Kate Humble and Ben Fogle return to Longleat Safari Park. One of the giraffes has become very sick, and vets cannot get to the bottom of what is wrong with him.
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I've always been told that breakfast is the most important meal
of the day and it's certainly going down well here.
But also important is every time the keepers feed the animals,
it gives them the chance to give them a little bit of a health check.
Just check them over, make sure everything's OK.
That's of course because animals can't tell us when they're sick.
But looking around today,
I don't think there's any problems with these lemurs.
I think they're all fine.
But sadly, that's not the case across the park.
The keepers are anxiously monitoring one of our most popular animals
because he's become poorly and they also need to know whether it's just
an isolated case or whether it's going to affect any other of the animals.
All of that on today's Animal Park.
Also in today's boiling-hot Summer Special, fresh from the fridge,
it's time to wake up the park's tortoises.
Soon as they've got all that heat on them, they will stomp around quite
-Quite quick for a tortoise.
For a tortoise, yeah.
Jean's with the anteaters but there's no holding back once they
-hit the bottle.
-She's going to lick it clean, I think.
Maybe, baby. Could this be the patter of panda feat?
It really is just guesswork, so it could be any day.
And nest cam is set.
I particularly do get quite excited when it's breeding season.
But who's in the egg?
It's been 16 years since I joined the Animal Park team, which by most
standards is quite a long time.
You'd think I'd be part of the furniture.
But by comparison to some of the keepers, I'm still a new boy.
Ryan Hockley came to do a summer job in the park when he was 18
and he never left.
30 years on, he's a team manager and in charge of the giraffe herd.
I came to Longleat in 1987 and I just instantly fell in love with it.
Every day was a complete adventure for me.
I think probably my favourite animals to work with now,
I do love the giraffe.
I love how the giraffe are quite ditzy,
I think that's one of the things that I love...
That I love about them.
Some of my best experiences here in 30 years, have been alongside the
giraffe and I think I still feel like I have a connection
with them today.
The hardest challenge for a keeper is when their animals get sick.
You all right, fella?
Over the last few months,
Ryan has become increasingly worried about his favourite giraffe,
seven-year-old bull Kaiser.
Kaiser's problem seems to be weight loss.
He generally eats pretty well,
but this weight loss is massively concerning because no matter how
good his appetite, he just doesn't seem to put weight on,
it just seems to be coming off him.
The veterinary team have been monitoring Kaiser closely
because they don't know what's causing the problem.
Vet James is here today to check on his progress.
The weight loss has been fairly dramatic.
Currently he weighs just below 600 kilos.
An animal of his age and size, we do expect them to be, you know,
a good 700 kilos.
So it's fairly significant weight loss
and warrants more investigation.
Fellow giraffe keeper Polly
encourages Kaiser into a special pen,
where James can examine him more closely.
But diagnosing what's wrong with a giraffe is rarely straightforward.
We have fairly major limitations with an animal of his size.
If it was a dog or a cow, something of that sort of size,
then we can do further investigations
such as ultrasound or X-rays.
But ultrasound won't penetrate deep enough for us to get any accurate
images and X-rays wouldn't be able
to pass through his body because it's so wide,
so we wouldn't get an image, either.
So we're a bit limited.
Today, James is taking a blood sample.
It'll hopefully give some insight into what's going on.
There's one illness they're desperate to rule out,
The killer disease was found on farms in the area during the winter.
So all susceptible species at the park have been screened.
So far, all the big cats are TB-free.
Fine, yeah, another pass.
-Come on, Mary.
The giraffes are next to be tested.
But the fear is that Kaiser may have contracted it already.
One of the big worries for us is potentially TB.
Certainly the loss of body condition is something that you would expect
to see in an animal that's, you know,
in a pretty advanced stage of TB.
OK, little man, well done!
Kaiser is displaying some of the symptoms of TB,
which is a massive cause for concern.
Well done, Kais, good boy.
One of the key markers of TB is weight loss.
He does look skinnier to me, as well.
Any animal diagnosed would have to be put to sleep, to spare them a
We're all definitely worried about him.
He's probably one of the most popular characters
in our group of giraffes, he's a lovely lad.
And of course if it was any animal within the section,
we'd all be as concerned as we are.
But because it's Kaiser,
because he's got such a wonderful temperament,
that I think, from an emotional perspective
it's really hurting everyone
that little bit more because it's Kaiser.
We could be in the scenario of just watching him waste away in front of
Of course, if Kaiser is infected,
there's a chance that the entire
herd could have contracted a killer disease.
The creatures in the park come from all over the world.
The forests of India, the Pacific Ocean, and the African skies.
This most elegant of birds is a secretarybird.
He's called Kevin.
And although he doesn't look like it, he's actually a bird of prey.
To see him in the wild,
you'd have to go to sub-Saharan Africa, so I feel very,
very lucky to be as close to him as I am now.
You can see him hunting in the grass.
They use those wonderful long legs
to kick up their prey and then catch it.
So, now that summer is here at Longleat,
along comes an abundance of new life and the keepers are in a frenzy,
preparing for what's around the corner.
The park is home to a fabulous flock of 35 rainbow lorikeets.
You're not supposed to have favourites when you're working
with a whole bunch of animals, but the lorikeets are mine.
Ryan is their keeper and he absolutely adores them.
They're so characteristic,
they've all got their individual little personalities.
And they're very, very intelligent.
BIRDS TWEET LOUDLY
They're all numbered,
and that's just so that we can all identify them,
got a little number on their ring. But there are a few
that have names, a few of them have come to us
already named, from their previous owners.
So we've got one called Eric, we've got one called Skittles,
but we also have one called Womble.
Now, Womble arrived in 2011 and it actually turns out that Womble,
who for five years we thought was a boy, actually is a girl.
And she's hand-reared, so she's very, very friendly.
But there's no time for tweeting the birds today,
as Ryan is supervising a weigh-in.
-Who are you, then?
59 is 134 grammes.
So it just gives us a good indication of what the whole group
weighs on average.
So if we've got any particularly skinny ones or overweight ones,
we can manage them, but if all the ones we weigh, of the small portion,
are generally along the right lines, it gives us a good indication
that the whole aviary's nice and healthy as well.
128 grammes for number...
-Ooh, never mind.
-To weigh the birds,
Ryan tempts the lorikeets over with some nectar.
It can be quite hectic, obviously with 35,
all of them trying to be at the front of the queue for the nectar,
it can be a bit difficult. You've just got to be persistent,
there's a lot of getting the same one twice.
Number 28, in particular, is quite foodie,
so we get him every single week.
And there's a few that are a little bit more shy,
that you have to try and encourage over a bit more.
But with 35 of them all around you,
it can take a little while to get even a few accurate weights.
Weighing the birds at this time of year has a particular importance.
Right, who's next? Right, come here, you.
-Like many of the native birds all around them,
the lorikeets have begun to pair up.
So today we've been getting some weights off them,
particularly with the ones that we've been noticing
have been going in and out of the nest boxes. Then over the next few weeks,
we'll carry on weighing those individuals, just to check they are
a nice weight and are happy and healthy
and hopefully doing well with their breeding.
Ryan's next job is to check the nest boxes because they're expecting some
They've been in and out of them over the last couple of weeks, so we're
just going to check and see if they've actually managed
to lay any eggs yet.
Let's have a little look. No, there's no eggs in that one yet.
Nothing in that one.
Yeah, we've got an egg in this one.
-So, amazingly, in three of our boxes,
we have found some eggs, which is really, really good news.
Hopefully, in the next few weeks they're going to hatch out
and we'll have some chicks.
The park had several years of successful breeding.
Number 28 and 29, they're really good breeders.
They make really, really good parents
and we just leave them to it.
So we just check the chicks maybe once a week
and then the rest is all up to them.
Ryan's hatched a plan to keep an eye on the eggs.
So what we've got, it's got a little camera.
And we're just going to pop that in the nest,
and that actually allows us to monitor the birds
every single day and hopefully see what they're up to
without actually disturbing them in any way.
We'll be back later to find out
whether egg cam produces any results.
I particularly do get quite excited when it's breeding season because
we're going to have new birds. It just increases the flock size,
makes them feel more comfortable in the larger number and also it's more
characters to get to know.
For all the keepers at the park,
top of their wish list is for the animals in their care to be healthy.
Earlier, we met poor, poorly Kaiser.
His drastic weight loss has the vets worried and they suspect he may have
TB. If so, there's a good chance it will have spread to the entire herd.
Whatever it is, it seems like it's threatening his life,
so whether that be TB or something
that you and I have never even heard of,
then we're really worried about him.
Well done, mate. Good boy.
Today, the whole herd is due to be tested.
The plan is to encourage the giraffes through the enclosure
one by one.
It's recently been adapted for exactly this purpose.
But the animals are still wary of entering it.
With giraffe, you have to sort of approach them a bit differently
to small animals because they're obviously such a large animals.
They're also quite nervous,
so you need to be quite considered in your movements.
Take it slowly and be quite quiet as well.
There's a good boy. Come on, then.
The first giraffe to try and get into position is eight-year-old male
Thorn. He's 20ft-high, weighs half a tonne, and is easily spooked.
Dealing with these mighty creatures is an epic challenge.
-Vet James approaches slowly so as not to alarm him.
Good boy. That's a good boy.
A patch of skin is shaved, then injected with the serum.
You can't bang the injection in, you have to be careful because you
just want to put a little bleb in under the skin.
So actually it's not too invasive for the giraffe, which is a...
Which is a good thing.
He'll be reviewed in three days. If there's any swelling,
the test could be positive.
It worked really well. He was nice and calm and the keepers kept him
distracted with food.
So that's one giraffe down, 13 to go.
The team work their way steadily through the herd.
She's a good girl.
She's a good girl!
Well done, Jemima!
Testing is over.
So we've just finished the 14 giraffe.
We had one or two stubborn, who took a bit of
persuading to get in.
But no, it's gone really well
and all of them are out, as you can see behind me in
the paddock, grazing. So, yeah, really good, really positive.
Three days later and they're doing it all again to get the results.
Any animal testing positive would be disastrous for the entire herd.
They're halfway through and so far, so good.
Everything is clear, which is absolutely marvellous,
but of course until that last one is through,
my stomach is still doing somersaults.
Up next, is the one they're most worried about, Kaiser.
Kaiser is our, you know, he is our giraffe that we are concerned with.
He should be beefing out and also going up at the same time,
but bless him, he's a little bit of a beanpole.
So at the moment, we're in a tick-box process
of working out what's not wrong with him,
to maybe lead us to a decision on what actually is wrong with him.
All right, all right, all right.
Hey, hey, hey.
-Well done, everyone.
-It's great news about Kaiser.
Good boy, Kais, well done, son.
In fact, the whole herd are in the clear.
It's a huge relief.
-Oh, my God,
well done, guys. Well done, guys.
We have... All 14 giraffe are free of TB.
TB-negative, so I couldn't ask
for any better because they're all clear.
So, great that we know that Kaiser doesn't have TB
because that really is
a one-way ticket and it's not a pleasant journey.
But also at the same time that means that we're back to square one now,
trying to find out what is wrong with him.
James receives the results of a blood test,
it shows a high white blood cell count, which indicates an infection.
Kaiser has got quite a serious illness.
Now, because of his size, it makes it quite tricky to actually pinpoint
where that infection is.
So we treat the symptoms and we've given him a ten-day course of an
antibiotic. It could potentially be a life-and-death situation for him.
Last year's gorgeous new arrivals were the red panda cub twins,
Pema and Tika.
They're now ten months old and today they're leaving the park.
Red pandas are an endangered species.
Up to 50% of their natural habitat has been destroyed by deforestation.
The pandas here are part of a breeding programme
and now the twins are maturing.
They're going to be moved to other collections,
where hopefully they'll go on to have cubs of their own.
But it's still tough for their devoted keeper, Sam.
I've known them since the day they were born,
I've seen them pretty much every day.
It's a bit like watching your own
children grow up and leave, I imagine.
It's a really big day today for Sam.
These are her little things that she's had since they were born.
So giving them up, it must be quite difficult for her.
It's awful saying goodbye.
I spent Christmas Day with them,
I've spent more time with them than I have with my own family.
The cubs' transport has arrived.
We're just going to get some straw from their nest box,
because this will smell like home.
So hopefully it'll make the boxes a little bit less scary for them.
OK, good girl.
Sam encourages them into their travelling boxes with some of their
In you go, darling.
I'll miss them so much.
Coming in tomorrow morning, there only being two of them,
I think is going to be a little bit sad.
But I mean, you know,
it's totally natural, and fingers crossed,
in a few months we'll have the patter of some more tiny panda feet.
The twins left a fortnight ago and Kate has gone along to see how Mum,
Rufina, and, of course, Sam are doing.
What's this, Rufina?
Now, Sam, most importantly, before we talk about her,
I want to talk about you. How are YOU feeling?
Because I know you were a little bit sad about the babies going.
Yes, yes, so our babies have been gone for a couple of weeks now.
Obviously it was very, very sad but we've seen pictures of them in their
new home and they're doing really well.
-So that's all we can hope for, really.
And, if my information is correct,
you could be having new babies any moment now.
Yeah, fingers crossed.
Rufina has put on lots of weight, which is a really good sign.
We've been doing our little tummy checks on her and she's got a big,
chubby belly. So fingers crossed, we might have some baby pandas really
-Really? I mean, how soon, do you think?
She's due any day, by our calculations.
-But she has a bit of a habit of keeping us hanging on.
So, fingers crossed that that's going to go well.
That's absolutely your prerogative.
And I mean, she seems extraordinarily active
even though, you know,
she might be imminently giving birth, and particularly fond of banana.
Yes, so banana is really high in protein.
-So we're giving her a little treat today.
Just because if she is pregnant,
she might need a little bit of extra protein in her diet.
-Got some scrambled egg as well.
All nice high-protein treats, to see if that'll help her and her babies.
Let's see what she thinks about scrambled egg.
What do you think about scrambled egg?
-Not going to be fooled with that one.
-No, thank you very much.
-Much rather have the banana.
-Should we give you a bit of banana there?
So, what's the gestation period of a red panda?
So it's about five months.
-But they can also do what they call delayed implantation.
So even if we see them mating,
it doesn't mean that we know when they're due.
-It's all a big guessing game, basically.
OK, so you really literally go on sort of the look of her...
-..to think this could be... This could be the moment.
Yeah, apart from that it really is just guesswork.
So it could be any day.
And usually, how many will she have?
Will she usually have about two?
Yes, they can have between one and four.
The first year we had one, little Leo,
and then last year we had two girls.
So, fingers crossed for this year.
I mean, we'll be more than happy with just one.
-One is fine.
-Any more is just a bonus.
Well, there you are, Rufina.
You've pretty much finished all the bananas,
so now you have to get on and
make Sam happy and give us some more babies to look after.
Now we're back with Kaiser the giraffe.
The veterinary team have been trying various courses of antibiotics,
which appear to be having some effect.
I'm really, really pleased with his progress.
His pace is quicker than it was, because he had slowed up a fair bit.
Whatever we put in front of him, he wants to take it.
Few bits of that as well.
But Kaiser is far from being out of the woods.
And only time will tell if his condition continues to improve.
I definitely see a connection between the course of antibiotics
and an upturn in his general demeanour.
So I'm quietly hopeful.
Now we're back with the rainbow lorikeets.
Ryan has been monitoring activities in the nest boxes.
So Jean has come to see what he's caught on egg cam.
That's just a couple of the eggs, several weeks ago now.
What's the incubation period?
It's roughly about three weeks.
How are the eggs kept?
Does Mum tend to look after them or Dad?
Well, they pair up. And they pair up for life.
But generally, Mum gets a bit of a raw deal,
she has to do all of the sitting.
So she will stay in the nest and look after the eggs.
And Dad will sort of keep an eye on them. She'll come out for food,
but generally she'll do most of the sitting.
So this is the eggs, let me see the chicks.
OK, so this is them at just a couple days old.
You can see the eggs have only just hatched.
Mm-hm. It's so great that you have a camera on this.
Because this is something you would never get to see.
And how old are they at this point?
This is literally just a few days,
you can see that the eggshell's still there.
-Cracked eggs, yeah.
-So the parents haven't gotten rid of that yet.
So this is the next one of the two.
They're pretty bald at this point.
They're only little tufts of feathers coming out.
They've not got their adult feathers coming through yet.
They're generally quite pink and have little tiny white feathers.
-And still quite ugly at this stage...
-Oh, they are not ugly!
No, they're not,
but they're a lot uglier than they are when they're adults.
Very cute, and really a sort of grey-white colour?
Yeah, he is starting to get older, this one.
They will, in the next few weeks, start to get their adult feathers.
And the little wings are coming out as well.
How long will it be before he can fly?
Um, they tend to fledge at about five or six weeks old.
How lovely for you to be able to follow them
from being inside the egg to
hatching, and then just making their way out into the world.
Yeah, it's quite nice when you've got new birds in
because it makes the flock even
bigger and more natural, which is nice.
Yeah, it's been lovely seeing your new arrivals
at all the different stages.
-Best of luck.
-Thank you very much!
It's been six weeks since Kaiser finished his last course
He seemed to improve temporarily,
but sadly has been going downhill ever since.
He's losing more weight and is increasingly listless.
The vet team have tried again and again to get an accurate diagnosis
and a huge range of treatments but nothing is stopping the decline.
Sometimes, being a vet can be quite frustrating because there's only so
much we can do, especially when you've got an animal like Kaiser,
who's a wild animal.
Despite all our best efforts, we haven't been able to find out
exactly what's wrong with him and what's underlying.
In an ideal world we would be able to take X-rays,
do an ultrasound scan,
and get more information then, but given that he's a giraffe,
we can't do that, unfortunately.
Kaiser is suffering and the team are running out of options.
We really need to think about next steps.
He is continuing to deteriorate and lose weight.
We always need to ask ourselves if he's got a life that's worth living.
If his quality of life has deteriorated to such an extent
that that's not the case any more,
then the kindest thing is to euthanize.
Putting any animal to sleep is a decision
Darren and his team would never take lightly.
We weigh Kaiser and every single day he's getting lighter and lighter.
My personal belief is no animal should ever suffer.
You have the possibility of euthanizing
and putting that animal out of its
pain, I will take that decision.
And as tough as it is, I will stand by that.
Euthanasia is never an easy decision for us as vets.
Because obviously we always try
and treat the problem and fix the animal.
So it's something that we don't do lightly.
But it is, ultimately, when an animal's suffering,
the kindest thing to do for them.
Two weeks later,
the miracle we have all been waiting for simply hasn't come.
And a decision has been made.
The team here have had to make a really tough decision
in just the last two days. To put Kaiser the giraffe to sleep.
Really, really tough for all of you.
How do you come to a decision like that?
In Kaiser's case,
he's been progressively losing more and more weight.
And of course, ultimately that started to affect his whole...
His whole locomotion,
everything is affected by this because he literally doesn't have,
hasn't the muscle left to be able to propel himself
And the high white blood cell count,
I mean, that's indicative of some sort of infection, is it?
Yeah, some sort of infection or certainly indicative of... His body
is trying to, his immune system is trying to fight something but
unfortunately, no matter how much help, you know,
we've given him over the last few months, it's not been enough.
So we didn't want to get to a point where we found him down one morning.
Because in a way, that's kind of,
it's a bit of a coward's way out.
It's not fair on Kaiser to leave it like that.
I would rather elect to do it in a way that I think is the kindest and
most comfortable way to do it.
So ultimately, this is a welfare decision,
and it's something I know, over the years, all of
you here take enormous pride in keeping your animals as happy,
as healthy and as fit as possible.
-So, that's really been at the forefront of your mind
-when you come to make this decision.
-It's absolutely heartbreaking.
We've filmed with Ryan for so many years on Animal Park,
through happy and sad times,
and he felt it was important we be there for Kaiser's final hours.
We still, I don't think, have come fully to terms with this.
As a team, we still feel that, um,
that we should've, could've done more to help him, maybe.
But of course, we're out of ideas,
our vet team is out of ideas and we just don't have any more options for
him. And when we run out of ideas to help him,
you just feel like you've failed a little bit.
Duncan the vet has arrived on site.
It certainly is a very tough day for everyone.
And the keepers especially.
Um, it's a tough day for us as vets,
because we haven't been able to sort it out.
Sort of find out what his problem is and treat him.
So really the objective now is just to make sure it's as stress-free for
him as possible. And we're certainly hoping for a smooth anaesthetic.
I'm going to sedate him,
get him sort of to lie down.
-All right, Pol?
There's a good boy.
Well done. OK.
We absolutely love Kaiser, he's such a fantastic animal,
he's a wonderful character,
but he's always been a gentle soul, you know, and that's
what makes this hurt all the more.
As expected, Kaiser's been absolutely fantastic.
We've left Tina and Polly in there, they're just staying in with him now,
just to monitor his progression as the drug takes effect.
I know what the end result is, but still, at the same time,
I don't particularly want him hurting or damaging himself,
so they're just working on just using their voices
to keep him calm. Keep him in a particular location
that we think gives him the best chance
of going down without injuring himself too much.
Good lad, just stand there for a minute.
In his 30 years at the park,
thankfully, days like these are rare.
Went quite sensibly. Kind of in the middle but kind of...
Sounded really gentle.
The team are on hand to ensure everything's made a calm as possible
for the moment when Kaiser slips away.
-OK for me to go ahead?
Well, that's him gone now.
'It's totally the right thing to do, and the right way to do it.
'To select a time and a day.
'Rather than just waiting for what felt like the inevitable.'
The keepers take a moment to say goodbye.
He had a fantastic life here at Longleat.
So, hopefully, Kaiser's last, you know,
sort of waking memories of the place
are people that he really loved around him.
As devastating as it is to lose a young animal like Kaiser,
at the park the circle of life continues to turn.
The seasons change,
new animals appear and take their very first steps into the world.
And the park's oldest residents come back out into the sunshine.
Amos is 85 years old this year,
which is the oldest animal in the entire park.
And actually she's the same age as Lord Bath, as well.
Emily put the park's seven Hermann tortoises into hibernation back in
October. Tortoises are cold-blooded,
which means they rely on environmental factors
to regulate their body temperature. So, while they hibernate,
the fridge is the best place for them.
Here we keep the fridges between five and seven degrees,
which means they're staying asleep the whole time.
The trouble is, if it gets too warm, then they'll wake up,
where they haven't been eating.
They're using all that energy and not getting any more energy
going in, so they start to lose a lot of weight.
Then that can become a bit of a problem.
So we aim to keep those fridges between five and seven degrees
all the way through and that keeps them nice and healthy.
So we just pop them in the bath.
Bathing revives them and wakes up their appetite.
We'll just cover their shell with a bit of water,
give it a bit of a clean.
So, the first thing we'll do, is we're going to clean her mouth out.
Like I said earlier, unfortunately,
because she's had her mouth shut for so long she's going have a bit of a
gacky mouth. So, next step is to grab one of our cotton buds.
So we'll just give it a wipe around,
see if there is anything in there.
OK? And then we just have to dry them off and make sure that they are
really, really dry before they go outside.
So we've got her nice and dry with the towel now but one of the
stranger things we do here is we actually finish off,
making sure she's really dry, with a hairdryer.
After a wash and a blow-dry,
the tortoises enjoy a big breakfast to revive them.
A couple of months later and I've come to find out how Amos and co
Earlier this year, the tortoises came out of hibernation, signalling
the start of spring.
It's now summer, so I've caught up with keeper Emily
to give them a check-up,
-is that right?
-Yep, so they've been out for a few months now,
they been eating really well, they've got this lovely sunshine,
so we're just going to weigh them and see that they're nice and healthy.
OK. Now, what does Amos and the other tortoises eat?
Um, so, at the moment we're giving them lots of dandelions and clover
and plantain and things like that.
So that's what we've got here?
-Can we see if Amos will actually eat some?
Um, and why specifically dandelion leaves?
They've just got so much calcium in them.
Um, they're just the best thing you can feed a tortoise.
Lots of people will feed cabbage and things like that
and there's just not quite enough nutrients in it for them.
Whereas weeds that you find naturally in your garden,
and places like that, are so good, and just the best thing for them.
I presume it's quite important to pick local produce and also seasonal
So, at the moment these are absolutely everywhere
and actually we go up
once a week to the wolves' enclosure and pick the dandelions from them.
And have you noticed that they particularly like
the wolf wood dandelion leaves?
Yeah, obviously we wash it beforehand.
But yes, they love it.
You can see they eat so quickly.
And they're really loud eaters as well.
You never think something like this is going to be really loud,
but they're so loud when you've got a group of them eating.
Is it quite important to check that they are eating healthily?
Yeah, definitely. We need to give them really,
really good food and also we weigh them on the 22nd of every month.
Always have done. Just to make sure that they're a good weight.
OK, so we're going to weigh Amos.
Let's see how good my estimation is.
Three kilos? Three kilos, roughly?
-Give it a go.
-Let's see what you are.
Here we go.
So, I wasn't too far off,
but how does this compare to Amos's previous weight?
So, last month she was 2.75,
so she's dropped ever so slightly but we'd start to worry
if it became more of, sort of, 20 to 30g, something like that.
But it could be that it's because it's so hot at the moment,
she is burning off more energy.
And so she's got to eat more.
And it's just kind of that cycle.
It's obviously a beautiful sunny day today.
Do you notice a difference in their temperaments when the sun is shining
-Yes, they stomp around quite a lot.
-They're quite quick.
Once they get the energy.
Obviously, we get our energy from food.
But because these are reptiles, they get their energy from the heat.
So as soon as they've got all the heat on them
they will stomp around quite quickly and...
Quite quick for a tortoise.
For a tortoise, yeah.
Lots of people ask me whether I think they're fast, and I do.
I think they're really fast, for a tortoise.
Well, Emily, thank you very much and let's hope that all the tortoises
enjoy the rest of the Great British summer.
Now we're asking the question, when is an anteater not an anteater?
Answer - when it's eating scrabbled eggs.
This is Maroni.
The park's female giant anteater.
As their name suggests,
in the wild they do mostly eat ants and termites.
However, they will try other types of foods if they come across them.
Kim wants find out whether there's anything new she could add
to Maroni's diet. So Jean is helping her carry out a taste test.
What kind of things will you be trying out today?
So, today we have
quark cheese, which they haven't had before.
It's a very weird thing, because it's not cheese,
it's not solid, so it might be very different for them.
We've got scrabbled egg today.
And you know that they've had this before and they might quite like it?
They've had raw egg before, they've never had scrambled,
so the texture might put them off but they might love it.
-And we have an apple and banana smoothie.
Do they have something like this in the wild,
would they pick fruits up off the floor?
Yeah, they'll find anything they can off the floor,
break it open with their big claws,
and just take whatever they can find.
So why's it so important to try out these new flavours for them?
It provides different nutritional values for them and it also provides
enrichment for them,
so if there's something we can give them occasionally,
but we know they like it, it just makes them a little more excited for
what they're going to get that day.
-Is this Maroni?
-It is, yes.
Come on over, Maroni.
I've got some treats for you.
Come on, have a sniff. How's their sense of smell?
It's amazing. It so much better than ours.
You want some smoothie? Fancy some smoothie?
Oh, she's had a little sniff and not sure if she's going for that.
It's surprising because this is quite sweet.
Up she comes.
Oh, have a sniff of this. Let's see how she likes the quark.
There you go, get your tongue in there.
I think she likes that.
So the quark's been a bit of a success.
-This is not really like anything they would eat
-in the wild, is it?
-No. Not at all.
Remind me how long her tongue is.
It's 60cm, her tongue.
Wow. And I can really feel it flicking the bottom of that bottle.
She's going to lick it clean, I think.
Are there any teeth in there?
None, no, they have no teeth at all.
-It's all tongue.
-Now they're a big,
growing animal and ants are tiny, so how many ants do they have to eat?
They have to eat thousands of ants every day, to sustain their appetite.
They just have to be very careful not to destroy their food source,
so they have to go to different termite mounds every day, to make
sure they can eat as much as they can
-but not destroy it at the same time.
-Yeah. But this quark, she is loving.
Once they have a taste of something, like now, she's into it.
She's very into it. And should I try a bit of a smoothie, then?
-You can give it a go.
-Take this away, Maroni, give that a sniff.
Oh, she really doesn't want that.
So that's great. She's really enjoying the egg
and I know she's had egg before,
but not this consistency, this is scrambled.
So that's another thing you can add to her diet.
Absolutely, and it does smell slightly differently when it's cooked, as well,
so it just adds so many different things for her now.
-So it's really nice.
-Let's see, have a sniff of that.
She's really not into this at all.
It's nice and sweet, honestly.
No, I think she's more of a savoury girl.
Yeah, definitely, maybe avoid the sweets.
Well, there's two more things you can add to your menu,
scrambled eggs and quark.
Today, the newest members of the lorikeet flock are having their
-first-ever health check.
-It is actually going to be
our first chance to have them
in our hands and actually give them a full-on check-over.
Make sure they're healthy.
For the health checks, they need the fledgling birds on their own.
So Ryan needs to keep the parents distracted.
So I've got some nectar, and because it's first thing in the morning,
they haven't had any breakfast yet,
so this hopefully should distract them away from the nest boxes,
so we can work in peace and not actually have them on our shoulders,
watching what we're doing. Come on, then.
In there, you.
So they're distracted. I'm just going to go up the ladder,
grab that chick out. It should be quite calm because it's never been
grabbed before. So, just bring it down, we'll do little health check,
we'll pop that ring on, and then hopefully pop it back
-..before they're finished.
The ID rings are essential for identifying the individual birds.
And keeping track of which family group they come from.
This chick, it's quite wet.
It's got all this adult plumage coming through.
It's got nice bright eyes there.
You see its beak, it's quite dark.
When they're young, they have quite a dark beak,
that goes more sort of orangey-coloured a little bit
later on down the line.
It looks good, so we'll pop him back.
Once they're not looking.
Ryan will have to be quick, so he doesn't distress
the parents and risk breaking the bond they have with their chicks.
OK, so it's that chick checked. Let's check the other one now.
Yeah, see, he's a little bit younger than the other one,
so I don't think he's quite at ringing age yet.
He's a bit bare in places and he's still not quite
got all his adult feathers through.
So, give him another week or so and he might be the same
age as that one now.
Obviously, to have two chicks from separate parents is really,
really good. It means that in a couple of years' time
those two potentially breed together, which would be quite nice.
They'll be of similar age, be really nice to get as many as we can this
year because it's been a good year so far.
It looks like there'll be a lorra lorikeets in this park
for years to come.
There's never a dull moment here at the park.
It's almost the end of the programme but, hot news off the press,
down here at Sea Lion Beach, Ben and I have come to join Lauren.
-What happened this morning?
-A bit of surprise, actually.
A very unplanned little baby sea lion.
-Oh, my goodness!
-So, literally hours old?
Yeah, we check them day to day, so, yeah.
-Very, very new.
-And is this Mum, here?
-This is Mum, Zook, yeah.
-So, Zook is not sure about us being so close.
Is she being super-protective right now?
She is. She's had quite a few pups here over the years and she knows
exactly what to do.
Now, you say "unplanned."
-Why is this such a surprise?
Because usually you're really across who's pregnant and what's happening.
Exactly, yeah. I mean, we had an idea, we thought -
"She's looking a bit big."
But we actually castrated our male, Buster, last year,
as he has had a lot of babies here at Longleat, he's getting old.
We thought, you know, he's had his time, he's had a lot of babies now,
so we thought - "We'll give him a break.
"We'll give the girls a break."
But he had other plans,
unfortunately. So one last pup for us here.
-Which is nice.
-And you know yet whether it's a male or female?
No, not yet. Not yet. We're having a good look.
We'd hedge our bets and say maybe a boy.
-Maybe a boy.
And how long until it's out in the water?
Um, a couple of weeks.
It will just lie quietly here for a bit and then it will start exploring
-around the beach.
-Lauren, you have a huge smile on your face.
What a way to end the show.
Thank you and good luck.
Here's what's coming up on the next Animal Park.
A medical emergency...
Until we get there and assess it,
we really don't know what the situation is.
..forces keepers to take drastic measures.
A world-class elephant expert is here to help Anne like never before.
When Christian comes in, he gets into the mind of Anne.
And top cameraman Louis LeBron is back to film
the fastest land animal in super-slow motion.
As temperatures continue to soar, so too does the number of new babies. Keepers are primed and ready to capture the first critical moments of life for a pair of rainbow lorikeets as they train 'nestcam' on a pair of eggs. Meanwhile, at Half-Mile Lake, another set of keepers are taken completely by surprise with the unexpected birth of a sea lion pup.
Sadly there is not good news in every corner of the park. One of best-known giraffes in the herd has become very sick, and vets cannot get to the bottom of what is wrong with him. He is losing weight and looking frail - could this illness have spread to other animals, and could that threaten the future of the entire herd?