On their final day in Africa, keepers are hot on the trail of wild lions, but will they find them before it is time to fly home?
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Earlier in the series we met Tilly and Reuben, behind us,
the first two reindeer to be born here in the park.
But those early days were far from straightforward.
Keepers had to intervene, because Reuben was very weak.
He was unable to feed from his mum and he was fading fast.
It was only their dedication that saved his life.
Of course, birth is only the first hurdle for any new animal,
and on today's programme, we're going to meet another new arrival
that's not only extremely endangered but also extremely naughty.
Also on today's animal-packed episode,
we're straddling two continents.
Following keepers in Africa on an incredible research trip...
-Oh, my goodness!
..Amy is on the trail of lions in the wild...
Seeing wild lion footprints, that's amazing.
..while bug-mad James is looking for things that go buzz in the night.
The huge variety of different species is just insane.
And, here in the park, popping penguins.
Jean shares a bottle of bubbly with the new arrival, Darwin.
He's loving this.
Where are they?
It's really hard to spot the lions in this enclosure sometimes.
Oh, there they are. All gathered together.
Sometimes, it's impossible to find them.
Amy's probably the best at spotting the lions in this enclosure,
but how well will she do at spotting lions in the Kenyan wilderness?
Amy's one of a group of keepers selected to travel to Kenya to learn
about how the animals they look after behave in the wild.
Never been to Africa before, erm, and this experience
is going to be absolutely amazing.
She's hoping that observing lions in the wild will give her invaluable
information she can bring back to the park.
Managing a pride of lions here, it can be quite difficult,
with the different things that go on, their social behaviours and
things like that, so going to Africa will really help me to learn things.
The lions at the park are organised into prides, as they might be found
in the wild, but recently, some of the young male lions have been
fighting and it's starting to get out of hand.
SNARLING AND GROWLING
It's allowing them to try and mimic what they do in the wild.
It's really important to try and do that and we try to do that.
We try to let them fight, sort it out themselves,
but we're also there that we can step in if we think it's going a bit
too far, because the last thing we want is, obviously, our animals to
be in that situation where they do actually fight to the death,
they do actually kill each other.
Amy hopes that by observing their cousins in the wild,
she might find a solution.
Yeah, this is crunch time.
We need to try and do something to help us manage
the current lions that we do have.
The Conservancy of Lewa in Northern Kenya is 250 square kilometres
of wild, rough terrain.
Home to 25 lions and over 40 lionesses, today is the day Amy is
hoping to spot some of them and track their behaviour.
Really exciting. I can't wait.
Love to see lions, obviously.
Amy, Polly, James and Cat are visiting a project supported by
British charity, the Tusk Trust.
This African conservancy supports a high density of wildlife,
including around 1,500 African buffalo.
One of the legendary big five, they're also extremely dangerous.
Just to my right is a big male buffalo.
He is big. He's really big.
Weighing around 600 kilos and over two metres in length,
armed with a stocky body and a formidable set of horns,
the African buffalo is well equipped to defend itself
against its chief predators - lions and crocodiles.
You can really see how they can pose a threat to a lion
or something like that. They're not something to be trifled with at all.
Unlike their Asian counterparts, the water buffalo,
the African buffalo have never been domesticated, because of their
dangerous, unpredictable nature.
Really weird that it's so open like this.
If I were to jump out,
what would you do?
-I don't think you want to try it.
-No, I'm not going to try it!
The wildlife of Lewa share one common need - water.
Water holes are gathering places for a huge variety of animals.
Today, a family of elephants have dropped by.
All these elephants here, just within a few metres of us...
Amazing. Just seeing them
go straight into the water and they sort of put water over themselves,
cool themselves down, I guess.
Obviously, I've come to see lions and things like that,
but seeing elephants in the wild and such a number of elephants
in the wild is absolutely incredible.
Quite magical actually, I'm a bit lost for words, to be honest.
-Oh, my goodness!
-What's behind us?
Elephants are highly sociable animals, and organise themselves
in family groups.
They frequently meet up with other herds and exchange greetings.
It's quite cool, because you have the two groups come together
and you've had the young ones go up and meet each other.
The older ones sort of greet each other as well,
so they've sort of stuck with their age ranges.
It's really cool to sort of see them interacting.
For the keepers, observing this natural, instinctive behaviour
And really nice to see them doing natural behaviours,
obviously popping that mud over them and making a bit of a mud pack,
and that means that they don't get all the biting insects.
One of the best things is seeing them exhibit natural behaviour.
We've got young ones in the herd and the little one has literally just
been suckling mum, and that is just incredible.
You're sitting in the middle of Africa and you're getting to see
an eight-month-old elephant suckle its mum.
The future of elephants remains under threat.
Africa is currently experiencing a significant increase in poaching,
the worst in 25 years.
Over 100,000 elephants have been killed in the last ten years.
It's only through the conservation work of places like Lewa that
the 30,000 or so elephants in Kenya are currently experiencing
a small population growth.
You can read and you can research and you can see documentaries,
but actually to experience them being literally a few foot away
from you is just something really, really special, and a memory
that you're just never going to forget.
When you see, like, those natural behaviours,
you kind of get overwhelmed.
Yeah, it's really special.
The keepers have witnessed an extraordinary event.
But now they must press on with Amy's quest to find the lions of
Lewa, and gather more information to bring back to Longleat.
Now that it's summer, the park is packed with visitors.
But the vital work of protecting
and conserving endangered species never finishes.
There is one creature here that has been
an unbelievable success story, and for their keepers,
it's going to be a very long summer.
These are scimitar-horned oryx, also known as the desert antelope.
Perfectly adapted to desert life,
their enlarged hooves make it easy to walk on sandy terrain.
Their white coat reflects the heat, and their great big eyelashes
and strong eyelids protect against the sand.
Hundreds of thousands of these graceful creatures used to roam
the deserts of North Africa.
But over the course of the 20th century,
their numbers dwindled drastically.
For this reason, they're a key species for
head of animal operations, Darren Beasley.
This particular species of oryx in the wild were classified
as extinct in the wild up until a few years ago, and that meant
that they had been poached out or the loss of habitat,
there were none left.
But thankfully, thanks to some zoos and wildlife collections like ours,
there is a reserve population that have been kept and we hold this
very rare species, and we breed them.
For any species under threat, every new calf is vital,
and two weeks ago, the number here rose from eight to nine.
Since the birth, Nicky has been caring for the little one
within the safety of the oryx house.
We've just had a new arrival, her name is Roo, her mum is Rera.
It is her first day out today, so we're hoping it will go really well.
Hey, this is Rera at the front, and there's baby.
She's really brave, we've got our other young females,
and as you can see, she is sticking with mum really well.
From day one, Roo was up. She was running about in the house,
so today we knew she'd be ready to go on the yard.
She's still up, exploring.
It's an extraordinary year for Nicky and the team, because before long,
Roo will have two more playmates.
So we've got another two due.
You can see two out there with really big bellies.
They're just by the hay rack. That's Mesta facing us,
and then Lucinda's eating the hay at other side.
It's really nice for us and it's exciting for the team and that your
hard work, like, looking after them, really pays off.
When the keepers get babies from something that's particularly rare,
how awesome is that?
But to get three calves in the same year,
that's something to be really proud of.
For such a precarious species, getting them used to the big
wide world is a deliberately slow process.
Having kept Roo in the oryx house for the first couple of weeks,
Nicky is taking it one step at a time.
What we'll do now, we want her to find her feet on the yard and, like,
have an explore, and also know where the house is, and then once she's
kind of mastered that and we see that she's happy and mum's happy,
we will then open the gate and let them out into the big reserve.
But suddenly, Roo escapes into the reserve.
She's a very developed little madam!
Nicky must keep tabs on runaway Roo.
Oh, here they are. Roo is up and exploring.
She's kind of leading the group.
I think we've got a really naughty oryx on our hands.
So her mum's keeping really close as well.
Making sure she's OK.
It's really nice to see her out, and she's running about already.
Yeah, she's happy.
You can see now, she's really running around,
like, charging about.
That's great to see, because obviously it's learning
all those behaviours, and it's good for predator practice.
Rera's doing a little grunt every now and then to call her back,
so she's running quite far, and then still going back to mum.
They're all playing with her, so everybody's happy.
We'll try to keep up with runaway Roo, and return when the precious
new babies are born at the park.
All this week, we're following the progress of a crack team of keepers
who are going wild in Africa on a fact-finding mission.
But tracking down the species they're investigating is proving
quite a challenge. So far, they've been successful with rhinos,
zebras, giraffes and elephants.
But one member of the team has his eyes permanently peeled for species
that are 1,000 times smaller - bug expert, James.
So I've just come out quite early in the morning now, just on the lookout
for anything that I can find, any creepy crawlies.
Early morning is quite a good time to see them.
It's still quite cool in the day.
And the early bird gets the worm, or in this case, the millipede.
So this here is a Tanzanian pink-legged millipede.
These guys are detritivores,
so that basically means they eat anything that's rotting or dead
or anything like that, so rotting wood, leaves, bones even.
They're not too fussy at all.
And responsible for those bones out in the African wilderness are lions,
but so far, there's been no sign of them.
Then Amy spots some exciting evidence.
So, we've just been driving along, and I got our driver to stop.
Just found some lion footprints in the soil here.
They don't seem to be fresh.
I'd probably say they're a lioness.
Fairly small, they're not as big as a male's footprint.
These are a bit bigger. These could be a male here.
You can see, if I just put my hand next to there, how big that is.
Another set, and another set, so four sets in total.
Amy has only ever seen the footprint of the lions she cares for
back in the UK. This is a very different experience.
You're used to seeing footprints quite a lot going through the mud.
But seeing wild lion footprints - that's amazing!
This, quite easily, is a whole pride just walking through.
That's incredible, just to know they've been here just a few hours
before us, and they could be somewhere just
down in the valley there.
So we won't go too far away from the truck.
As night falls, the day's exploration comes to an end.
Time is running out for Amy to get a sighting of lions in the wild.
But for James, his safari is about to begin.
Night-time is a brilliant time to find a lot of invertebrates,
so a lot of moths and things like that.
They use things like the moon to actually be able to
find their way around and navigate properly.
So a real useful technique of catching a lot of those
flying insects is to mimic the light of the moon.
Once they're there, they're pretty docile.
They will just sit there
so you can actually have a real good look at them.
James is hoping a whole range of creatures will be attracted
to his home-made moon.
Moths are phototactic, which means they're attracted to light.
When you come out to countries like this, these are the first things
you're going to see, and they are everywhere,
and the huge variety of different species is just insane.
We've got a couple of big beetles, so these are brown chafers.
A brilliant name!
Perfect West Country names.
And we've got an antlion, a delta here.
We've got a stink bug just down there, brilliant little things.
Once you catch them or anything catches them,
they let off quite a pungent smell.
This is just the African equivalent of the ones that you get at home.
When I was a kid, being alone in the back garden and just finding
all these little tiny monsters was really incredible.
I'm enjoying my time in Africa.
It's just immense.
The... The array of things that I've seen already is just incredible.
Earlier, we saw a herd of thirsty African elephants gathered at
the water hole, but exactly how much can an elephant drink?
Well, back in the park, Jean is attempting to find out.
Right, what do we have here?
So what we've got is we've marked on the side in litres.
-OK, we've got that down here.
-So a whole bucket of water in litres.
-So if we slide it towards her, hopefully she'll take a drink,
and we can actually see exactly how much she takes in a trunk full.
Now, people might think that she takes it in her trunk
and then swallows the water, but that's not the case, is it?
Exactly, it's not a straw. So they don't drink through their trunks.
They hold it in their trunk and then they blow it into their mouths.
So we're seeing there that that is...
That's around three litres she's taken in in one trunk full.
That's how much she takes in sort of one gulp?
It is average, so for Anne, being a...
She's a fairly small Asian elephant, so she would only hold
between three to five litres in her nose at any one time.
Whereas an adult male would hold possibly up to ten litres,
almost double, so they can hold a lot of water in their trunk.
And tell me about the type of water that elephants drink in the wild.
It's said that elephants can smell water from five to six miles away.
-So they've got an incredible sense of smell.
And they even dig for water as well, so when they find the water hole,
and it's drying out, they'll actually keep wading around in that
area to keep the water coming up from underneath.
So she'll use those massive feet to kind of dig for that water?
-That's right, yeah.
She seems to have finished drinking, Kev, so let's see
-just how much she's took in.
What's that? Ten...
It's about 13 litres she's taken there in three or four trunk fulls.
In that short time we've been here, she's drunk 13 litres?
-Absolutely. Yeah, yeah.
And not only is she drinking this,
she's quite enjoying playing in it as well.
That's right, yeah. Elephants like to play in water,
so they bathe in it, they can swim very well.
In the hot... In the summer,
she will actually blow water over herself to keep her cool.
She likes to blow bubbles in it as well.
So all elephants love water,
but Anne is a bit of a water baby as well sometimes.
I think we'd better get this out of the way before it ends up
-all over us.
And one last thing - I always bring a treat when I come to visit Anne.
-Go for it.
-There you go, Anne.
Good girl. Good girl.
One creature with a huge thirst for life is runaway Roo,
the cheeky oryx who slipped under the gate and had a wonderful time
playing in the reserve.
Two weeks later, and Roo's appetite for adventure hasn't changed,
but she does now go through the gate rather than under it.
She loves going out, she loves having a run about,
so she wastes no time!
And now there are two other brand-new arrivals.
Meet Roman and Rene.
Roo, our three-week-old, she was actually in the house when these
guys were both born, and they've started to play together,
and I think that outside is going to hopefully mean that she'll help to
lead them because she'll know the best places to play,
and hopefully that will help to get them to come out and really
come out of their shells as well.
That's what we're looking for.
You don't want to go? Come on!
Today is their first time outside.
-Come on, then!
-But they're not quite as daring as Roo.
-Come on, then!
-They need a little bit more persuasion.
They can't quite work out where the gateway is, so you've just got to
let mum sort of come back and then try and work out
how to get them out. There we go.
There we go, we've worked it out. One's worked it out. There you go.
Come on, sweetheart.
There we go. Well done, little oryx.
Oryx, like many hoof stock animals, form gangs of youngsters.
It helps physical development,
sharpens senses, and encourages them to be independent from their mother,
which is exactly what Roo is teaching them.
We've just found them. You can already see we've got someone
running about, getting very excited over there.
I have a feeling that that's Roo.
You can see she's already getting the others to play with her as well.
That's a really good behaviour we're seeing from the others.
This is exactly what we wanted. We really wanted them to start
to engage with Roo and really start to play just like her.
And it's nice to see that they are starting to do that and
they actually are a lot further from mum than you might expect,
but I think that is probably Roo's, like, sort of big sister influence,
really helping them to come out of their shell a little bit earlier.
God, they are going for it!
Oh, they're so cute.
For a breed that was forced into near extinction,
these new young lives are rays of hope for the future of the species.
Do you know what? If you breed something that is really rare or
endangered, as a keeper, you've done something. There's nothing better.
That's the icing on the animal cake, it really is.
Now back to Kenya,
where James is up bright and early and out on another bug hunt.
So we were driving along in the truck,
and we came across this old quarry.
It's quite stunning, actually. It's really, really nice.
But this is perfect sort of habitat for a lot of invertebrates.
James will have to tread carefully, because there could be
deadly creatures lurking underfoot.
Let's see what we can have a look for.
Oh, wow. There we go.
So, we've found a scorpion.
So, a general rule of thumb with scorpions is the bigger the stinger
and the smaller the pincers, the more potent the venom.
So, as you can see on this little chap,
that is a beast of a stinger and a tail there.
And in comparison,
those claws are very, very small, so that tells me that that is how
it kills its prey and the claws are really just there as utensils.
Usually, the smaller ones are a little bit worse
than the larger ones.
Scorpions are predatory.
One of this size will eat small insects.
They grab their prey with their claws and then stab them repeatedly
with their sting until the insect is dead.
After finding his first-ever wild scorpion,
James is on the hunt for more.
It's not long before he finds another species.
Unlike the other scorpions that we found today,
you can see they have really large claws on them, in comparison
to their piddly little tail.
An adult of these...
Their sting is the equivalent of a bee sting.
So you can see, instead of just trying to sting,
they'd use those big, powerful claws, so they don't
really use their sting that much for actual hunting.
An incredible find. Chuffed to bits.
For the other keepers, this trip is all about Africa's
most iconic species, but for James, it's all about the little things.
These are the animals that make the whole thing work, really.
If you didn't have millipedes or cockroaches or beetles or anything
like that, then the ground isn't going to be fertile,
plants aren't going to grow, these plains would just cease
to exist, and they often say that if all the mammals
disappeared on the planet, life would go on.
It would be fine. If the bugs were to go, that would be it.
We would all cease to exist.
Now, back to the park, and Penguin Island.
It's been a month since four new penguins were introduced
to the penguin colony.
The youngest new arrival is one-year-old chick Darwin,
and he's proving to be quite a character.
So, Darwin's personality is very, very inquisitive.
He can be a little bit cheeky. My work trousers have had a few
pulls and a few tugs in the last couple of weeks,
as he's become more comfortable with people.
Did attempt to climb on my lap the other day when I was sat down
with them as well. But he's also very curious,
which is lovely for us. He's one of the only new ones
which will quite happily go on the path with members of the public and
isn't at all nervous, and will quite happily walk amongst them.
Young penguins love to play,
and Lucy has discovered what this new boy likes.
Jean's come to see what's keeping Darwin amused.
To keep him occupied, you're coming up with lots of new things.
-And I hear that he likes bubbles.
He does, yeah. They will often chase fish by the reflections
off the scales, so anything shiny,
anything reflective or that moves quickly,
they love, and they will try and chase it and investigate it.
Well, I have to see this. We've got some bubbles at hand here,
-so let me get these out.
-OK. So we'll see how we get on.
-Let's see how this goes.
-He does just like to grab anything.
There you go, look at that!
So you can see, he is absolutely fascinated.
Is he an inquisitive little guy?
-Very much so, yeah.
-There you go, Darwin.
Look at him go, look at his little head go back and forth.
-There you are.
-He will literally do this all afternoon as well.
If you were willing to stand there, he would carry on.
And he's the only one that's going for it.
Now, he's very young and mischievous and playful.
Will that change as he matures?
It will do to a certain extent, yeah.
Any playfulness they have will start to diminish a little bit,
especially once they find a mate. Then they're mainly only interested
in their mate and not as fussed about where their keepers are.
So you've found out that Darwin loves bubbles,
but do you have to come up with different enrichment for all
-the other penguins?
-Yeah, we will try a few different things.
A lot of our originals, actually,
we bought them a football and we kick it around with them.
-Oh, that's interesting.
-And they loved it.
-Penguins playing football,
-that's a new one, yeah.
-And we've even bought them one of those safety
laser pens that you can buy for cats at home.
They love chasing the little laser beam.
How did you find out that penguins like bubbles?
It actually started a few years ago when, on Christmas Day, we bought
them their own bubble machine and we bought them their own disco ball.
-Obviously, we're closed on Christmas Day...
-Sounds like a party.
..so we had them all inside, turned off the lights, set up
the disco ball, set up the bubble machine, and let them have fun.
I have to say, he's loving this, and it's absolutely lovely to see
some new faces here at Penguin Island.
And I think he's settling in quite nicely.
Back in Africa, the keepers have been lucky to observe many animals
in the wild, but not the elusive lions.
There's been tantalising evidence of their presence, but so far,
there have been no sightings.
This quite easily is a whole pride just walking through,
and they could be somewhere just down in the valley there.
Amy came to Africa to seek a possible solution to
a difficult problem with the young male lions back home.
Longleat keeps their lions in a traditional pride structure -
one male and a larger group of females plus several juvenile males.
The juveniles were regularly fighting within the prides,
and Amy was concerned they could seriously injure each other.
At Lewa, Amy has arranged to meet with lion behavioural expert, Mary,
to discuss the issue.
Sometimes we... We obviously do let them fight as much as they need to,
because they need to do that, that's what they'd do in the wild.
But sometimes it does go a bit too far and we just need to sort of
separate them off, because we don't want...
Because of the space, they can't get away too far, so it's something
that we have to manage completely different to the wild,
where they can just wander off and they can just have a bit of time
-on their own.
-What is the sex ratio like?
-How many males, how many females?
-So the males and females,
we've got five in one pride, and then in the other group,
-we've got four males.
-That's quite a number.
What... Is there a way you can keep the males alone?
Mary has suggested they imitate a behavioural pattern she's seen
in the wild.
Young lions will frequently group together and live away from
the main pride for periods of time.
What happens is that the males are quite comfortable.
The idea of putting the males together is good.
Mary thinks that if Amy creates a pride of males only with no
lionesses to fight over, it should reduce their competitive behaviour.
They could then be reintroduced to the established prides individually
for breeding purposes.
For Amy, this has been an invaluable insight.
Coming here and getting this information is a great help and
really beneficial to us. I can take that back and we can rethink some of
-the things we were doing.
-That is what is going to work.
-Thank you very much.
It's the final day of the research project,
and Amy's last chance to see lions.
Just when time is running out and all hope is fading,
the team receives a tip-off that there are lions in the vicinity.
Amy's expert eye sees something in the long grass.
Being this close to a wild lion is absolutely, sort of...
It's what I've come here to come and see, and I've seen it,
and it's amazing.
All the lions in Lewa have names. This lioness is Suzi,
and she's part of a pride that could be nearby.
Amy is keen to compare Suzi to the lions she's responsible for
back at home.
She's actually incredibly similar to our lionesses back at Longleat,
and it just feels good that we're actually doing something right.
We are looking after them and they are looking very similar to
a wild lioness out in Lewa.
But, unlike a lioness back at home,
Suzi has recently caught and killed a zebra.
The plains zebra are the ones they seem to be picking.
There's a high population here at Lewa. We feed our animals.
We have to go around and actually feed the animals, because you can
never have anything like this obviously happen in Longleat
or in the UK at all. But it's just lovely to see.
She's so relaxed. She's laid down, just stretching out,
sighing a couple of times, just sort of just having a rest.
Which is lovely to see and be this close,
just to see that natural sort of behaviour.
Lionesses are the main hunters in the pride.
They require an average of five kilos of meat a day,
and sleep from between 15-18 hours to conserve energy.
As the truck approaches, Amy spots something.
We thought originally it could be just a bit of zebra in her tummy,
but it does look very suspect that she is pregnant,
which is amazing, and quite far gone, actually.
Because of the remarkable conservation effort and management
of this enormous wilderness at Lewa,
the numbers of lions are slowly rising.
The fact that they've now got over 40 lionesses is probably due to Suzi
and her character and just her ability to be out here in the wild
and be able to hunt and get the food that she needs
and then support her family as well. That's absolutely amazing.
Just to be five metres away from a lioness, a wild lioness,
that is a complete privilege, and I'm so lucky to have
this opportunity to do this. Incredible.
The African enclosure back at the park is only home to its herds
of zebra and giraffe.
So, it's giraffe treat time.
Come on, girls!
Here they come.
I just love these animals.
-Come on, girls!
-I'm lucky enough even to have one named after me.
The giraffe here are so precious.
When one member of the herd dies,
it's a loss that's felt throughout the park.
Earlier in the series, we followed the sad story of Kaiser,
the seriously unwell young giraffe bull who the vets finally decided
to put to sleep.
It was really tough for all the keepers,
particularly team manager, Ryan.
He had a fantastic life here.
So, hopefully, Kaiser's last sort of waking memories of the place
are people that he really loved around him.
But I've heard today that he has some rather joyful news to report.
I think you will be especially pleased to hear that Kate...
Is it my Kate?
Yes, Kate is expecting another calf any day.
Her due date is in a few days' time.
-However, I think with the last calf,
she pitched up about a week early or so.
-I really think we're in that right time frame for her now.
You know, just helps reaffirm that whole corny circle of life thing.
When you work in a big collection like this,
you do get to understand that you take the knocks of the ones that you
lose and then, on the back of that, have a few births.
I think it just puts it all in perspective for you.
-Well, here's to Kate.
The keepers know how keen we are to share these wonderful events,
so when Kate started showing signs of giving birth a few days later,
Ryan was ready with his camera to record what happened next.
The calf entered the world.
But had it survived the 6-foot drop?
The moments ticked by...
..then Ryan saw the movement he was hoping for.
Kate started to bond with her newborn.
Giraffe calves stand up before they are even an hour old.
They have to do in order to feed from mum.
But this little one was finding getting up and staying up
a bit of a challenge.
Success at last,
and a well earned first feed from new mum, Kate.
The newborn is a boy named Reggie.
He's a very welcome addition to the herd.
It's the last day in camp at the Lewa Conservancy.
All week, the keepers have been sharing space with the camp's
permanent inhabitants, the vervet monkeys.
There are vervet monkeys absolutely everywhere.
It's incredible. They are so cheeky.
And they are so quick.
It's incredible. It's kind of like one minute you're sitting there and
the next minute, literally, if you leave anything around,
these guys have got it.
Cat has been inspired to carry out an ethogram test,
picking one monkey, and observing its behaviour for one hour.
Nice to take this opportunity to do
a bit of ethogram work within the wild.
We do them back in Longleat and we record different behaviours,
so getting the opportunity to do it out here is just incredible
and really, really nice.
There's a lot of resting and a lot of eating going on.
Obviously, they are from
a different country, but with any kind of primate, it's nice to just
see natural behaviours and kind of see the way the social structure
works as well, and it's really nice to take the opportunity back at
the park to go up and see the macaques, see how naughty
they are compared to how naughty the vervet monkeys are.
But, for Cat and the team,
this extraordinary fact-finding mission has come to an end.
As animal experts, the knowledge they've gained and the message
they will return to the UK with will stay with them forever.
It's every keeper's dream to come out to the wild where you can see
your animals in their natural habitats. It's just really amazing!
My most special moment was most definitely
coming across a wild lion.
It's completely mind-blowing.
I have been inspired.
It's been a complete and utter plethora of delight.
We've got more white rhino and black rhino here than I've ever seen
in my life. It's just stunning.
From a learning curve for me - massive amount.
It's going to take me weeks to digest all this.
We've met so many wonderful people that are so passionate about
-what they do.
-Just speaking to Mary and gaining all her knowledge,
that was absolutely amazing.
I am really excited to implement some of the ideas that I've now got.
What really made it for me - on the ground stuff.
It was amazing. I was like an actual kid in a candy shop.
Chuffed to bits.
I don't think I'm ever going to forget anything that
I've experienced this week.
It's just like a totally different world out here. It's just amazing.
On many of the rangers, it will have a lasting effect.
I think just their pure passion,
and their drive to go out there and just spread the word.
That's something that we do back at the park anyway, but when you
experience it for yourself, you can drive that even more
because you've been there, you've done that, you've seen and
experienced an elephant literally a few metres from you,
and to lose these animals would just be devastating.
It is the wild and to just see animals just living their lives,
that is what we work for.
That is why we are animal keepers.
We are trying to conserve that.
It's been absolutely stunning. I don't want to go home.
Back in the UK, Cat has got straight to work
carrying out a study of the monkeys in the park
to see how they compare with their African counterparts.
Ben and I have come to welcome her and Darren home.
Cat, Darren, welcome back. How was the holiday?
-You are so cheeky!
-Working, working, working very hard.
You WERE working very hard.
The study that you were doing of the vervet monkeys out there -
was it fascinating for you to see monkeys
very much in their wild habitat?
It was just incredible.
Tell me, how difficult is it to do one of these here and keep an eye on
the same monkey for an hour at a time?
I have to say, really incredibly difficult, especially with the grass
is really long and they all look the same, as well.
So you're trying to kind of pick out little bits and, I must admit,
it sounds awful, but I'm actually looking at their rear ends,
because that actually tells me which one is which.
Comparing their behaviour to the behaviour of the wild monkeys that
you saw out in Kenya, are there a lot of similarities?
There's so many similarities, and it was really, really nice.
I've got both results here and it shows that the cheekiness of them
is just unbelievable. We think that these guys behind us are just
really, really naughty. When you see them out there in the wild and they
are acting so mischievous, literally, you couldn't even
put anything down and they were away with it, so to see these little ones
on vehicles, literally manipulating and ripping
things off the car is exactly what they did out in Africa as well.
So, Darren, is that really useful for you?
Honestly, Kate, it's priceless. That opportunity of seeing what
something does in a natural environment, it's what we're about.
Yes, we've got cars going through here,
but these are pretty feral creatures.
They are wild, for all intents and purposes.
They are still using those behaviours, and we saw that.
We saw a lot of that in Africa with all the different species.
It's a really valuable thing. and I'm so glad we did it.
And it WAS really hard work.
-I'm glad you enjoyed your holiday.
-We don't believe you at all!
Sadly, that's all we've got time for for today,
but here's what's coming up on the next Animal Park.
The keepers need to solve the case of the wandering wallabies.
How are they escaping their enclosure?
Big Brother is watching.
They are obviously smarter than I am because I haven't found the way
they are doing it. They are doing it somehow!
I meet the park's deadliest new addition.
They are very, very toxic.
They've actually been known to make a human heart stop.
And crouching tiger, hidden breakfast.
The keepers set the lure, but will the tigers take the bait?
As the baby boom continues, keepers in charge of one of the planet's rarest animals get a fright as she makes an unscheduled trip into the reserve. Keepers capture the arrival of a baby giraffe called Reggie on camera, and Jean Johansson joins Anne the elephant to see just how much water her trunk can hold. And on their final day in Africa, keepers are hot on the trail of wild lions, but will they find them before it is time to fly home?