Episode 7 Animal Park


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Episode 7

As temperatures at the safari park soar, so too do pulses on Penguin Island, because a love triangle has emerged between Peaches, Rihanna and 'two-timer' Redley.


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with Kate Humble and Ben Fogle.

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Now, call me old-fashioned but I thought monogamy meant

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being with just one person at a time in a relationship.

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But that is not what's been going on here with the supposedly monogamous

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Humboldt penguins.

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No, I mean, Penguin Island is now Scandal Island rocked

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by a shocking love triangle.

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On today's programme,

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we're going to bring you all the gossip on Rihanna and Peaches

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as they vie for the attention of the ravishing Redley.

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But who will p-p-p-p-pick who?

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And more importantly, who's going to come out on top?

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Also in today's show,

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keeper Polly earns her stripes in Africa amongst some very rare zebra.

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Seeing them out here in the wild is amazing.

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It's, yeah, overwhelming!

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The park's gorillas give their verdict on a new diet.

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Both going for the tomatoes.

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Well, save some for the others, Evindi!

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There he is, that's it!

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And we'll reveal how an emu cools off in summer.

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When they're that hot and they need to cool down...

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Yeah, he's just sat himself for it, yeah! This is the best way for it.

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Now, to Penguin Island.

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Here, the girls outnumber the boys and it's causing problems.

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Penguins don't like being single, and the colony's unsettled.

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But things are about to change as some new boys are due to arrive

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on the island. And they are looking for love.

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Head of Animal Adventure, Graeme, hopes they'll be a big hit with his single ladies.

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My aim for the penguin colony is to stabilise it.

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That's my first goal.

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So what we're actually going to do

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is bring in slightly more male penguins than female penguins.

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And that allows a little bit of competition.

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It's a little bit of a dating game, and we'll see where we go.

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Lucy will be watching out to see if any sparks fly.

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You can never guess which penguin will fancy which penguin.

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Here we have Rihanna and Peaches.

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They are in a proper love triangle at the moment with Redley

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who has sat there all nonchalantly,

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pretending he's not caused any sort of drama.

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With the lack of male competition,

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Redley is getting away with being a bit of a rogue.

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It is a bit of a soap opera.

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I mean, he will quite happily cheat on his partners

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and flirt with any available females.

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So, it looks as if he might stick with Rihanna now.

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But I can never tell with him.

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So I make no promises.

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He may well go back to Peaches at a later date.

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So, it's whoever he chooses, really. And hopefully the other one will

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attach herself to one of our new boys.

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There have been several new arrivals in recent months

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following last winter's tragedy.

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Penguin Island became a ghost town

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after a disease and subsequent infections devastated the colony.

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Georgia was heartbroken.

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I have spent the last four years with the penguins,

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and they're like my children.

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People do say don't get too attached to animals.

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But when you're working with them every single day of the year,

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it's very hard not to.

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The deadly disease claimed the lives of 28 penguins,

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leaving just six survivors.

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Hi, Matt! Hi, Matt!

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It's almost midnight by the time the new penguins arrive.

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Kat and Georgia are there to welcome them.

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They've come from a collection in the Czech Republic and are part of

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the international breeding programme for Humboldt penguins.

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We're just going to put them in our hospital unit tonight,

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and then tomorrow we'll let them out

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into the exhibit to meet the other penguins.

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It's exciting having new penguins

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and especially to have some boys as well to mix it up a little bit.

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After losing so many birds,

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the arrival of every new penguin is a joy.

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Oh, there we go!

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Well done, sweetie!

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After last year and everything that we went through,

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we didn't think we'd be able to come out the other end happy.

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But, being able to just have the ability to bring new penguins in

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and start again, it's going to be really exciting.

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Hopefully, introducing the boys

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and then...we'll see some action pretty soon.

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So we'll come back tomorrow and see how they've done overnight.

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It's the morning after the night before.

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Merlin, Hugo, Maverick and Clive

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are about to get a first glimpse of their new home.

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So, should we let them out?

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Yep. Yeah?

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Here you go! Come on, then!

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Hey, guys! A little bit more nervous?

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They've been in a car for almost 24 hours,

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which for anyone is going to be stressful,

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let alone when they don't know what's happening.

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Redley's noseying. He's like, "What's going on?"

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Yeah, you're about get some new boys, mate.

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Oh, we'll see how they get on today.

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It'll be quite interesting.

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Because if they want a girlfriend or the girl wants that boyfriend,

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you know, they're going get it, whether it's over fighting or love.

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Penguins! Come on!

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Taking the first plunge in love, or indeed cold water, is never easy.

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So Lucy tries to tempt them towards the pool with some fish.

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Amazing.

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Clever boy!

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Maverick was born with a wing condition.

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It's quite noticeable as he's the one with only no bottom half

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of his wings. We're not going to discriminate, so we've taken him

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and hopefully he's a very friendly penguin.

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And also he's good at wooing the ladies.

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They've got very much a little pack mentality.

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So as soon as one jumps in the water,

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the others will follow straight away.

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All it will take is one to take the plunge

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and then all of them will follow.

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Yes!

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That's it, go on!

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Well done! Yes!

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Finally! Oh, they're in and that's all that matters.

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Our next hurdle will be introducing our original colony to them

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and seeing how they all get on with one another.

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So we just need to wait and see

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whether they take a liking to any of the girls, really.

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We'll be back later to find out if any of our penguins have found love.

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Caring for animals like giraffe and zebra is a year-round job

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every day, whatever the weather.

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And the keepers that look after their particular animals

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quickly become experts in those animals

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and what is best for their care.

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But of course the ultimate experience for these guys

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is seeing the animals they know so well here out in the wild.

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All of this week, we've been following five of the park's keepers

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visiting a project supported by British charity the Tusk Trust,

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as they carry out in-depth research to bring back to the park.

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Lewa Conservancy in northern Kenya

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leads the way in animal conservation,

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providing 250 square kilometres

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of protected land for endangered wildlife.

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Today, zebra keeper Polly will have the unique opportunity to compare

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the behaviour of the zebra there with those in her care.

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I'm looking forward to seeing giraffe and zebra

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and all the animals I look after. It'll be nice to see that, yeah,

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our animals are behaving as naturally as possible.

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It would be nice to see that out in the wild.

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Lewa is home not only to her zebra's wild cousins,

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but also to a rare and endangered species called the Grevy's zebra.

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The Grevy's plight is of major concern to Mike Watson,

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head of the Lewa Conservancy.

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We have 1,200 plains zebra,

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common zebra, 300 Grevy's zebra,

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Grevy's zebra being critically endangered

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and only really occurring in this part of Kenya.

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There's only 2,500 left in the world.

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And we've got 300 here on Lewa.

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The main reason Grevy's numbers have reduced so dramatically

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is because of habitat loss.

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The conflict between human settlement,

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between domestic livestock and wildlife competition for grazing,

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competition for water in particular, that loss has been a critical issue.

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And so what we've done is

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we've provided a habitat in which they can start to recover.

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Lewa is at the front line of wildlife conservation in Africa.

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Mary is one of the research officers dedicated to the daily welfare of

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the extremely rare Grevy's zebra.

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Every month, we go collecting images of all the animals that we see.

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Then we log it into the database.

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We are able to see the performance of every individual.

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The fine stripes of the Grevy's zebra are just like a fingerprint.

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With the Grevy's zebras, with the unique patterns each animal has,

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we are able to track through the database.

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Mary's job is to check the well-being of each of the 300 zebra

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by painstakingly cross-checking new photos

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with the ones she's taken the month before.

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You concentrate on the unique patterns.

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For example, you've got these three patterns here.

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These three. And then you check whether in the database

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the one that the system is imagining it is the one.

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But for this one, it is not.

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In this very difficult game of spot the difference,

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the computer doesn't always get it right.

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It is not a true match.

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No matter how much technology can aid conservation,

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the human touch remains vital.

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Park keepers Polly and James are joining Mary as she heads out

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into the wild to record this month's Grevy's population.

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So, we are preparing to start off our monthly patrol

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for the Grevy's zebras on Lewa.

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We've got GPS that we use to collect

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the location of that animal.

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So, is there... Are they radio-collared?

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Is that what that is for? No. No? It's not radio-collared.

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Just from where we have spotted the animal,

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you take the GPS location of that spot. Right.

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This is the first time James and Polly have done the challenging work

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of conservation out in the wild.

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It's hot and dusty and in rough terrain.

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But it will provide them with a wealth of information

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to take back to the park.

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Unlike the zebra Polly cares for,

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the animals here can be hunted and killed by lion, leopard or cheetah.

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At long last, Polly will finally get to observe

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zebra in their natural habitat.

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Seeing them out here in the wild is amazing.

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And seeing them, the plains mixed with the Grevy's is amazing.

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It's, yeah, overwhelming!

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In the last 20 years,

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the total population of the Grevy's zebra has declined by 50%.

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It's just incredible just to see them in this vastness.

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Just, you know, going about their daily lives.

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It really is just incredibly powerful just to see them living.

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It's brilliant!

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Now classed as endangered,

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the Grevy's zebra is teetering on the brink of extinction.

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The World Wildlife Fund estimates that every single year,

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at least 10,000 species become extinct on our planet.

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This is just happening every day.

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But, to us, we don't realise it.

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Unless you come out here and see how powerful it is.

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Side-by-side, the difference between the Grevy's and the plains zebra

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is clear. Although James needs a little help.

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Not being like a zebra expert, that's all,

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what's the difference between the two?

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The plains have thicker black stripes

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and wider bands of the white.

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And then the Grevy's,

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their stripes are a lot closer together and thinner.

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And then they've got a more defined white tummy to them.

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Those ears are like plates. They're absolutely massive!

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Yeah. Oh, yeah, it's actually quite distinct when you really look at it.

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Although the 300 Grevy's zebra are doing well, unlike back at the park,

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survival in the wild is tough.

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Of the recent 51 newly born foals, only 12 have survived.

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So our survival rates are really low.

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I see we've got a few foals out here now.

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What are their kind of chances of surviving?

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Because obviously, we're out in the wild.

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We don't want to stop lions doing what they do.

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Exactly. But we don't want to stop the zebras from growing

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in their population numbers.

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So, with the few that are there, what are their chances?

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Because we have got carnivores,

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we've got lions, we've got cheetahs, hyenas.

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So, if they are killed by the predators, we accept it is nature.

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Do you get upset about them?

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Well, you don't get upset,

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you get emotional to see a dead Grevy's zebra. But it's nature.

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Polly can't help compare the difference

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between the zebra here and those from home.

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It's weird to think that our zebra, even though they obviously

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keep their instincts and they are alert all the time.

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But they don't have to worry about... Predators. No!

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Whereas I've got a zebra that's 23.

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If Stephanie was out here, yeah, I'm not sure she'd last.

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She would not? Not at all!

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Back at the lodge, Polly reflects on Mary's dedicated study of the zebra.

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I think Mary is a very inspiring person.

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She's so passionate about what she does

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that talking to her was wonderful.

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And the information she gave, it was just...it just opened my eyes.

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I didn't realise that Grevy's zebra were so endangered.

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Overall, it's been a very emotional,

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rather overwhelming experience for Polly.

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Being out here, it's more than just seeing the animals.

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It's about learning how they're conserving not just one species,

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they're conserving the whole ecosystem.

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And I felt overwhelmed by the animals we'd seen,

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the beauty of the landscape.

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It makes me feel inspired.

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And just pass it on to the rest of the keepers

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and on to our visitors as well.

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As the seasons change, making sure the park's animals get

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a varied diet as they would in the wild is essential.

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And the keepers do their best to keep the diners happy.

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It is a very exciting moment.

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Not only am I about to meet the park's

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three western lowland gorillas for the very first time,

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but I'm going to help keeper Lauren here

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with a feed that has a difference.

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Tell me a bit about this feed.

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So we've put three different types of food out today.

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We've got some kale, some celery and some tomatoes.

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And you've divided them up as part of an experiment? Is this right?

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Yeah, we just want to see what their favourite one is

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at this time of year.

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Are we letting them all out at the same time? Who'll come out first?

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What we should do is let the two young boys out first

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so they can have a look and see what their favourite is.

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And then we'll let our silverback out

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so he can come out and he can get his fair share.

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OK, I'm pretty excited about this. Should we let them out?

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Should we do it, then? Let's do it!

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Who's that? So this is Alfie and that's Evindi who's behind him.

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Oh, look, aren't they magnificent?

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Oh, straight for the kale. Straight for the kale, yeah.

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Seen it all and what's he running for? And now, look!

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They're both going for the tomato as well.

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Evindi definitely preferred the tomatoes, didn't he?

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Evindi. Hey, save some for the others, Evindi!

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This is kind of how gorillas feed. They're very opportunistic,

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so they will just grab and run if they need to.

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Now, why experiment with different diets?

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I can understand about seasonality and things.

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But is it quite important that you know what they like and what they dislike?

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Yeah, what we like to do in the house is whenever we move

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them round the house, we like to give them a little reward.

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So if we ask them to come into a pen, we like to give them

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a positive reinforcement that they've done what we've asked.

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And it's a nice experience for them.

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So if we kind of know what they prefer,

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it's a lot easier to move them around the house.

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Where's our big silverback? Should we let him out as well? Yes!

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This is Kesho. Kesho.

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Yeah, 18-year-old silverback.

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He's big, isn't he? Big difference in size.

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Wow, he has a swagger.

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He does, yeah. Yes, definitely a typical silverback stance.

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Just make yourself look as big as possible,

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more threatening for the other males.

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That's why Alfie's grabbed as much as he can.

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He'll probably move off and keep that in a quiet corner somewhere.

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So, will Alfie hide it behind his back?

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Yep! Oh, look, so he's chasing, yeah! Isn't that amazing?

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So he is the dominant one and he gets his pick of the food.

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Yeah, it seems quite mean,

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but it is a totally natural gorilla behaviour.

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He is a lot bigger so he needs a lot more food.

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And now who have we got climbing up the tree?

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Very agile! Yeah, that's Alfie.

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Yes. Alfie's showing off. Why would he be going up there?

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Look, he's going to the highest point.

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Is that just to get a good view? Probably getting a good look at us,

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to see if we've got anything else for him. Is that what it is? Yeah.

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He wants to see if there's a bucket with more tomatoes in it? Yeah.

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The thumb is actually set back so it is more like a hand.

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And that is for climbing and also for grabbing as much food

0:18:380:18:41

as they can in case the silverback comes over to take it.

0:18:410:18:44

They'll run with it. And their absolute favourite

0:18:440:18:46

if you really need them to do anything, what's the carrot?

0:18:460:18:49

Definitely bananas. Bananas. So we try to limit how many they get.

0:18:490:18:52

So they get one or two a day each.

0:18:520:18:54

I mean, they are incredible to look at, aren't they?

0:18:540:18:57

Do you ever tire of looking at these boys?

0:18:570:18:59

No, never. No, I love them.

0:18:590:19:00

I mean, we spend so much time with them

0:19:000:19:02

that it's so hard not to fall in love with them.

0:19:020:19:05

Lauren, thank you so much. Thank you, guys! There you go.

0:19:050:19:07

The way to a gorilla's heart is with a tomato.

0:19:070:19:10

The gorillas are just three of 1,000 different animals that all have

0:19:120:19:16

specific dietary requirements.

0:19:160:19:19

The need for menu reinvention never ends.

0:19:190:19:22

Jean's now off to help keeper Nadia serve up

0:19:230:19:26

a completely different tasting menu

0:19:260:19:28

to the prickly customers over at the porcupine enclosure.

0:19:280:19:32

What do you have here? Today, we are going to try them

0:19:330:19:36

with some pears and sweet potato.

0:19:360:19:37

It's something they don't have particularly often. OK.

0:19:370:19:40

They never really have their food whole.

0:19:400:19:41

So it'll be a little bit different for them.

0:19:410:19:43

We've hid a few bits and pieces for them. So let's call them out.

0:19:430:19:47

Brussels! Sprout!

0:19:470:19:49

We've got some treats for you!

0:19:490:19:51

I think he's found something.

0:19:530:19:55

Oh, yeah! You can see his nose and his whiskers moving

0:19:550:19:58

as he's having a good old sniff around.

0:19:580:20:00

He's really working. Yeah. Here we go!

0:20:000:20:04

He's right in there. He's absolutely loving it!

0:20:040:20:06

Well done! He's pushing it all out of the way.

0:20:060:20:09

No fear.

0:20:090:20:10

So, what's he using, then?

0:20:130:20:15

Is that...? Ah, he's grabbed it in his mouth.

0:20:150:20:17

Yeah, these guys are rodents. So they've got really big front teeth.

0:20:170:20:20

So those front teeth can come and grasp lots of big chunks of food.

0:20:200:20:24

And they'll take them away.

0:20:240:20:25

So, you'll see with Sprout he's just taking the peel off the potato.

0:20:250:20:28

Yeah. Before he eats all the juicy good stuff inside.

0:20:280:20:31

So that's quite nice. Fussy eaters? Yeah.

0:20:310:20:35

So he managed it! The pear's down.

0:20:360:20:38

Excellent work. She's just going to wander off.

0:20:380:20:41

Take it off with her into the corner over there, I expect,

0:20:420:20:45

away from Sprout before he finishes his potatoes.

0:20:450:20:48

So we've seen a bit of both today,

0:20:480:20:50

we've seen them picking some things up from the ground.

0:20:500:20:53

Getting right inside the grass there.

0:20:530:20:55

And going high up for that pear as well. Yeah.

0:20:550:20:57

I think that was a really successful taste and sensory test.

0:20:570:21:01

Yeah, I think so.

0:21:010:21:02

Over on Penguin Island, the keepers are hoping for love.

0:21:110:21:16

Since last year's malaria outbreak,

0:21:160:21:18

there's been no pitter-patter of penguin feet.

0:21:180:21:20

But now, four new boys have arrived to spice things up.

0:21:220:21:26

To encourage the colony to start breeding,

0:21:260:21:28

keeper Emma is preparing the nest boxes.

0:21:280:21:31

We're trying to make it nice and comfortable

0:21:320:21:34

so they actually come over themselves,

0:21:340:21:35

and want to make it their own a little bit more.

0:21:350:21:38

The males will bring in nest material.

0:21:380:21:39

It's always the males that pick the nest boxes,

0:21:390:21:42

so they'll pick the best ones.

0:21:420:21:43

They'll pick various things, obviously this grassy stuff here.

0:21:430:21:46

They'll bring twigs in, they'll bring stones in.

0:21:460:21:49

Make it all really lovely, ready for the females to lay the eggs.

0:21:490:21:54

It will be really exciting if we do have some more eggs,

0:21:540:21:58

and we do get some more chicks.

0:21:580:22:00

Merlin, Hugo, Maverick and Clive haven't paired up with anyone yet.

0:22:000:22:05

But their arrival does seem to have had an effect

0:22:050:22:09

on commitment-shy Redley.

0:22:090:22:11

This two-timer has become a one-bird guy.

0:22:110:22:14

But I'm afraid it's an all too predictable tale.

0:22:140:22:18

He's traded in his ex, Peaches, for a younger model - Rihanna.

0:22:180:22:23

Emma has a theory.

0:22:230:22:25

Peaches and Redley have been together

0:22:250:22:28

for a good two or three years now.

0:22:280:22:30

They have also had eggs together as well.

0:22:300:22:33

And they've always seemed to have got bored.

0:22:330:22:36

And then they've left the eggs,

0:22:360:22:38

and then of course the eggs have got cold and chicks have never emerged.

0:22:380:22:41

So they're not particularly good parents.

0:22:410:22:44

So that could be one of the reasons why he has decided to maybe find

0:22:440:22:48

a different female penguin.

0:22:480:22:49

If Redley and Rihanna successfully rear chicks together,

0:22:490:22:53

that will bond their relationship

0:22:530:22:55

and they should then stay together for life.

0:22:550:22:58

A few days later, great news.

0:22:580:23:01

Redley and Rihanna have taken up residence in one of the nest boxes.

0:23:010:23:06

PENGUINS BRAY

0:23:060:23:08

And the couple that bray together, stay together.

0:23:080:23:11

This display strengthens their bond

0:23:150:23:17

as well as advertising the fact that they're a happy couple.

0:23:170:23:21

PENGUIN BRAYS

0:23:210:23:24

But Redley's ex, Peaches, is left on the shelf.

0:23:240:23:28

# I've heard that you're settled down

0:23:280:23:36

# That you found a girl

0:23:360:23:39

# And you're married now... #

0:23:390:23:43

Peaches has spent basically

0:23:430:23:45

the whole morning following Redley around.

0:23:450:23:48

She still hasn't quite come to terms with the fact

0:23:480:23:50

that he's clearly gone off with another female

0:23:500:23:52

and doesn't want her around any more.

0:23:520:23:54

She's followed him up to their nest, but if she gets too close,

0:23:540:23:57

it doesn't matter that they used to be partners, he will attack her.

0:23:570:24:00

And if Rihanna is at the front, then she really needs

0:24:000:24:02

to move pretty sharpish because Rihanna won't...

0:24:020:24:04

There'll be no holds barred when it comes to a nest.

0:24:040:24:06

They will attack each other and try and get anyone away from their nest.

0:24:060:24:09

PENGUIN BRAYS

0:24:090:24:11

Redley's sticking with Rihanna.

0:24:130:24:16

A reluctant Peaches takes the lonely path towards a new single life.

0:24:160:24:21

# I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited

0:24:230:24:26

# But I couldn't stay away I couldn't fight it... #

0:24:260:24:30

It is a little bit heartbreaking, because they do mourn.

0:24:300:24:33

They do notice the loss of another.

0:24:330:24:35

Peaches hasn't been herself for a while, she gets quite quiet.

0:24:350:24:39

Won't run around with the other penguins,

0:24:390:24:41

doesn't really want much attention from us,

0:24:410:24:43

she just wants to sit in the corner by herself.

0:24:430:24:45

# Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead. #

0:24:450:24:51

Redley and Rihanna spend the next few days in domestic bliss -

0:25:010:25:05

preparing the nest, getting every twig just so.

0:25:050:25:09

Then, keeper Georgia spots that they've produced not just one egg,

0:25:090:25:14

but two!

0:25:140:25:15

I'm really excited they're on the nest.

0:25:150:25:18

If they're incubating properly,

0:25:180:25:19

it shows signs that they're probably going to be good parents as well.

0:25:190:25:22

So, fingers crossed they're doing a good job.

0:25:220:25:24

Incubation takes around 40 days.

0:25:240:25:26

Both parents should share the nesting duties 50/50,

0:25:260:25:30

with one looking after the eggs, while the other goes to feed.

0:25:300:25:33

Redley and Rihanna seem to be doing well at taking it in turns.

0:25:360:25:40

The eggs are due to hatch any day now.

0:25:420:25:44

Over at Animal Adventure,

0:25:520:25:54

Senior keeper Kim has some new arrivals to introduce to Jean.

0:25:540:25:58

Who have we got here? These are one of my brand-new favourites.

0:25:580:26:02

These guys are called horsehead grasshoppers.

0:26:020:26:04

Horsehead grasshoppers, right.

0:26:040:26:06

I've not seen one of them before. Can we get one out...

0:26:060:26:08

Yeah, of course we can. ..to get a closer look?

0:26:080:26:10

So, these guys are from Peru, Ecuador, Brazil,

0:26:100:26:13

those sort of areas.

0:26:130:26:15

And they look a bit like stick insects.

0:26:150:26:18

But they are... They look a bit like a twig, actually.

0:26:180:26:20

They do. Very camouflaged in there. That's the idea.

0:26:200:26:23

So they'll hang around on the edges of the rainforest eating just leaves.

0:26:230:26:27

So we've got our special cameraman Geoff here.

0:26:270:26:29

Wonderful. He's in charge of our special lens,

0:26:290:26:31

and this is going to let you see the horsehead grasshopper

0:26:310:26:34

really close-up. Oh Kim! It looks like we've got one feeding.

0:26:340:26:37

Oh, yeah! Wow! Look at that!

0:26:370:26:39

They are such a comedy-looking insect, they're so funny.

0:26:390:26:42

Look at them! It's almost alien-like!

0:26:420:26:44

What a strange little face.

0:26:440:26:46

Horsehead grasshoppers, obviously because they've got a long face.

0:26:460:26:49

I see where that comes from. Yeah, very long face.

0:26:490:26:51

And what is going on down here? This is the mouth area, what, is there a lip there?

0:26:510:26:55

Not overly, they've got mandibles. So their mouths sort of open up

0:26:550:26:58

sideways as opposed to just sort of up and down like us. Hello!

0:26:580:27:01

And they'll sort of munch sideways along the leaf.

0:27:010:27:05

That is just so cool. You can see,

0:27:050:27:07

obviously, where her eyes are quite high up on her head.

0:27:070:27:10

So, parts of the mandible obviously let her know where the food is,

0:27:100:27:13

do you see it? Yeah, I can see little feelers.

0:27:130:27:15

It's just feeling along with the side of it.

0:27:150:27:17

So she's not using her eyes to see that food at all,

0:27:170:27:19

so it's those feelers that show her where the leaf is?

0:27:190:27:21

Yeah. And she takes her time as well,

0:27:210:27:23

just nibbling from one side to the other.

0:27:230:27:26

Yeah. That is amazing, look at that.

0:27:260:27:28

And then the back legs, they are absolutely enormous.

0:27:280:27:33

And that's just the immense power, that they can jump sort of

0:27:330:27:37

20 times the length of their body. So you enjoyed seeing those.

0:27:370:27:41

That is so cool, that is so cool.

0:27:410:27:43

There are lots of weird and wonderful animals here on the park,

0:27:430:27:46

but this is one of my favourites.

0:27:460:27:48

Definitely.

0:27:480:27:50

The park is home to over 25 varieties of bird,

0:27:540:27:57

many of which mix freely just as they would in the wild.

0:27:570:28:01

And over in Africa, head of animal operations Darren

0:28:040:28:07

is able to observe some of their wild counterparts

0:28:070:28:11

at the local watering hole.

0:28:110:28:13

It's a nice, quiet little oasis, and here,

0:28:130:28:16

there are some lovely birds here. We have some sacred ibis.

0:28:160:28:19

I'd be interested to see how many different species we can see

0:28:190:28:23

because it's always great to get some ideas and add to ours.

0:28:230:28:26

Egyptian geese, we won't be getting any of those.

0:28:310:28:34

One of the quieter birds the park is already home to is the spoonbill.

0:28:340:28:39

And here, just like there, a good wash is essential.

0:28:390:28:43

The spoonbill is taking a nice bath.

0:28:430:28:45

It sounds really daft, you think -

0:28:450:28:47

why on earth do they need to have a bath because they live in water?

0:28:470:28:50

But they have at least three layers of feathers.

0:28:500:28:53

And what happens is they put

0:28:530:28:55

a waterproof coating on those, and a dust...

0:28:550:28:58

And, so you do get dirty.

0:28:580:29:00

If you're a bird, you get dirty,

0:29:000:29:02

and you need to make sure you get water down there,

0:29:020:29:05

and clean up that grime and that dirt.

0:29:050:29:07

Because your feathers are what are going to save your life one day.

0:29:070:29:11

You're going to have to fly away from a predator.

0:29:110:29:13

So the spoonbill's having a really good splash.

0:29:130:29:15

Spoonbills get their name from their unusually shaped,

0:29:150:29:19

but very practical beaks.

0:29:190:29:21

It's a bit like a duck's bill for filtering.

0:29:210:29:26

Now, they eat, obviously, small crustaceans and bugs and things.

0:29:260:29:30

So, you'll see what they'll do is they'll put it down into the mud.

0:29:300:29:33

He uses his paddle end of his beak

0:29:330:29:36

to sort of sift his way through the...

0:29:360:29:39

all the juicy grubs and things.

0:29:390:29:41

Great design, you know, adaptations to the environment.

0:29:410:29:44

Nature's got it. It's got it.

0:29:440:29:47

Back at the park, the same birds enjoy a very similar environment

0:29:470:29:51

which they share with the flamingos.

0:29:510:29:53

Over in here is spoonbills. They're just coming over now, yeah,

0:29:530:29:56

I think they've just spotted the food we put out for them.

0:29:560:30:00

Now, the ibis,

0:30:000:30:01

Is there a hierarchy between them?

0:30:010:30:03

Do you notice whether, the spoonbill being slightly bigger...

0:30:030:30:07

Not so much. Or... No, I'd say the ibis because there's more of them.

0:30:070:30:10

They're a bit of a mob.

0:30:100:30:12

Right. And the spoonbill are kind of a bit more sneaky with it.

0:30:120:30:14

They'll just sneak in and they grab the bit

0:30:140:30:17

and they run off to the water's edge.

0:30:170:30:19

These birds, are they omnivorous

0:30:190:30:21

or are they quite fussy about what they eat?

0:30:210:30:23

They mainly eat fish, crustaceans, and insects.

0:30:230:30:26

Yeah. So, yeah, they're very opportunistic.

0:30:260:30:28

Whatever they kind of find in the waters, they'll have a go at it.

0:30:280:30:31

They're not going to be fussy. Yeah.

0:30:310:30:32

They're such elegant birds, aren't they?

0:30:320:30:34

They are pretty, aren't they? Especially when they get into breeding season as well,

0:30:340:30:38

they get a really nice red head and red knees.

0:30:380:30:40

So, yeah, they look really smart.

0:30:400:30:42

Can you get attached to birds in the same way that...

0:30:420:30:45

Yeah. Definitely. ..other keepers get attached to mammals?

0:30:450:30:48

Yeah, I came here to work with the gorillas,

0:30:480:30:51

but I love the birds so much.

0:30:510:30:52

The best thing about my job is helping the birds breed

0:30:520:30:55

and watching them have babies.

0:30:550:30:57

It's one of the best parts of the job, really.

0:30:570:30:59

They are the best parents, some of them. Are they?

0:30:590:31:01

Yeah, and it's so amazing just watching all the effort they put in.

0:31:010:31:04

Making the nest, and looking after the eggs.

0:31:040:31:06

And sometimes you'll see mammals and they just,

0:31:060:31:08

they just don't look that bothered.

0:31:080:31:09

But birds, they just... they really care.

0:31:090:31:12

Now the spoonbills...

0:31:120:31:13

Here they are! ..have come back round to see us.

0:31:130:31:16

Seeing what the flamingos have got instead, I think.

0:31:160:31:19

I think, because we've only got a few,

0:31:190:31:20

they like to hang out in the big group of flamingos as well.

0:31:200:31:23

Right, so safety in numbers.

0:31:230:31:25

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, hang out with their pink mates.

0:31:250:31:28

We get a lot of questions whether the spoonbill are actually baby flamingos,

0:31:280:31:31

so we have to explain that. No, they're completely different birds.

0:31:310:31:34

The best way to tell them apart is by the beaks.

0:31:340:31:36

By the beaks, yeah. It's always a joy to be here and to see them.

0:31:360:31:40

And I know breeding season is kind of about to start, isn't it?

0:31:400:31:43

Yeah, it's best time of the year. Yeah, so I hope it goes really well.

0:31:430:31:47

Thank you. Thank you very much.

0:31:470:31:49

Caring for an animal's needs in captivity can really be informed by

0:31:510:31:55

observing those in the wild.

0:31:550:31:57

Back in Kenya, the research project continues.

0:31:580:32:02

Inspired by the work at Lewa Conservancy,

0:32:020:32:05

keeper Polly has arranged to carry out a unique test of her own

0:32:050:32:09

in order to get a vital indication as to how similar her zebra are

0:32:090:32:14

to those in the wild.

0:32:140:32:15

I'm just about to do an ethogram

0:32:150:32:18

on one of the plains zebra that are out here.

0:32:180:32:21

Someone back at the park

0:32:210:32:23

is doing and ethogram on one of our plains zebras at home.

0:32:230:32:28

An ethogram is the timed observation of the behaviour of one animal.

0:32:280:32:33

The reason we want to do this

0:32:330:32:36

is so we can compare the wild zebra behaviour with our captive zebra

0:32:360:32:42

behaviour, to see if there's any differences and similarities.

0:32:420:32:47

This study is incredibly important for the keepers.

0:32:470:32:50

It will reveal where the park is going right with their care of

0:32:500:32:54

the zebras, and crucially, where they could improve.

0:32:540:32:56

Every minute, we're going to record the exact behaviour

0:32:580:33:00

that the one zebra that I'm picking to focus on,

0:33:000:33:05

what that zebra is doing at that time.

0:33:050:33:07

Every minute, for the next hour,

0:33:070:33:09

Polly will note the behaviour of a chosen zebra.

0:33:090:33:12

And it's fellow-keeper Kat's job to keep time.

0:33:120:33:16

So I need to pick a zebra that I can tell apart really from the others.

0:33:160:33:21

I think I was going to go for the female that's got that little foal.

0:33:210:33:24

Polly will be on the lookout for a range of behaviours,

0:33:240:33:27

such as fighting or biting or being startled.

0:33:270:33:30

And...she's grazing.

0:33:310:33:34

I think we're going to have a fair bit of grazing, to be honest.

0:33:340:33:39

But Polly has noticed more than just grazing.

0:33:390:33:43

There's a few times where she's looked up and she's been alert.

0:33:430:33:47

Just looking out for any predators,

0:33:470:33:49

just having a look at what's going on.

0:33:490:33:52

This is a ground-breaking study for the keepers.

0:33:520:33:56

But for it to work, back at the park,

0:33:570:33:59

keeper Tina must carry out the same observational ethogram

0:33:590:34:03

with a zebra there.

0:34:030:34:05

I'm hoping to get similar behaviours,

0:34:050:34:08

because it means us, as keepers, are doing a good job,

0:34:080:34:12

which isn't just about giving them food or providing them water.

0:34:120:34:15

It's about providing them with an environment

0:34:150:34:17

that encourages them to do natural behaviours,

0:34:170:34:20

like grazing, running around, living in a herd.

0:34:200:34:23

One of the problems of captive animal management,

0:34:230:34:26

can be with fighting males.

0:34:260:34:27

Sometimes you might have to move them on, because too many males,

0:34:270:34:30

they will fight and that's what they do.

0:34:300:34:32

They grow up, they want to become stallions.

0:34:320:34:34

They want to become breeding males.

0:34:340:34:36

Tina wants to focus on the stallion in the herd.

0:34:360:34:40

We're looking for Martin, our stallion.

0:34:400:34:42

And I believe he's just at the back over there.

0:34:420:34:45

As Tina begins her timed observation,

0:34:470:34:50

what will their joint research reveal?

0:34:500:34:52

It would be brilliant to find out from Polly

0:34:520:34:55

what exactly the zebras out there in Africa are currently doing.

0:34:550:34:59

And my hope is that we will see exactly the same behaviours

0:34:590:35:03

in our herd here.

0:35:030:35:05

But back in Kenya, halfway through her timed study,

0:35:080:35:12

Polly's got problems.

0:35:120:35:13

The one that I picked,

0:35:130:35:15

with the stripe that I thought I'd be able to pick out,

0:35:150:35:17

is really hard to see now.

0:35:170:35:19

All the zebras have started to move away.

0:35:190:35:21

You've got them all mingling together,

0:35:210:35:23

so the stripes are all blending.

0:35:230:35:26

OK, that's you.

0:35:260:35:27

Time's up.

0:35:270:35:29

Polly must hear back from the park

0:35:290:35:31

before she'll know just what the test reveals.

0:35:310:35:35

While she waits, she has the opportunity

0:35:360:35:38

to fully appreciate where she is.

0:35:380:35:41

It definitely is just a moment where we can just sit

0:35:420:35:46

and feel peaceful and just take it all in

0:35:460:35:49

and watch the animals for a little while.

0:35:490:35:51

It's really nice, as well.

0:35:510:35:52

This is lovely to actually have that bit of tranquillity

0:35:520:35:56

and that bit of downtime.

0:35:560:35:58

It's been an incredible experience. It's...

0:35:580:36:01

Yeah. It's really...

0:36:010:36:03

It's really lovely.

0:36:050:36:06

It's really nice.

0:36:060:36:08

Back at the park, in the emu enclosure,

0:36:160:36:18

Jean has arranged to help keeper Gemma with bath time.

0:36:180:36:22

Hi, Gemma!

0:36:240:36:25

Hi, Jean! Hi, are you preparing this for the emus?

0:36:250:36:27

I sure am, yeah. It's a lovely day today.

0:36:270:36:30

Yeah, perfect.

0:36:300:36:31

I've never met them before. What's their names?

0:36:310:36:33

So we have Biscuit, Bounty and Buttons.

0:36:330:36:36

Good names. Yes. And I have to say, looking at them,

0:36:360:36:38

they really remind me of the ostrich.

0:36:380:36:40

Well, the neck's not as long, obviously.

0:36:400:36:42

No, they are very closely related to the ostrich.

0:36:420:36:44

Just the ostrich is a lot taller.

0:36:440:36:46

It's bath time, right? It is bath time, yeah.

0:36:470:36:49

And I hear that they love water. They do, they do love water.

0:36:490:36:52

Naturally, they would swim. They can swim.

0:36:520:36:54

Really? They're very, very good swimmers.

0:36:540:36:56

That surprises me, I thought they were known for being fast runners.

0:36:560:36:59

That as well. They've got everything, but, sadly,

0:36:590:37:02

we don't have a swimming pool here for them.

0:37:020:37:04

So it's their pond. Yeah, this is bath time for them.

0:37:040:37:06

So let's get them over.

0:37:060:37:07

One of my favourite things about being in the park

0:37:070:37:09

is the calls you've got for all the animals.

0:37:090:37:11

So let's hear this one.

0:37:110:37:12

OK, so, if I do the first one, you can then call them in, as well.

0:37:120:37:15

OK, I'll give it a go. OK, so here comes Buttons now.

0:37:150:37:18

But it's...emu!

0:37:180:37:20

Emu! Emu! Emu! There he is!

0:37:200:37:22

That's it, there you go!

0:37:220:37:24

And on a hot day like this, there's nothing better

0:37:240:37:26

than having a dip in a nice bath, is there? Exactly!

0:37:260:37:29

And it's just the same for these guys.

0:37:290:37:30

When they're that hot, they need to cool down.

0:37:300:37:33

And this is the best way for them.

0:37:330:37:34

There you go, Buttons.

0:37:340:37:35

And what about these beautiful feathers, is it OK to get them wet?

0:37:380:37:41

It's absolutely fine to get them wet, yeah.

0:37:410:37:44

I mean, they're designed for all weathers.

0:37:440:37:46

So they dry off very, very quickly.

0:37:460:37:48

So the wetter, the better.

0:37:480:37:50

Under all those feathers, they've got some very, very hot skin.

0:37:500:37:54

And they originate from Australia,

0:37:540:37:56

so they'd be used to pretty high temperatures, wouldn't they?

0:37:560:37:58

Oh, yes. Yeah, definitely.

0:37:580:38:00

But they do tend to stay quite near water

0:38:000:38:02

in case of predators and things like that.

0:38:020:38:04

So if they do need to get away, then they can swim.

0:38:040:38:06

Oh, she's having a little swim there! A little roll around, yeah.

0:38:060:38:09

A little splash in the pool, she's really enjoying that. She loves it.

0:38:090:38:12

Can I have a go? Of course you can, yeah.

0:38:120:38:15

They're loving this. And I'm really enjoying it, too!

0:38:320:38:35

Almost as much fun as bath time at home.

0:38:350:38:38

In Africa, Polly has been conducting a study of wild zebra.

0:38:450:38:50

While back at the park,

0:38:500:38:51

Tina has been doing the same thing with their captive zebra,

0:38:510:38:55

hoping to see if their behaviours match.

0:38:550:38:58

I'm really interested to hear what Tina's found from her study.

0:39:010:39:05

It'd be nice to know that our zebra are comfortable displaying

0:39:050:39:09

the same behaviour as their wild counterparts do.

0:39:090:39:13

Tina's finally ready to phone through with her results.

0:39:140:39:16

Hello? Hi, Tina!

0:39:180:39:19

Which zebra did you decide to do for your ethogram?

0:39:190:39:23

I went for Marti, our stallion. OK.

0:39:230:39:26

Admittedly, I did lose track of the female towards the end.

0:39:260:39:30

I got a little confused when they all got a bit mixed up.

0:39:300:39:33

What were your kind of results? I had a lot of grazing.

0:39:330:39:36

Yeah, there's quite a lot of grazing.

0:39:360:39:38

So he's just doing his usual pottering about,

0:39:380:39:41

grazing, and just relaxing in the sunshine.

0:39:410:39:44

I only had a couple of times where the female I was looking at

0:39:440:39:47

was looking up and being alert.

0:39:470:39:49

But generally, they're all really relaxed.

0:39:490:39:51

Yeah, it was quite relaxed here.

0:39:510:39:53

So, the tests confirm the park is getting things right.

0:39:530:39:57

It's nice that they seem to be doing the same

0:39:570:39:59

as what I saw in our wild zebras out here.

0:39:590:40:02

I was surprised that the ones out here were so relaxed,

0:40:020:40:05

because I'd assumed that there'd be a lot more head up, looking round,

0:40:050:40:09

making sure everything was safe.

0:40:090:40:11

But they just seemed really, really chilled out, which was nice to see.

0:40:110:40:15

I always think, you know, our guys,

0:40:150:40:18

you know, we always just think they are just quite relaxed

0:40:180:40:20

because they know they're safe,

0:40:200:40:22

they know we're here to look after them.

0:40:220:40:24

But the fact that, out there in Africa,

0:40:240:40:27

they're doing exactly the same, really, which is brilliant.

0:40:270:40:30

Generally, good result, really.

0:40:300:40:32

All right, Polly, I'll let you get on.

0:40:320:40:34

Thanks, Tina. Bye!

0:40:340:40:36

That was good that we kind of got

0:40:360:40:39

the same behaviours as their wild cousins.

0:40:390:40:42

That's fantastic to kind of know that.

0:40:420:40:45

It did make me miss our zebras.

0:40:450:40:47

And every zebra I'm seeing, I'm comparing them to our zebras.

0:40:490:40:52

I'm seeing marks in their stripes, so I think,

0:40:520:40:54

"Oh, that looks like Kabebe!"

0:40:540:40:55

Or, "Oh, that one looks like Marti!"

0:40:550:40:57

So I do love it here,

0:40:570:41:00

but it will be nice to see our zebras when I get home.

0:41:000:41:02

It's nearly the end of the show, but before we left,

0:41:110:41:13

Kate and I could not resist

0:41:130:41:15

coming back to Scandal Island with keeper George.

0:41:150:41:18

Rihanna and Redley, are they still together?

0:41:180:41:21

They are together now. So Peaches has lost out, I'm afraid.

0:41:210:41:24

Oh, no!

0:41:240:41:25

So, I mean, is Redley proving a reasonably monogamous partner,

0:41:250:41:31

or is he still behaving badly on the side?

0:41:310:41:35

If he's not on the nest,

0:41:350:41:36

he does go and see Peaches for a little chat and a catch up.

0:41:360:41:39

Shocking! Yeah. Really?

0:41:390:41:41

But Peaches has been having some luck, as well.

0:41:410:41:44

Well, I was going to ask, because Peaches, she does deserve love.

0:41:440:41:47

Doesn't she? Yeah. And so, has she found somebody?

0:41:470:41:49

Merlin, one of our new penguins,

0:41:490:41:51

he's going up and making himself known to Peaches. Oh, yeah?

0:41:510:41:54

So, fingers and toes crossed.

0:41:540:41:56

And how's she responding to Merlin's sort of, you know, courtship?

0:41:560:42:00

It does depend on what mood she's in on the day, yeah.

0:42:000:42:03

Georgia, I love this idea that you and all the staff here,

0:42:030:42:05

all the keepers sitting there in the staff room with your cups of tea,

0:42:050:42:09

just talking about the penguin gossip.

0:42:090:42:11

It is. It's like a soap, watching the soap every day.

0:42:110:42:13

It's something new. Lucky you. Yeah.

0:42:130:42:16

Well, let's hope there's the pitter-patter of tiny flippers...

0:42:160:42:20

Yes! ..sometime soon. Very exciting, hopefully.

0:42:200:42:22

George, thank you very much.

0:42:220:42:23

And well dealt with, this very complicated love triangle.

0:42:230:42:28

Sadly, that's all we've got time for on today's show.

0:42:280:42:31

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

0:42:310:42:34

Amy's on the trail of lions in the wild.

0:42:360:42:39

Seeing wild lion footprints, that's amazing.

0:42:390:42:42

While bug boy James is all about things that go buzz in the night.

0:42:420:42:47

The huge variety of different species is just insane.

0:42:470:42:51

And an escapee, a few days old, but already running away from home.

0:42:510:42:56

One very naughty little Oryx.

0:42:560:42:59

She's out!

0:42:590:43:00

Being on stage or screen doesn't faze these celebrities.

0:43:310:43:35

SHE SINGS

0:43:350:43:37

But how will they manage on MasterChef?

0:43:370:43:40

You need a bigger toaster. Do you think?

0:43:400:43:41

LAUGHTER

0:43:410:43:44

As temperatures at the safari park soar, so too do pulses on Penguin Island, because a love triangle has emerged between Peaches, Rihanna and 'two-timer' Redley. Keepers are desperate for chicks so want a happy couple to emerge from the heartache, but sadly one poor penguin will be left on the shelf.

Kate Humble and Ben Fogle come face to face with the park's three male gorillas for the first time, and Jean Johansson attempts to stay dry as she oversees bathtime for three emus.

6,000 miles away at the Lewa Conservancy in northern Kenya, a group of keepers conduct vital research into animals in their care. Polly chances upon a herd of wild zebra and discovers they are among the most threatened species in Africa.