animal to have in your house.

0:26:380:26:40

And I mean, looking at Gladys here...

0:26:400:26:43

big claws, quite nasty teeth in there, long tail.

0:26:430:26:48

Again, perhaps not the friendliest animal if it's not handled right.

0:26:480:26:52

That's it. If they don't get a lot of handling from a young age,

0:26:520:26:55

they can be a bit nasty, as well.

0:26:550:26:57

We have got a couple in here that are a bit more feisty than Gladys.

0:26:570:27:02

But yeah, they've got a very strong tail and what they can do as defence

0:27:020:27:06

-is swing it back and whip as well, which is quite nasty.

-Very nasty.

0:27:060:27:10

Very sharp claws, as well.

0:27:100:27:12

So, if you had to handle an iguana for any reason, it can be quite...

0:27:120:27:17

dangerous, cos they're such a large animal, it's hard to overpower them

0:27:170:27:20

if they do get nervous.

0:27:200:27:22

They look very healthy, but as you say, I think they're probably

0:27:220:27:25

better off in Pets Corner or in the wild.

0:27:250:27:27

Sarah, thank you very much for introducing me to Gladys.

0:27:270:27:30

Thank you, Gladys, for being so good

0:27:300:27:32

and we've got lots more coming up on today's programme.

0:27:320:27:35

Two new arrivals in Half Mile Lake are attracting a crowd.

0:27:350:27:40

Oh, look and we've got the swan family coming down. That's great.

0:27:400:27:44

And head of section Tim Yeo has to make a decision every keeper dreads.

0:27:440:27:50

But first, we're heading back in time to when the park welcomed through its

0:27:500:27:55

doors, three wild white rhino.

0:27:550:27:59

'The three animals came from a protected area

0:28:080:28:12

'within the South African bush

0:28:120:28:14

'and were the perfect age to be caught and moved into

0:28:140:28:17

'Longleat's breeding programme, as they were of an age

0:28:170:28:20

'that they would soon naturally leave their mother's side.

0:28:200:28:23

'Following their capture, the rhino were put in quarantine.

0:28:260:28:29

'Kate was lucky enough to be on hand when they started

0:28:310:28:33

'their journey to the UK, but also, when deputy head warden

0:28:330:28:37

'Ian Turner met his new rhinos.'

0:28:370:28:40

-Disinfected.

-Yep.

0:28:400:28:43

This is where the three rhino that are going to Longleat have been kept

0:28:430:28:46

quarantined for two months and Ian is about to see them for the first time.

0:28:460:28:50

-How you feeling?

-Excited.

-Are you?

-Really. Yeah.

0:28:500:28:53

This is Charles Van Niekerk. Good morning. How are you?

0:28:530:28:55

Welcome to our country and let's introduce you to your new babies.

0:28:550:28:59

'Two females and a male were due to be sent back to the park

0:28:590:29:03

'in the hope that they would breed.'

0:29:030:29:05

These are two of the three and they've settled down fantastically.

0:29:050:29:08

I've been very happy with their progress through the quarantine.

0:29:080:29:12

Grab some hay, there. They'll actually eat out of your hand.

0:29:120:29:15

-Really.

-It's unbelievable. Yeah.

0:29:150:29:17

Just watch your fingers.

0:29:170:29:19

If they accidentally jam them against the poles with their horns,

0:29:190:29:22

it can be quite painful, but stick your hand through.

0:29:220:29:25

Two months earlier, these were completely wild rhinos.

0:29:270:29:31

By breeding them in captivity, it would help to ensure that

0:29:310:29:34

the white rhino never goes to the brink of extinction ever again.

0:29:340:29:38

Ian was smitten by his new charges.

0:29:410:29:44

Really, really good. Better than I thought. I mean, you know,

0:29:440:29:47

sizewise, about the right size I would have thought they were.

0:29:470:29:51

But so quiet.

0:29:510:29:52

For two months, from completely in the wild to like, this.

0:29:520:29:56

Really excited. Hopefully, they'll never have to come back to Africa.

0:29:560:30:00

They'll never get in the state in Africa

0:30:000:30:02

that they'll need stuff to come back,

0:30:020:30:04

but if it ever happens, then we've got rhinos to do that.

0:30:040:30:07

You know, this is a big step for us and it's really exciting.

0:30:070:30:10

The time to start the big move had finally arrived.

0:30:130:30:16

To reduce the stress on the animals during loading,

0:30:160:30:19

wildlife vet Charles Van Niekerk gave them a mild sedative.

0:30:190:30:24

It's not a hassle for them. Just that fright as the dart goes in,

0:30:350:30:39

that's all it is. Make sure it's gone through.

0:30:390:30:41

-See the plunger's gone in.

-Yeah.

0:30:410:30:45

After a few minutes, the drug

0:30:450:30:47

began to take effect and the rhino were tempted into the travel box.

0:30:470:30:52

Charles, why are you waving a pillowcase at them?

0:30:520:30:56

It's meant to be a white flag.

0:30:560:30:58

Peace. No. Jokes aside, what it basically does is when they get to

0:30:580:31:04

a semi-state of immobilisation, they tend to follow something white.

0:31:040:31:09

So no other colour works?

0:31:090:31:11

I don't know. I haven't tried anything other than white.

0:31:110:31:14

It works for us.

0:31:140:31:15

It walks in incredibly calmly.

0:31:240:31:26

Is it a risk that if he's still a little bit lively and

0:31:260:31:31

you start putting the bars in, that he tries to break out

0:31:310:31:34

-and hurt himself?

-Yeah. That's our biggest concern.

0:31:340:31:36

If they can't go backwards

0:31:360:31:38

and they try and go forwards, then the horn is their weapon.

0:31:380:31:41

They'll just use it to try and smash their way out

0:31:410:31:44

and they won't get out of the crate but they'll hurt themselves.

0:31:440:31:47

All that stood between Ian and a future in white rhino breeding

0:31:540:31:58

was a 5,000-mile journey.

0:31:580:32:02

We'll be back later when they touch down in the UK.

0:32:020:32:05

After his long-term partner, Samba, died,

0:32:130:32:16

Nico has been at a bit of a loose end.

0:32:160:32:19

Always looking for something to occupy him.

0:32:210:32:23

Oi, oi. Nico!

0:32:230:32:25

He may not be very physically active these days,

0:32:250:32:28

but mentally, he's still alert.

0:32:280:32:30

If he's not watching TV, then he's being cheeky with the likes of me.

0:32:300:32:36

Don't you even think about pinching my bum.

0:32:360:32:38

-He still has to have a cheeky go, doesn't he?

-He does!

0:32:380:32:42

As he doesn't have anyone to play with, his keeper Michelle Stevens,

0:32:420:32:46

is constantly thinking up ingenious ways of keeping him entertained.

0:32:460:32:52

Nico's a very intelligent animal so it's very much a challenge for us

0:32:520:32:55

keepers to make sure that we think of things that will

0:32:550:32:58

be a challenge for him.

0:32:580:33:00

One very good way of enriching his daily routine

0:33:000:33:02

is to include feeding enrichments.

0:33:020:33:05

Feed time to him is the best time of day,

0:33:050:33:07

so trying to figure different ways of

0:33:070:33:09

hiding his food and making it last longer, making it more interesting

0:33:090:33:13

when he finds his food, so that's our basis of the enrichment.

0:33:130:33:17

But striking the right balance is all-important.

0:33:170:33:20

The last thing Michelle wants is to overfeed him.

0:33:200:33:24

Being that he's on his own, you sometimes feel a bit sorry

0:33:240:33:27

for him because you think, "Bless him,"

0:33:270:33:29

give him an extra apple or something like that.

0:33:290:33:32

Even though you do care for him, you have to not kill him with kindness.

0:33:320:33:36

You have to make sure that you're not overdoing certain types of food.

0:33:360:33:39

It can actually work in a negative way.

0:33:390:33:41

To spread out his diet and spice up his mealtimes,

0:33:440:33:47

she's come up with some unusual serving suggestions.

0:33:470:33:51

First of all here, we've got this sock.

0:33:520:33:55

Nice texture to it. What I'm going to put inside is some chilli powder,

0:33:550:34:00

which sounds quite mean. He probably won't eat it but it's

0:34:000:34:03

a different smell, so it's different in his normal environment.

0:34:030:34:06

So it's just to really make him think, "Oh, what's that?"

0:34:060:34:09

He's very much a sweet tooth, so it makes him kind of think that not

0:34:090:34:12

everything we give him is actually really nice and sweet and lovely.

0:34:120:34:16

It's just a different stimulus for him, basically.

0:34:160:34:19

In the wild, they'd experience

0:34:190:34:21

different tastes and so it's to try and replicate that in captivity.

0:34:210:34:24

We've got some peanut butter here.

0:34:240:34:26

He'll put his fingers in, like that.

0:34:260:34:30

He's an impatient gorilla. He won't work at things for very long,

0:34:300:34:33

so he'll probably just put the whole thing in his mouth and start

0:34:330:34:36

sucking the peanut butter out and chewing it a little bit

0:34:360:34:39

which is fine. It's not really enough to make him

0:34:390:34:42

overweight or anything, so he's getting the same amount of food

0:34:420:34:45

but it's lasting longer. That's what we're trying to achieve.

0:34:450:34:48

We do give him, occasionally, things like jam and chocolate.

0:34:500:34:54

We've got this tyre...

0:34:540:34:56

bit of banana, wrap it up, stuff it all around and you don't have to

0:34:560:35:03

put food in every single bit of paper bag, you can just put

0:35:030:35:06

balls of paper bag in there so it's always a little bit of a surprise.

0:35:060:35:09

We've got this cardboard box.

0:35:090:35:11

Put the pine cones in there.

0:35:110:35:13

And then just hide it in the box.

0:35:130:35:16

Pop these little divides in there, as well.

0:35:160:35:19

We'll be back with Michelle a little later to find out what Nico

0:35:190:35:23

thinks of his treats.

0:35:230:35:25

Earlier on, we got an emergency message that one of the Pere David

0:35:330:35:36

had gone into labour, but there were complications.

0:35:360:35:39

The deer's been subdued

0:35:390:35:41

and I'm now joining the team to hopefully find out what's going on.

0:35:410:35:45

As you can see, he's having a hell of a struggle to remove the calf,

0:35:470:35:51

which is dead now.

0:35:510:35:53

We've established that it's too late for the calf and

0:35:530:35:58

the real priority is to remove the calf as soon as possible

0:35:580:36:03

for this one's sake. Every thought is with her, at the minute.

0:36:030:36:07

-She's going through an awful ordeal.

-Yeah.

0:36:070:36:11

It's not a very pleasant aspect of the job.

0:36:110:36:17

I suppose it's the reality of working with animals.

0:36:190:36:22

It is, Ben. It is. Definitely.

0:36:220:36:24

A caesarean is not an option, as this animal is totally wild. The

0:36:240:36:30

stress could kill it and the keepers wouldn't be able to administer drugs.

0:36:300:36:36

Duncan is worried the anaesthetic may be wearing off.

0:36:360:36:40

I don't really want her running off

0:36:400:36:45

before we've finished.

0:36:450:36:48

Pere David deer are incredibly endangered in the wild

0:36:510:36:55

and every individual is precious to the survival of the species,

0:36:550:36:59

especially breeding females, which is why Duncan

0:36:590:37:02

and Tim are prepared to go to such lengths to try and save this one.

0:37:020:37:08

Well, we've been out here for the best part of an hour now and as you

0:37:120:37:15

can see, vet Duncan Williams and his assistant are still working,

0:37:150:37:19

alongside Kevin and Tim.

0:37:190:37:21

They've got to get that dead calf out so that mum can

0:37:210:37:25

come round from her anaesthetic and hopefully make a recovery.

0:37:250:37:29

And all we can really do is keep our fingers crossed.

0:37:290:37:31

It's the end of the afternoon and keeper Michelle Stevens is

0:37:400:37:43

heading across to Half Mile Lake for one of her last jobs of the day...

0:37:430:37:47

to lay on dinner for Nico, the gorilla.

0:37:470:37:51

But rather than dishing it up on a plate, the idea is to replicate the

0:37:510:37:55

way he would have to work for and think about his food in the wild,

0:37:550:37:59

by hiding, wrapping and disguising it in all sorts of unusual ways.

0:37:590:38:04

What's left to do now is just basically let Nico in to see what

0:38:080:38:12

he finds most interesting, to see

0:38:120:38:14

which ones he goes for first, which will be interesting.

0:38:140:38:17

First thing's the tyre.

0:38:320:38:34

He'll always have a look through the paper

0:38:360:38:39

and pick out all the nice bits, the nuts and things like that.

0:38:390:38:42

HE GROWLS

0:38:440:38:46

The grumble's a really good sign that it's happy noises.

0:38:460:38:49

That's what we want to hear, really. See the look on his face, as well.

0:38:490:38:53

It's a sort of interested.

0:38:530:38:55

Obviously, that didn't take his fancy.

0:38:570:38:59

It's just like Christmas, really.

0:39:040:39:07

And what will he make of the chilli flavoured sock?

0:39:070:39:10

Sniffing it. Hope he doesn't get a fit of sneezes.

0:39:130:39:17

I think he wasn't that interested in the sock.

0:39:220:39:25

He'll have sniffed, decided there was nothing edible in it

0:39:250:39:29

and then just decided to leave it.

0:39:290:39:30

So this is the last thing, the box, with the pine cones in.

0:39:310:39:35

He'll probably rip it to pieces.

0:39:350:39:37

He's not very patient. He doesn't really think about it.

0:39:370:39:40

He'll just tend to go hell for leather and just rip it apart.

0:39:400:39:44

He's just investigating.

0:39:440:39:46

So he hasn't actually looked inside the pillowcase

0:39:540:39:57

which surprised me, actually.

0:39:570:39:59

I thought he would go for that.

0:39:590:40:01

But then he's got all night to go back to it if he wants to.

0:40:010:40:04

With most of the food explored,

0:40:040:40:06

if not eaten, how does Michelle think the experiment has gone?

0:40:060:40:11

Overall, I think the enrichment has been quite a success.

0:40:110:40:14

Anything that's going to

0:40:140:40:16

make him spend longer over his food is a good thing, I think.

0:40:160:40:20

Anything that's going to stimulate his environment and just make him

0:40:200:40:24

think differently, even if it's for a few minutes or a few seconds.

0:40:240:40:27

You just strive to make his life a bit more, kind of, enjoyable

0:40:270:40:31

and a bit happier, really.

0:40:310:40:33

It's our final look back to when three white rhinos

0:40:490:40:52

were brought to the park all the way from South Africa.

0:40:520:40:56

5,000 miles,

0:41:050:41:07

two tonnes of rhino, ten hours of flying and a team of vets.

0:41:070:41:12

Finally, the three white rhinos landed on British soil.

0:41:120:41:17

The rhinos settled down very, very quickly once we were in flight.

0:41:170:41:22

A little bit agitated on the landings and take-off and so on,

0:41:220:41:26

but as soon as you feed them they settle down fine and I think

0:41:260:41:30

they've done fantastically.

0:41:300:41:31

But at least the final leg of their journey was not a long one.

0:41:360:41:40

Their new home was the lush Wiltshire countryside

0:41:400:41:43

and there to meet them was deputy head warden Ian Turner.

0:41:430:41:47

But getting them unloaded was not easy.

0:41:510:41:55

We've got the forklift. We'll push the forks through with extensions

0:41:550:41:58

on with the crate and lift him up, take him to the rhino house.

0:41:580:42:01

We've then got to turn the box round cos they're going to back out

0:42:010:42:05

and we'll have them pushed up against the door and we'll

0:42:050:42:08

leave her quiet and then we'll just take the doors off,

0:42:080:42:11

take the slides away and they can easily just back out.

0:42:110:42:14

It's the opposite to what we did in Africa.

0:42:140:42:16

They walked in forwards. This way, they're going to back out

0:42:160:42:19

and reverse out. It's just as easy that way.

0:42:190:42:21

Head warden Keith Harris had been planning for this day

0:42:210:42:24

for nearly two years.

0:42:240:42:26

He was there when these rhino were caught from the wild.

0:42:260:42:31

I've been like an expectant father since Friday, when I knew that they

0:42:310:42:34

were travelling from South Africa.

0:42:340:42:36

And then to have them here unloaded,

0:42:360:42:38

it's nice.

0:42:380:42:41

Haven't seen rhinos in the bush,

0:42:410:42:45

seeing these over there when we were in Africa,

0:42:450:42:47

you know, and the fact that now they're in England

0:42:470:42:50

is really something.

0:42:500:42:52

So, yeah, very excited.

0:42:520:42:54

I mean, this is a major thing.

0:42:540:42:56

Ten rhinos from Africa coming over and Longleat's got three

0:42:560:43:00

new young rhinos, one male and two females, perfect for breeding.

0:43:000:43:04

So two years down the line

0:43:040:43:06

we should have two young 'uns. There's nothing to say we shouldn't.

0:43:060:43:10

I'll be glad when they're in the house and settled down

0:43:170:43:20

but, you know, they're here now and everything's fine.

0:43:200:43:23

They seem quite quiet.

0:43:230:43:24

The drugs will obviously start wearing off soon,

0:43:240:43:27

so then they're going to get a bit more boisterous.

0:43:270:43:29

The rhino were given a long-lasting sedative to reduce the stress

0:43:290:43:33

of the journey, but the keepers wanted to

0:43:330:43:35

get them settled in to their new home as soon as possible.

0:43:350:43:38

They're still quiet, no noise,

0:43:380:43:40

so going to plan.

0:43:400:43:43

Their sedation will probably wear off some time this afternoon

0:43:430:43:46

so then we'll see what they're really like.

0:43:460:43:49

We've just took all the doors off the back of this one so...

0:43:490:43:53

be nice to see them out and about.

0:43:530:43:55

They shared the house with Longleat's two elderly rhino,

0:43:550:43:58

Winston and Babs.

0:43:580:44:00

The keepers kept them at opposite ends to start with,

0:44:000:44:04

but the animals were still able to see and smell each other.

0:44:040:44:08

Well, everything's new to them. You know, it's a new house, new smells.

0:44:080:44:12

They know there's two other rhinos up the other end of the house.

0:44:120:44:15

It's just a bit of excitement for a while.

0:44:150:44:18

Hopefully, we'll let them bide quiet and they'll settle in to it.

0:44:180:44:23

The two females were safely unloaded, so the rhino house was now

0:44:240:44:28

a quarantine area and our crew were no longer allowed past the doors.

0:44:280:44:33

But we gave the rhino keepers a small camera to film inside for us.

0:44:330:44:38

They did 60 days in South Africa and they

0:44:400:44:42

have to do 30 days isolation here.

0:44:420:44:44

So it's very important now...

0:44:440:44:46

obviously, once we start unloading them, that becomes a quarantine area.

0:44:460:44:50

And only specific staff can go in.

0:44:500:44:55

This is the bull we're just unloading.

0:44:550:44:58

He's off.

0:45:070:45:09

He came out.

0:45:110:45:13

They came off with a bang.

0:45:130:45:15

Well, with a bang, he decided he wasn't going to wait like the girl.

0:45:150:45:19

But no, he's fine.

0:45:190:45:22

Ian told me it was the quietest one.

0:45:220:45:24

When we first met the male over there, he said the quietest

0:45:240:45:27

of the three. I mean, at the moment, you think he's the worst,

0:45:270:45:30

but then it's because he's a male and he likes to show off.

0:45:300:45:34

He's met another male in there who's bigger than him so, obviously,

0:45:340:45:38

there will be a bit of shouting and screaming going on in a minute.

0:45:380:45:41

But the two girls seem really quiet. Settled in. Tucking into some hay.

0:45:410:45:45

Things we're going to have to watch for, is that cos our two rhinos

0:45:450:45:49

are in there, if they start

0:45:490:45:50

winding each other up then they might start getting into a bit of trouble.

0:45:500:45:54

And the keepers didn't have long to wait.

0:45:540:45:57

CRASHING

0:45:570:45:59

Hey.

0:46:020:46:03

Hey.

0:46:030:46:05

That was Winston, our bull.

0:46:080:46:10

He was throwing his bed up in the air and you've got plastic

0:46:100:46:13

matting down on the floor and he's chucking that about.

0:46:130:46:16

It's cos he can see the other bull in there.

0:46:160:46:18

That's what we expected, to get a bit stroppy in that sense, but he's just

0:46:180:46:22

banging and crashing about. It's a lot of noise for nothing, really.

0:46:220:46:26

That was five years ago. And the South African rhino quickly settled

0:46:330:46:37

in well with the older animals and their new home, where Ian grew

0:46:370:46:41

increasingly fond of Injanu, Marashi and Rosina.

0:46:410:46:46

Sadly though, there have been no baby rhinos.

0:46:480:46:52

There's been plenty of mating, just no pregnancies.

0:46:520:46:55

The keepers are now working alongside the vets to see if there's

0:46:550:46:58

some biological reason why, in five years, there hasn't been any babies.

0:46:580:47:03

We want baby rhinos, but they'll produce them

0:47:030:47:07

when they're good and ready, really.

0:47:070:47:09

So, with fingers crossed and a little help from their friends,

0:47:090:47:12

one day soon, there may well be baby rhinos at the park once again.

0:47:120:47:17

Back in the deer park, Duncan and his assistant, Chris,

0:47:370:47:40

have been trying to deliver the dead calf

0:47:400:47:43

for over an hour now, but with no success.

0:47:430:47:46

Well, I think that's not coming.

0:47:470:47:51

Because of this, Tim now has to make the most difficult decision

0:47:520:47:56

a keeper ever has to face.

0:47:560:47:59

So, Tim, what's happening?

0:48:000:48:04

We've come to a situation where the calf's...

0:48:040:48:07

No way is it coming out, it's dead in her,

0:48:070:48:09

the shoulders are too large.

0:48:090:48:12

These animals usually give birth in the spring and this one has been...

0:48:120:48:16

..set back a bit and we've come up against a situation where,

0:48:170:48:21

with a domestic animal, you would do a...

0:48:210:48:24

I guess, Duncan would do a caesarean, remove the calf.

0:48:240:48:27

These animals are different in the sense they're extremely wild,

0:48:270:48:30

very, very shy and to close her in a box, she's never

0:48:300:48:33

been closed in, she's never been, so she's going to be more stressed.

0:48:330:48:37

She's never been taken away from the others. They're a herd animal.

0:48:370:48:41

You put her on her own, you isolate her, which you have to do to try

0:48:410:48:45

and give her the drugs that would be needed for her to recover.

0:48:450:48:49

You'd possibly lose her. You know, stress can be a

0:48:490:48:53

big killer in these animals.

0:48:530:48:55

They can die just of that alone, so you know, it's not good.

0:48:550:49:00

I feel, probably, it's better that we euthanase her now.

0:49:000:49:05

So you're going to put her down, are you?

0:49:050:49:07

That's the decision that I think we've come to,

0:49:070:49:11

talking amongst ourselves.

0:49:110:49:13

I don't envy you having to make a decision like that but

0:49:130:49:17

you've obviously had so many years of experience.

0:49:170:49:20

You know how to weigh up the pros and cons.

0:49:200:49:23

It's an extremely difficult thing to do.

0:49:230:49:26

I think if we operated now,

0:49:290:49:31

she's probably too sick to get over it, anyway and because of the nature

0:49:310:49:36

of the Pere Davids, we can't give her the aftercare that she'd need to

0:49:360:49:39

get over an operation like this.

0:49:390:49:42

If we did the operation and left her out in the field,

0:49:420:49:44

it would be a long slow-lingering death, so the kindest thing really

0:49:440:49:48

is to put her to sleep now.

0:49:480:49:50

Kevin, it's probably a daft question but do you ever get used to

0:49:540:49:58

-scenarios like this?

-No. You don't. You never get used to it.

0:49:580:50:02

We're all here to try and breed them and save the species

0:50:020:50:06

and this is probably one of the rarest animals we've got in the park

0:50:060:50:09

and to lose one to something that should happen so naturally is

0:50:090:50:13

awful, really, for us.

0:50:130:50:16

Well, I'm sorry, guys.

0:50:160:50:18

It's terrible. I've worked here for eight years, or so, and that's the

0:50:350:50:39

first time that's ever had to happen, first time I've ever

0:50:390:50:42

seen that and as an animal lover, it's really hard to understand how

0:50:420:50:48

you can come up to a decision like that, but what you must remember is

0:50:480:50:52

the keepers here really know their animals, they're wild animals

0:50:520:50:56

and I suppose, ultimately, it's for the better.

0:50:560:51:00

But it doesn't make it easier for anyone, for me, for these guys,

0:51:000:51:04

for you watching, but sadly, that really is life with wild animals.

0:51:040:51:10

Over on Half Mile Lake, Sealia and Zook,

0:51:260:51:29

the two sea lions were due to give birth any day.

0:51:290:51:33

Sealia has already had lots of pups

0:51:330:51:36

but for Zook, this was going to be her first.

0:51:360:51:39

Well, I'm delighted to say that a week later,

0:51:390:51:43

they've both had their babies and everyone is doing really well.

0:51:430:51:47

Well, I've come down to Sea Lion Beach to meet the new arrivals.

0:51:490:51:53

I'm here with head of section Mark Tye.

0:51:530:51:55

And Zook is our first-time mum this year.

0:51:550:52:00

-Yes.

-Very, very exciting and looking like she's doing a pretty good job.

0:52:000:52:04

She's been fantastic, Kate.

0:52:040:52:05

I'm really, really pleased with her.

0:52:050:52:07

I was a little worried cos she's still young.

0:52:070:52:10

She's only a five-year-old.

0:52:100:52:11

Sometimes they've haven't got the best of ideas of what to do.

0:52:110:52:16

But she's exceeded my expectations.

0:52:160:52:18

She has been a model mother, she really has.

0:52:180:52:21

That's brilliant, but what about this little pup,

0:52:210:52:23

all on her own, which is just about to disappear under the boardwalk?

0:52:230:52:27

Now, that doesn't look good.

0:52:290:52:31

-That's, "Get away from me."

-Right.

0:52:310:52:35

She's a little protective of her own.

0:52:350:52:38

-OK.

-And this is Sealia's pup.

0:52:380:52:41

Sealia being a much better mother has quite happily gone off

0:52:410:52:45

and left it.

0:52:450:52:46

Sealia's pretty regular every year, isn't she? How many has she had now?

0:52:460:52:52

Well, she's 15 years old and this one will be her eighth.

0:52:520:52:55

Wow. Wow. So she's very happy just to leave it on the beach.

0:52:550:52:58

Yeah. Sometimes with both mums,

0:52:580:53:01

I mean, Sealia has done it to Zook's pup, it's just to...

0:53:010:53:04

"You're not mine, go away, do your own thing."

0:53:040:53:08

That's all that is, really.

0:53:080:53:11

But did Sealia actually give birth on the beach this year,

0:53:110:53:15

cos I know there's been problems with where the sea lions

0:53:150:53:18

choose to give birth, despite building this lovely beach for them.

0:53:180:53:21

There have been in the past. Yes. But no,

0:53:210:53:23

Sealia gave birth in the pen behind us,

0:53:230:53:25

which is where she has had the last three.

0:53:250:53:28

OK. So that's become a good habit.

0:53:280:53:30

That's a good habit. It's a nice safe place

0:53:300:53:33

cos there's a nice gradient on the ramp there for the pups.

0:53:330:53:36

And she kept it there for a few days

0:53:360:53:39

and now she's moved it round here.

0:53:390:53:41

And presumably, all their food is coming from suckling mum.

0:53:410:53:44

They're not taking any fish or anything, at this stage.

0:53:440:53:47

No. No. It's all purely milk from mother.

0:53:470:53:51

We find that they do start chasing small fish in the lake

0:53:510:53:55

-at about six months.

-Right.

0:53:550:53:57

So you notice a definite ballooning effect once they find small fish.

0:53:570:54:01

They do get a lot bigger very quickly.

0:54:010:54:03

We've got the hippos frighteningly close.

0:54:030:54:07

I'm slightly on the back foot here,

0:54:070:54:09

thinking I'm going to run for it any minute.

0:54:090:54:11

Is there any conflict when you've got little pups like this

0:54:110:54:14

that are inexperienced with the hippos?

0:54:140:54:16

We haven't had any problems.

0:54:160:54:19

Normally by the time pups are out and about swimming in the lake,

0:54:190:54:23

they're more than quick enough to be three steps ahead of a hippo.

0:54:230:54:27

-Right.

-You know, hippos are generally quite slow and they

0:54:270:54:30

are very used to the sea lions now.

0:54:300:54:32

They've had sea lions around them the whole time they've been here.

0:54:320:54:36

We've seen them sitting on their heads, haven't we?

0:54:360:54:38

Oh, look and we've got the swan family coming down.

0:54:380:54:41

That's great. So all looking good.

0:54:410:54:43

And again, an adult swan, protective birds, very territorial birds, would

0:54:430:54:49

they have a go at a sea lion pup that was being a little overcurious?

0:54:490:54:54

-Yes. They would.

-Really.

0:54:540:54:55

I've seen it happen quite a lot.

0:54:550:54:57

I mean, sea lion pups, when they get swimming, are quite fond of

0:54:570:55:01

cygnets' feet, from underneath and they do try to pull them under.

0:55:010:55:05

-Right.

-But you notice that the adults are very protective and will have a

0:55:050:55:09

-go at even an adult sea lion, never mind a baby.

-Really?

-Yeah.

0:55:090:55:13

-Look at that. That is just the most heavenly, heavenly sight.

-It's great.

0:55:130:55:17

I think it's everybody's favourite time of the year, isn't it?

0:55:170:55:20

You know, loads of offspring.

0:55:200:55:22

They're both females as well, which is a bonus.

0:55:220:55:24

-Both the babies are females?

-Yes.

0:55:240:55:26

-That's such good news.

-Yeah.

0:55:260:55:28

That's such good news. No wonder you're smiling from ear to ear.

0:55:280:55:31

Any names yet or are we still a little too early?

0:55:310:55:34

No. I like to give them a good headstart in life

0:55:340:55:37

and sometimes it's nice, they come out with little characters that

0:55:370:55:41

the name will fit quite nicely to.

0:55:410:55:43

Yeah. OK. We'll wait and see what happens but Mark, thank you very much

0:55:430:55:48

for introducing me to them, although I have to say you're not showing me

0:55:480:55:52

your best side down there. Go on.

0:55:520:55:54

Give us a wave. Bye bye, little one.

0:55:540:55:56

See you later.

0:55:560:55:57

The tragic tale of mother and calf

0:56:110:56:13

was a real blow for the herd of Pere David deer.

0:56:130:56:17

But there's a glimmer of hope for this endangered species,

0:56:170:56:20

with the loan male calf born this season still flourishing.

0:56:200:56:24

Just behind us are some of Longleat's Pere David deer

0:56:260:56:29

and Kate and I have joined Tim

0:56:290:56:31

who's had quite a time of it lately, haven't you?

0:56:310:56:34

We have, Ben, yes. With the Pere David, we've had

0:56:340:56:37

a few problems along the way.

0:56:370:56:38

But things are picking up and we're going to

0:56:380:56:42

receive some more Pere David deer.

0:56:420:56:44

-Oh, are you?

-Fantastic.

0:56:440:56:46

-Some young hinds. Yes.

-Fantastic.

0:56:460:56:48

So we can really, perhaps,

0:56:480:56:50

safeguard our breeding population.

0:56:500:56:53

Cos they're really rare, aren't they?

0:56:530:56:55

Well, they are, Ben.

0:56:550:56:56

Still not out of danger, by any means, in the wild state and I think

0:56:560:57:01

these captive herds are extremely important

0:57:010:57:04

throughout the world, really.

0:57:040:57:06

So even though we have a few here, we need to keep breeding them so

0:57:060:57:10

-that one day, perhaps, some of them can go back.

-Absolutely.

0:57:100:57:14

And when you get the hinds, do you imagine that they'll integrate

0:57:140:57:19

well with the herd immediately?

0:57:190:57:21

Are they quite a tricky deer to manage?

0:57:210:57:24

There are two very old hinds there, long in the tooth.

0:57:240:57:28

They're going to

0:57:280:57:31

express their dominance over those animals, so

0:57:310:57:35

I think possibly, they'll just be kept on the edge of the group

0:57:350:57:39

for a little while, but they'll come in, they'll find their place.

0:57:390:57:43

They certainly do look like the picture of contentment out there,

0:57:430:57:46

eating the clover, so Tim, congratulations on one very

0:57:460:57:50

successful birth and we hope that the Pere David go

0:57:500:57:53

-from strength to strength.

-Thanks very much.

0:57:530:57:56

Sadly, that's all we've got time for in today's programme,

0:57:560:57:59

but here's what's coming up on the next Animal Park.

0:57:590:58:02

Kate rolls out the barrel to find out how hard a monkey

0:58:030:58:06

will work for its lunch.

0:58:060:58:08

Oh, look, look, look.

0:58:080:58:10

Ben goes to Wolf Wood to try and spot some very cute youngsters.

0:58:110:58:15

And we struggle to even start identifying three tigers

0:58:170:58:20

that, to us, look exactly the same.

0:58:200:58:24

I spent long enough working out the last three. I guess I'm going to

0:58:240:58:27

-start all over again.

-They were completely different!

0:58:270:58:30

So this one fills me with horror.

0:58:300:58:32

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:58:360:58:38

E-mail [email protected]

0:58:380:58:40

Behind the scenes at Longleat Safari Park.

Ben Fogle is on hand when a veterinary emergency threatens the life of a rare species of deer, and Kate Humble is the first to be introduced to a pair of new sea lion pups.


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