Episode 9 Animal Park


Episode 9

A top wildlife cameraman attempts to capture the Siberian tigers in superslow motion as they ambush their prey, but can he convince them to take his bait?


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Transcript


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A mystery has gripped the park.

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The red-necked wallabies that live on my side of the fence...

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Have been turning up on my side of the fence.

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And it's got the keepers completely flummoxed because there are no gaps

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under the fence and there are no holes in the wire either.

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Surely they can't be jumping...

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-..over the fence?

-Show off!

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Well, if they are, the keepers have got to find out because before long,

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there'll be more wallabies over there than there are over here.

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As well as solving the case of the wandering wallabies,

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this time on Animal Park, we meet Longleat's deadliest new addition.

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They are very, very toxic.

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They've actually been known to make a human heart stop.

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And crouching tiger, hidden breakfast.

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The keepers set the lure but will the tigers take the bait?

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You can let the tigers go when you're ready.

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Come on, camels!

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And Jean's camel salon opens for business.

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You've got to pull quite hard, don't be shy.

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There you go. Does that feel good?

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As a keeper here, you're not supposed to show favouritism

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towards one animal, but for lead keeper John here,

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there is no doubt Rio has a special place in your heart.

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Rio, the Moluccan cockatoo?

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Yes, yes, this is Rio. As you said, he's a Moluccan cockatoo.

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As you said, I shouldn't have favourites but,

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because we're out of earshot of the other parrots, yes,

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he is a little bit of a favourite here at Animal Adventure.

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Like all parents, secretly you have a favourite,

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-but you're not supposed to tell the others.

-We'll keep our secret.

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What are we doing with Rio today?

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We're actually going to give him a shower. It's a lovely morning here

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today so we're going to give him a bit of a spray.

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-That's what this is?

-Yes.

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On your shoulder, are you ready for the shower, as well?

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I'd rather not, I've had one already today, so if we pop him down,

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he'll possibly just step up.

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Either on the fence or... He's more than likely

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just going to bounce around and do a bit of showing off anyway.

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-Shall we spray?

-Yeah, give him a bit of a...

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Rio, you're not sure about that!

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Rio, your shower's over here.

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I'm just going to pop him back on the climbing frame.

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Tell me a bit about Rio. How old is Rio?

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Rio is ten this year.

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So, he's a male Moluccan cockatoo, an absolutely beautiful bird.

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A natural show off.

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And not inclined to a shower?

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Obviously not this morning!

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Maybe he'd already had one before we got here.

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What is it about Rio that you've got this soft spot for?

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I think, just look at him, he's an amazing, beautiful bird.

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He's such a big character.

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Very noisy, very attention-seeking,

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maybe a little bit similar to myself.

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You see yourself in Rio?

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Possibly, that's maybe why I have such a good relationship with him.

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We were going to give him a shower.

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They get quite dusty,

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especially cockatoos, they produce a dust which, in the wild,

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they're lucky enough that they have the humidity of the environment.

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Here in Wiltshire, unfortunately when it rains, it's cold,

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so we have to replicate that warm rain for Rio instead but as we saw,

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he wasn't overly up for it today.

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Well, John, thank you for letting me try.

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Rio didn't want a shower, so I'll have to have one.

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Well, that's one way to cool off in this glorious summer we're having.

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The animals, on the other hand, have their own ways of dealing

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with the rising temperatures.

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One species not at all bothered by the heat is the red-necked wallaby.

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These animals have evolved to withstand the extreme climate

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of their native Australia and they love to sunbathe.

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Jenna is one of their keepers and, unfortunately,

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all is not well in the wallaby walk-through.

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Some of the wallabies have been going walkabout.

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So, we had the enclosures split last year, mainly for health reasons.

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We noticed that a lot of them were getting poorly up in the top area.

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It seems that the wallabies might be eating something

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that's making them ill.

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This is the area that we don't want them to be in.

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You can see there's loads of beech trees around and we're crunching

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through loads of beech nuts on the floor.

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Jenna has reason to be concerned.

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Overeating things like nuts can make animals sick.

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We're worried that they're consuming the beech nuts

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and perhaps getting them stuck and it causes abscesses

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and things that unfortunately mean they can't eat

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and things like that so they get quite thin

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and eventually we have to put them to sleep, unfortunately.

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To solve the problem, keepers must be able to control exactly where

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the wallabies go so they've invested in a vast wallaby-proof fence.

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But it turns out it's not wallaby-proof.

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We do have a bit of a problem in that we've ended up with some

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wallabies up here and we don't know how they're getting through.

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You're not meant to be up here. Come on, back you go.

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You see, we've got the fence all the way along and we've put the gates in

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so they can't get through where they'd normally go.

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But they are still managing to find a way.

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We really have to get on top of this problem.

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Obviously, it's for their health.

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We really want to find a solution as quick as we can.

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The situation has the whole park baffled.

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If I was to put money on it, I think they're probably going under.

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They're squeezing through the gates.

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I think the wallabies are escaping by going under a hole in the fence.

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I genuinely don't have a clue.

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Um... Just no idea.

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Lead keeper Polly is desperate to figure out what's happening.

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The lives of the wallabies could depend on it.

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We're wondering if they're going under somewhere,

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so whether there's a gap somewhere that we haven't found.

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Or are they going over the top?

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Has someone accidentally left a gate open?

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We don't know, it could be anything.

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Are they tunnelling underneath?

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I can't see any gaps in it.

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Maybe they're squeezing through the gate.

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They wouldn't be able to get through there.

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Or can they even make it over the top?

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We've got a wallaby just along the fence line there

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and the fence is double his height.

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It would be quite a jump for them to get over

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but I think that could be how they're doing it.

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I don't know that they're just outright jumping and clearing it.

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I'm wondering if they're jumping high enough to get a bit

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of a footing and then spring off that and go the other side.

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That's what I'm... That's the theory I'm going with.

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The keepers need to crack this problem fast.

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They've come in today to find that almost half the wallabies have escaped

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into the restricted area.

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Keeper Kev has gathered an emergency squad to move them to safety.

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So, we're going to have one person on one fence, one on the other,

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we'll spread out in the middle, encourage the wallabies along

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and hopefully they will go through the middle bit

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and once they're in, get the gates closed, happy days.

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But herding wallabies is no easy task.

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Oh! They're a lot quicker than us.

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Wow, if they can jump over a keeper, maybe Polly's theory is correct.

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Good effort. Apart from James who let one go past him.

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That was a lot harder than what it should have been.

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They did give us a bit of a run-around but we got there in the end.

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With all the wallabies back safe on the right side of the fence,

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the team can now focus once again on how they're getting out.

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Are they jumping over the fence or are they going down under?

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I think we need to set some camera traps and see if they're hopping the

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fence or if they're going under the gates or if they've grown wings and

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flown overnight. We just don't know so that's something to find out.

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However they're doing it,

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it has to be stopped before any more wallabies become seriously ill.

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Specialist wildlife cameraman Louis Labrom is back and today,

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he's heading into Tiger Territory.

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I've filmed several big cats since I started wildlife film-making,

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but never tigers. A lot of lions, a lot of cheetahs,

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a lot of African cats,

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but tigers are something really close to my heart,

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I do love tigers. Obviously, they're incredibly endangered so it's going to

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be amazing to see them up close and personal.

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So far on Animal Park,

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Louis has already captured some fantastic images with his special

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high-speed camera,

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revealing amazing animal adaptations that the eye can't see.

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He has captured the fastest chasers.

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Oh, here they come, here they come.

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As well as the fastest feeders.

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-That's very cool.

-Oh, we got it, amazing!

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Happy!

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Today, the big-cat keepers are desperate for his help because

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they've spotted their enormous tigers climbing up the trees.

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Given they weigh around 17st,

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Caleb wants to see just how they're able to propel themselves six metres

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straight up a tree trunk to grab a piece of meat.

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Hopefully, with all the meat being on one side of the tree,

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we'll be able to control

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where they go up so we can get it in line with this camera

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and try to get it in slow motion

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to see just how powerful they are.

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It's going to be awesome to see it close up and also in slow-mo to

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see the power, how they manipulate their weight to keep balance.

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We've rigged some of our cameras up in the tree, too.

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But Louis will be filming up close from his tiger-proof camera cage.

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There are so many processes to getting the perfect shot.

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The first step is perfect positioning. If you haven't

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got the position, you're going to miss the action.

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It's almost as important as making sure you press record.

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I've reversed the camera car as close to the tree as possible to

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make sure that when the tigers come, I've got a perfect line of sight.

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I think I've actually got the camera car

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in the perfect place to see the tigers leap.

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And, hopefully, fingers crossed, they should do as they're told.

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There is no guarantee that it's going to work because obviously

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they choose to do what they want to do when they're outside

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but we've stacked the odds in our favour

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for them to be interested in that tree and to, hopefully, climb it.

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The main idea behind this shot is that they're going

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to jump for this meat and what we really want to see is the power

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in those hind legs as the tigers jump up

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but also how they grapple down onto the tree

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and grapple the meat down out of the tree,

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just to show how strong and how powerful they actually are.

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The stars of the show are the park's ten-year-old Siberian tigers,

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sisters Soundari and Shouri

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This species of tiger is the largest on the planet,

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with a body length of almost three metres.

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I can just see the tigers

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over in the paddock to our left, just behind us here.

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They are incredibly beautiful animals.

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But they are rather large and rather intimidating.

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It's definitely getting my heart going a little bit.

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OK, Caleb, I think we're ready to go.

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You can let the tigers go when you're ready.

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Now running, hopefully in this direction.

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OK, so the tigers are coming now.

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The tigers head straight to the tree.

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Soundari is more confident.

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Caleb expects she'll be the first to leap.

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Shouri has missed the tree but Soundari has spotted it.

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She can smell it.

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I think she's... I think she's going to go for it.

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Even if she does jump,

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Louis won't know whether he's got the shot Caleb wants

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until they review the footage later.

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So, hopefully... She's gone straight up the tree.

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That's so cool.

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Awesome! Soundari has got something.

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Shouri is obviously a little bit nervous cos Soundari's already gone

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up there but Soundari's spotted it again so here she goes.

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Perfect.

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Well done, Soundari.

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They're not fazed at all.

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So well equipped and well adapted to be hunting up trees.

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It's incredible to see.

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These tigers just bolt up this tree.

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One is coming straight towards us.

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It's right up next to the vehicle.

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It's a little bit surreal being so close to these tigers.

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They are absolutely huge.

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Shouri still hasn't been tempted to go up.

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But her sister has three times already and it's starting to show.

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Every time she climbs, it gets a bit harder.

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The effort required is massive.

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You can see she's already tired so it's a real work-out,

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climbing the trees, and she's just trying to smell in the air,

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to see if there's an easier piece of meat available.

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If she has to come for it, she'll go up again.

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They use the same skills as domestic cats when they're climbing trees,

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so the claws come out and they just dig them into the wood.

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We've seen Shouri partially climb the tree

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so hopefully she'll figure out there's another piece up there.

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Soundari settles down to enjoy her snack and a well earned rest.

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And Shouri is still reluctant to have a go.

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Will Louis have one more chance to get the shot they need?

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This tiger is just circling this tree, deciding whether or not...

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to go up.

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She can smell the meat, she's obviously interested.

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I think it's just a case of...

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..can she be bothered?

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Shouri finally goes for it.

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But misses the meat.

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She's just taken one of our cameras out of the tree.

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She has another go...

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..and gets the hardest prize to reach.

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So, we've done our bit. Obviously, we got the tigers up the trees.

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Hopefully, it was enough for Louis to capture it and I can't wait

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to see the footage later on to see what he's captured.

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It's going to be really interesting to play that back later on

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to see exactly how those tigers are leaping and grappling onto

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the tree and holding all that weight up

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but I think we've definitely got something in there.

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We'll be back to see just how these big cats make such giant jumps.

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Now we're heading over to Wolf Wood.

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There are three Canadian timber wolves living at the park.

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Alf, Vic, and the notorious Dave.

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They used to be part of a larger pack

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but as the years have rolled on, it's these old-timers who remain.

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I've joined head of section Amy to help give them their medication.

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The three boys, looking quite perky in the sunshine this morning, Amy?

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They're looking great in the sunshine, aren't they?

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Aren't they? They're quite old boys now though, aren't they?

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Yes, they're ten years old

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and they're getting on a bit, bless them.

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But they do represent a bit more work for you now.

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Like all OAPs, she says, speaking for herself,

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we need a little bit more maintenance than we used to?

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Yes, they do need a little bit more care.

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We've got some supplements that we just give to them for their joints.

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There is a bit of old age,

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a bit of arthritis and things so we just give them

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an extra help to get them moving about.

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Now, how do you give medicine to a wolf because it sounds simple but I

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suspect a little bit of skulduggery needs to be adopted?

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It's a lot more difficult than our lions and tigers because them,

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we can hand feed and put the medication inside.

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Here, with these guys,

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we need to chuck it out to them but make sure a certain one gets it

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-because they're not all on the medication.

-Oh, right.

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So, we have to make sure the one that we need the medication to

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gets their medication, so it's a bit more difficult.

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OK, and I know Dave is infamously tricky.

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Is he one of the ones that needs the medication?

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He is the one that needs it more than anybody else.

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Unfortunately for Amy,

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the wolves won't take their medicine from a spoon

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but they will from a chunk of meat.

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-Come on, Dave, come and see us.

-Come on, boys.

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Because we do it every morning, they've got used to it,

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so it was quite difficult to start with

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but now we come in every morning, they'll come and take chunks

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and even though we've just started with Alf,

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because he needs that extra bit of help as well,

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he's come straight over and they all take chunks,

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so it's quite easy now to get them into them.

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Always a real joy to see them and it's just lovely to see them

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looking so fit and healthy in the summer sunshine. Thanks, Amy.

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Perfect, thank you.

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Longleat is home to a herd of 17 Bactrian camels.

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Measuring more than two metres to the top of their twin humps,

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they're the largest living camel species.

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In the winter, they grow these fabulous shaggy coats

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but when summer comes, they shed.

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The keepers at the park help this process along

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and today Jean's helping out.

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So, Rosie, should we give the Bactrian camels a hand?

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I definitely think so, I think they need a hand because sometimes that

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fluff doesn't want to come off. I think they'd much appreciate that.

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Will they mind us kind of pulling at their hair?

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No, in general, they actually appreciate it, they quite like it.

0:18:070:18:10

It's good for them to just get a little bit of contact with us, as well.

0:18:100:18:13

You might pull off a little bit

0:18:130:18:15

that may be a little bit attached but don't worry too much.

0:18:150:18:18

So we have some feed, I'll give them a call.

0:18:180:18:20

Come on, camels!

0:18:200:18:21

There you go. We've got some excitement now.

0:18:210:18:25

Let's get rid of some of that hair.

0:18:280:18:30

Come on over.

0:18:300:18:32

If you find anything really long, they might be a little bit nervous.

0:18:320:18:35

Anything really pale as well because you can see on him here,

0:18:350:18:38

he's got different colours. He's got this fluffy stuff around the edge

0:18:380:18:41

that is going really pale, that's really easily peel off.

0:18:410:18:44

Some of this darker mane might stay a bit longer.

0:18:440:18:46

-So, we want to leave that?

-Yeah.

0:18:460:18:48

Just have a little lean out and see if you can grab it.

0:18:480:18:51

See I've just pulled out a little bit there.

0:18:510:18:53

You can see how easy it came out.

0:18:530:18:55

It does take quite a long time. Especially when they don't have

0:18:550:18:58

as many things to scratch on as they do in the wild.

0:18:580:19:01

Also in the sand, they'd be able to roll

0:19:010:19:02

and it would pull off a little bit, as well.

0:19:020:19:04

-Of course, yeah.

-So, we do like to give them a bit of a hand.

0:19:040:19:07

Good girl. All of this sort of stuff.

0:19:070:19:09

You've got to pull quite hard. Don't be shy. There you go.

0:19:090:19:12

Does that feel good, yeah?

0:19:120:19:14

It's pretty much like lambs' wool to touch, isn't it?

0:19:150:19:17

Yeah, definitely. Really thick, but quite fine, actually.

0:19:170:19:21

Surprisingly it's not as coarse as you might expect, it's quite fluffy.

0:19:210:19:26

Jazz will go for it if you want to reach out for that.

0:19:260:19:28

She's pretty friendly. There you go.

0:19:280:19:30

This cycle of shedding hair and growing back the woolly coat is so

0:19:300:19:33

important for them in the wild, isn't it?

0:19:330:19:35

Yeah, absolutely. Where these guys live,

0:19:350:19:37

places like Mongolia and places like that,

0:19:370:19:39

it can go in the year from temperatures

0:19:390:19:41

of +40 down to -40 at night and also in the winter.

0:19:410:19:45

Sometimes it even snows so this coat is really important to them,

0:19:450:19:49

but it is important as well that they do shed that

0:19:490:19:51

so that when it gets into those warm months, they don't overheat.

0:19:510:19:54

So, um... No!

0:19:540:19:57

Myrtle! I said, no. That is not your bag either.

0:19:570:20:00

Hey!

0:20:020:20:04

They're very hungry camels today.

0:20:040:20:05

They're not very well behaved, this lot. They're quite naughty.

0:20:050:20:09

So, I'm going to continue with this.

0:20:090:20:10

We could be here a while cos there's quite a lot of coats to get through.

0:20:100:20:14

But after a bit of this grooming,

0:20:140:20:15

they're all going to be looking really good.

0:20:150:20:17

Back now to the mystery of Wallaby Wood.

0:20:200:20:23

You're not meant to be up here. Come on.

0:20:230:20:24

The keepers are desperately trying to keep the wallabies

0:20:240:20:28

where they want them.

0:20:280:20:30

They are escaping into a restricted area.

0:20:300:20:33

Beech nuts have fallen onto the ground here

0:20:330:20:35

and keepers believe eating too many could be making the wallabies sick.

0:20:350:20:40

What we want to do now is find out

0:20:410:20:42

how potentially they're getting through.

0:20:420:20:44

So, we've got a few cameras we're going to set up and hopefully

0:20:440:20:47

we'll be able to catch some footage of what they're doing.

0:20:470:20:49

In the wild, red-necked wallabies are largely nocturnal,

0:20:520:20:56

preferring to rest during the day.

0:20:560:20:59

To try and witness the wallabies making their escape,

0:20:590:21:01

Jenna is strategically placing night-vision infrared cameras

0:21:010:21:06

at potential escape points.

0:21:060:21:07

So, we're popping this camera here.

0:21:110:21:13

It's the other end of the paddock and they've got quite strong claws,

0:21:130:21:16

so they could be using that to dig through the sand.

0:21:160:21:18

But with so much fencing and just a handful of cameras,

0:21:230:21:27

there's no way the team can cover every angle.

0:21:270:21:30

So, I've opened the first clip and I've got a wallaby on the side

0:21:320:21:36

that we don't want it, and it looks like it's trying to get back

0:21:360:21:41

to the side we do want it. But that clip doesn't really show us

0:21:410:21:44

how it got on the wrong side to start with.

0:21:440:21:47

It's this point somewhere

0:21:470:21:49

that it's getting to the other side that we don't want it.

0:21:490:21:52

It's not just the one troublemaker going over all the time.

0:21:520:21:57

They all seem to want to do it.

0:21:570:21:59

We just had three there all paying attention to the fence

0:21:590:22:03

on both sides,

0:22:030:22:04

so it's obviously a point of interest.

0:22:040:22:07

We've seen digging but no-one actually going under the fence.

0:22:070:22:10

Polly checks all the footage

0:22:100:22:12

but doesn't catch a single red-necked wallaby red-handed.

0:22:120:22:15

They're definitely sneaky.

0:22:150:22:17

They're obviously smarter than I am because I haven't found the way

0:22:170:22:20

they're doing it. But they're doing it somehow.

0:22:200:22:22

The plot thickens.

0:22:240:22:25

It's not a whodunnit, it's a HOWdunnit.

0:22:250:22:28

The case of the wily wallabies remains unsolved, for now.

0:22:280:22:32

I've come behind the scenes to meet one of the newest

0:22:400:22:43

and most dangerous animals in the park.

0:22:430:22:45

Now, it's not a lion or a tiger, or even keeper James here,

0:22:450:22:49

it's a tiny frog. Tell me about who we've got in here.

0:22:490:22:51

So, in this tank we have some of our green and black poison dart frogs.

0:22:510:22:56

Named poison dart frogs because they're highly poisonous.

0:22:560:22:59

In the wild, yeah, they are very, very toxic.

0:22:590:23:02

They've actually been known to make a human heart stop.

0:23:020:23:06

-Really?

-So, that's how toxic they are.

0:23:060:23:08

In captivity, however, it's slightly different.

0:23:080:23:11

So, they're not eating the same things that they would be

0:23:110:23:13

eating in the wild, so the things that would produce that toxin

0:23:130:23:17

are not present in captivity, so they're not toxic at all.

0:23:170:23:20

Which must be quite reassuring for you when you're looking after these guys.

0:23:200:23:23

They've got this extraordinary colouring, haven't they?

0:23:230:23:25

Is that so that they blend in in the wild?

0:23:250:23:28

Quite the opposite. They're trying to stand out,

0:23:280:23:31

they're trying to show every other animal in the place that,

0:23:310:23:34

you know, steer clear of me because I can mess you up.

0:23:340:23:37

So, they're using that poison as a deterrent

0:23:370:23:40

-rather than a way to catch food.

-Exactly.

0:23:400:23:44

Its poison is secreted through the skin,

0:23:440:23:46

so it's only really effective when an animal sticks it in its mouth.

0:23:460:23:49

OK. So, we're going to feed them today. What do these frogs eat?

0:23:490:23:52

On the menu today are fruit flies.

0:23:520:23:53

-They're looking a little bit white.

-They're covered in calcium powder.

0:23:530:23:57

It's important to just add that into their diet.

0:23:570:23:59

It is a potential that they can become deficient in it.

0:23:590:24:02

OK, so it's a supplement for them.

0:24:020:24:04

I'll just put them all in here. Are you ready? There we go.

0:24:040:24:08

Come on, come and get your lunch.

0:24:080:24:09

And the poison dart in their name,

0:24:130:24:15

does that come from the species being used

0:24:150:24:18

-to actually make poison darts?

-Exactly, yeah.

0:24:180:24:20

So, the natives would have dipped their arrows...

0:24:200:24:23

Well, basically just rubbed the arrows across their skin,

0:24:230:24:26

and that would have implanted that toxin on that arrow and been very,

0:24:260:24:30

very deadly to anything that they were trying to hunt.

0:24:300:24:32

I haven't tested it but that is...

0:24:320:24:35

I don't blame you. I'd avoid that, if I was you.

0:24:350:24:38

Thank you very much, James, for showing me the behind the scenes.

0:24:380:24:40

It just goes to show that when it comes to deadly animals,

0:24:400:24:43

size isn't everything.

0:24:430:24:45

Now we're back with wildlife cameraman Louis Labrom, and Caleb.

0:24:530:24:57

He's desperate to see the results of today's shoot in Tiger Territory

0:24:590:25:03

and discover how a 17st tiger can fly six metres up a tree.

0:25:030:25:09

The question is, Caleb, did we actually get anything today?

0:25:090:25:11

I'm pretty certain we did.

0:25:110:25:13

Caleb decked a tree in meaty morsels.

0:25:130:25:15

Both tigers made it up there.

0:25:160:25:19

TIGER ROARS

0:25:190:25:21

But how does it look in super slow-mo?

0:25:210:25:24

They came bolting out of the pen,

0:25:260:25:28

and here she is right at the bottom of the tree.

0:25:280:25:31

I imagine she's looking for the best possible place to get directly up.

0:25:310:25:34

What we really want to find out is where all that power comes from

0:25:340:25:37

and how she makes it up that tree.

0:25:370:25:39

-You see here, she's locked on and focused on the prize.

-Yeah, 100%.

0:25:420:25:46

But she leans back, drops all her body weight onto her rear legs

0:25:460:25:50

-and thrusts those rear legs.

-Wow.

0:25:500:25:51

All of that energy is stored in her high muscles and as soon

0:25:510:25:55

as she makes contact with that tree, grapples on with her front paws...

0:25:550:25:58

..and those rear paws come right up again to push her further up.

0:25:590:26:02

So, she's sort of condensing like a spring

0:26:020:26:04

and then releasing each time she goes.

0:26:040:26:06

And then again, those feet come forward, up,

0:26:080:26:10

and push her back up the tree again.

0:26:100:26:11

-It's incredible.

-It's amazing.

0:26:110:26:13

It must be similar to a hunt or something where she's springing out

0:26:130:26:16

on something and then using her back legs to sort of power her forward

0:26:160:26:19

-and then grapple in there with it.

-If the prey is anywhere near them,

0:26:190:26:23

-they don't stand a chance.

-No.

0:26:230:26:25

Tigers are quick.

0:26:250:26:27

They stalk and ambush predators.

0:26:270:26:29

They're capable of taking on almost any prey,

0:26:290:26:32

even those much larger than themselves.

0:26:320:26:36

They sneak up to their target.

0:26:360:26:37

Once they've decided to strike,

0:26:370:26:39

they use their incredible power and weight, leaping out onto their prey,

0:26:390:26:44

throwing it off balance.

0:26:440:26:46

They then use their powerful claws and jaws to sustain the attack,

0:26:460:26:50

securing their prey in a vice-like grip.

0:26:500:26:53

-She's actually leaning backwards...

-Yeah.

-..from her front paws.

0:26:530:26:57

So her rear legs are actually supporting all of her body weight

0:26:570:27:01

and those front paws are just grappling her onto the tree.

0:27:010:27:04

But she's barely even dug in, she's just compressing that tree

0:27:040:27:08

between her like a body-builder and leaning all the way back on it,

0:27:080:27:11

trying to reach that meat.

0:27:110:27:13

-It's almost effortless.

-Yeah, it is.

0:27:130:27:14

She's manoeuvring her body weight to come down as well,

0:27:140:27:17

because, obviously, they've got to think about coming out of the tree.

0:27:170:27:20

If we look at the footage from the tree top down,

0:27:200:27:23

when she leaves the tree,

0:27:230:27:24

she lets go with her front paws, is almost falling,

0:27:240:27:28

twists her spine to face the direction she wants to go

0:27:280:27:31

and then thrusts herself off of the tree with her hind legs again.

0:27:310:27:34

-Yeah.

-It's amazing.

0:27:340:27:36

It's almost like she doesn't want to go straight down,

0:27:410:27:44

she wants to land on all fours, really.

0:27:440:27:46

-Cats always land on their feet, right?

-It must be that, yeah.

0:27:460:27:49

It is quite incredible how she can just manoeuvre that way.

0:27:590:28:02

A 22st man jumping six feet in the air.

0:28:020:28:05

It's amazing. At least we've learnt not to climb a tree

0:28:050:28:08

-to outrun a tiger!

-You're not going to get away from a tiger.

0:28:080:28:11

MUSIC: Waltz Of The Flowers by Tchaikovsky

0:28:110:28:15

Time now to return to the case of the escaping wallabies.

0:28:300:28:34

After reviewing hours of footage filmed right across their enclosure,

0:28:340:28:38

Polly has a hunch of where they might be escaping from.

0:28:380:28:42

She's returning to the scene of the crime.

0:28:420:28:45

I've got a couple of breeze blocks to fill in the gap.

0:28:450:28:48

I think wallabies would have to squeeze to get through

0:28:480:28:50

but it's a potential space that they're getting through,

0:28:500:28:53

so we're just going to block that up,

0:28:530:28:55

just to remove any possibility that that's the way

0:28:550:28:58

they're getting through to the side that we don't want them.

0:28:580:29:01

The following day, Polly reviews the footage from the night before.

0:29:030:29:07

Will her simple fix have solved this complex problem?

0:29:070:29:11

Where we've put the breeze blocks to block that hole that was dug,

0:29:110:29:15

they are in that space.

0:29:150:29:16

They are kind of looking that way,

0:29:180:29:20

so maybe that was the way they were sneaking through.

0:29:200:29:22

They're all there gathering about by the breeze blocks.

0:29:240:29:27

So, we don't have any wallabies on the other side.

0:29:290:29:32

They do look a bit miffed.

0:29:320:29:33

Maybe, like, yeah, we've blocked their hole.

0:29:330:29:36

It looks like that's the solution, just block the hole.

0:29:360:29:40

The marsupial mystery is finally solved.

0:29:400:29:44

I think from this, I've definitely learned they're quite intelligent

0:29:440:29:47

and more resourceful than I gave them credit for.

0:29:470:29:51

The wallabies are safe at last.

0:29:510:29:53

The island behind me was built in 1804.

0:29:570:30:00

It was part of an elaborate scheme by famous garden designer

0:30:000:30:04

of the time Humphry Repton.

0:30:040:30:06

Now it's more famous for its sole resident, Nico the gorilla -

0:30:060:30:11

the oldest, perhaps the grumpiest in Europe -

0:30:110:30:14

but I remember a time when there was another resident on this island,

0:30:140:30:18

a very, very different character from Nico,

0:30:180:30:21

and I can't quite believe it's been ten years since she was with us.

0:30:210:30:25

Our story begins back in 2006.

0:30:260:30:29

Longleat's two gorillas are getting old.

0:30:320:30:35

In fact, at 46, they are amongst the very oldest gorillas in Britain.

0:30:350:30:40

Keeper Mark Tye has been looking after Nico the male

0:30:400:30:44

and Samba the female for 18 years now,

0:30:440:30:47

so to him they're very special.

0:30:470:30:50

But then, gorillas are special.

0:30:500:30:52

After all, our DNA is about 98% the same.

0:30:520:30:57

Perhaps that's why, like all the great apes,

0:30:570:30:59

gorillas are capable of emotions that we think of as uniquely human.

0:30:590:31:04

Emotions such as grief.

0:31:040:31:06

Nico and Samba certainly have lots of character, as Mark knows well.

0:31:080:31:14

I'd say Samba's personality is very calm, very laid-back.

0:31:140:31:18

She doesn't get too stressed about anything.

0:31:180:31:22

Quite nice. Nico is almost quite the opposite.

0:31:220:31:26

Very bolshie, very stroppy.

0:31:260:31:27

I've got older, they've got older,

0:31:300:31:32

and we all know where we stand and how we are,

0:31:320:31:35

if we're in good or bad moods.

0:31:350:31:37

I think we all kind of accept how it is.

0:31:370:31:39

But of course, getting older brings other problems.

0:31:430:31:46

Nico has been dogged by poor health for some time but last winter,

0:31:460:31:50

it was Samba who fell dangerously ill.

0:31:500:31:53

The vet came straight over to Gorilla Island,

0:31:530:31:56

along with deputy head warden Ian Turner.

0:31:560:31:59

He has diagnosed she's got cold-come-flu symptoms,

0:32:000:32:03

which obviously wouldn't be too bad, but in a 45-year-old gorilla,

0:32:030:32:07

in Sam's case it could be quite serious.

0:32:070:32:10

One of the main hiccups with Sam is she doesn't like taking medication.

0:32:100:32:14

It's the age thing.

0:32:140:32:15

You know, you look at 45 years of age on a gorilla,

0:32:150:32:18

you're talking of a real senior citizen,

0:32:180:32:20

80 plus on a human being, and if a senior citizen gets a cold,

0:32:200:32:23

it always takes them down, really.

0:32:230:32:25

The good thing about them, we just keep them in, you know.

0:32:250:32:28

They're not one of those animals that will get really stressy

0:32:280:32:31

being kept inside.

0:32:310:32:33

It took Samba a long time to recover -

0:32:330:32:36

the rest of the winter and well into the spring.

0:32:360:32:40

But when the good weather came, she did venture out with Nico

0:32:400:32:43

to enjoy the pleasures of Gorilla Island.

0:32:430:32:46

Then, as summer turned to autumn and winter followed on,

0:32:470:32:51

Samba's health once more began to fail.

0:32:510:32:54

Once again, it started like a cold or a touch of the flu.

0:32:550:32:59

But this time, there was no stopping it.

0:32:590:33:02

Then, almost without warning,

0:33:020:33:05

Samba just faded away and died in the night.

0:33:050:33:09

It was two days before Mark Tye was ready to talk about it.

0:33:090:33:13

We've lost Samba and...

0:33:130:33:16

..it's been...

0:33:170:33:19

..a very,

0:33:210:33:23

very sad time for all of us.

0:33:230:33:25

Nico included.

0:33:260:33:28

Myself, I don't know, I wouldn't say I've conditioned myself to,

0:33:290:33:33

but I kind of knew it was always going to happen at some point,

0:33:330:33:37

but that's not made it any easier.

0:33:370:33:39

It's been 18 years of my life, working with the pair of them.

0:33:410:33:45

In a way, she went the way I wanted her to go,

0:33:450:33:47

which was curled up in bed and just gone.

0:33:470:33:50

On Gorilla Island, the memories are everywhere.

0:33:510:33:54

Samba was just the nice one, you know?

0:33:550:33:58

She never had that nasty streak, that she wanted to hurt people.

0:33:580:34:02

With Nico, it's always like, "Can I get one over on you?"

0:34:020:34:05

With her, it was always different.

0:34:050:34:07

She was always very nice and always very welcoming.

0:34:070:34:10

But the one who knew Samba the best is of course Nico.

0:34:120:34:16

After all, they spent their entire lives together.

0:34:160:34:20

The whole idea of getting the gorillas in the first place,

0:34:200:34:22

with a male or female, was to have babies.

0:34:220:34:25

Nico and Samba were got over here as a breeding pair, as it was.

0:34:250:34:30

But to everyone's disappointment, there never were any babies.

0:34:300:34:34

What we think happened was,

0:34:350:34:38

they'd literally just grown up as brother and sister

0:34:380:34:41

and just got so used to knowing each other that

0:34:410:34:44

that side of it didn't enter his head.

0:34:440:34:47

But now she's gone, how does Nico feel?

0:34:470:34:49

Do gorillas really feel grief like us?

0:34:490:34:52

We can't make any bones about it, he's upset.

0:34:540:34:57

When you've worked with an animal that long,

0:34:570:35:00

they don't have to do much different to know that they're not happy

0:35:000:35:03

and you can just tell by his face,

0:35:030:35:05

his facial expressions and reactions like that, to be honest,

0:35:050:35:09

that make you know he's upset.

0:35:090:35:11

Nico is very old.

0:35:170:35:19

In human years, he would be well into his 90s.

0:35:190:35:22

So, the question is, after a blow like this, will he ever recover?

0:35:220:35:27

He, like us, is struggling, but we're doing what we can.

0:35:280:35:32

You know, we're spending more time with him.

0:35:320:35:35

They are social creatures and without another gorilla obviously

0:35:350:35:40

we are somewhat limited as to what we can do for him,

0:35:400:35:44

but, you know, giving him our time is what we can do.

0:35:440:35:48

Samba may have passed away, but as long as she is remembered here

0:35:480:35:52

with affection, she'll never really be gone.

0:35:520:35:54

Back to the present day, and Nico is still going strong.

0:36:000:36:05

I've joined my old mate Mark in the gorilla house.

0:36:050:36:07

She was a very, very special animal, Samba, wasn't she?

0:36:070:36:11

Yeah, she very much was.

0:36:110:36:14

She was totally different to Nico.

0:36:140:36:17

Totally. Protector of the wronged, I think,

0:36:170:36:21

is the way I would describe her.

0:36:210:36:23

Whenever Nico had a go at anybody in the house

0:36:230:36:26

she would instantly tell him off, as if she was like,

0:36:260:36:29

-"They're all right, leave them alone."

-Yeah.

0:36:290:36:32

-She was a beautiful soul, yeah.

-Yeah, she really was.

0:36:320:36:35

And of all your time that you've spent here,

0:36:350:36:38

is Samba still right up there with the animal that you've enjoyed

0:36:380:36:42

looking after most, do you think?

0:36:420:36:44

Definitely, yeah.

0:36:440:36:46

I mean, and I think it always sort of comes back to me

0:36:460:36:49

because we've now got the other gorillas down there

0:36:490:36:52

and they're all boys.

0:36:520:36:53

You definitely notice the missing thing, which is the female.

0:36:530:36:57

-Yeah.

-They've got such different characters.

0:36:570:37:00

They're tranquil and peaceful,

0:37:000:37:02

whereas the males are all boisterous and bolshie and, you know...

0:37:020:37:07

I do miss her and it's quite shocking that it's been ten years.

0:37:070:37:11

I can't believe that it's been that long.

0:37:110:37:13

I know. You need another girl in your life, Mark.

0:37:130:37:15

Definitely!

0:37:150:37:16

THEY LAUGH

0:37:160:37:18

Over in Animal Adventure,

0:37:230:37:25

it's Becca and Holly's job to take the ducks for a walk.

0:37:250:37:30

Duckies! Ducky, ducky, duckies!

0:37:300:37:32

They're not quackers, they're training the ducks to follow them.

0:37:340:37:37

So, our end goal is to get them down to the stream so they can enjoy

0:37:380:37:42

the lovely sunshine and have a bit of a paddle, as well.

0:37:420:37:45

These are Indian Runner Ducks,

0:37:460:37:48

sometimes known as Penguin Ducks because of their upright stance.

0:37:480:37:53

They can't fly, but, as their name suggests,

0:37:530:37:56

they can move at quite a speed.

0:37:560:37:59

Today is the day the keepers hope to lead them all the way to the stream

0:37:590:38:02

for the first time, and Jean's come along to help.

0:38:020:38:05

-Hi, Holly.

-Hiya.

-How are they getting on?

0:38:050:38:08

They're getting on really well, these guys.

0:38:080:38:10

We've been getting them used to coming out

0:38:100:38:11

and coming for walks around here so they're doing pretty well.

0:38:110:38:14

-They're doing good.

-Is there any leaders of the gang?

0:38:140:38:16

Yes, we have Jemima. She is the white one.

0:38:160:38:19

-Ah, OK.

-Even though she's a little bit smaller than the others,

0:38:190:38:21

she is in charge, she is the leader. When we've done the training,

0:38:210:38:24

she's the one that's at the front and she's telling them where to go,

0:38:240:38:27

so if she decides to go somewhere, they all go.

0:38:270:38:29

So, it's quite important for you to get Jemima on side, then,

0:38:290:38:32

because if she goes, they'll all follow?

0:38:320:38:35

Yes, totally.

0:38:350:38:36

-There she goes.

-Here she comes.

0:38:360:38:38

-Come on, duckies!

-Oh, they're quite fast.

0:38:380:38:40

Very fast. You can just sprinkle some stuff.

0:38:400:38:43

Just a little bit of food. Oh, there she is, out in front.

0:38:430:38:47

-Come on, Jemima!

-Straightaway.

0:38:470:38:49

That's it. We're off.

0:38:490:38:50

Oh, they're following Jemima.

0:38:500:38:52

Off she goes. Jemima!

0:38:520:38:54

-Oh, that was easy.

-Yeah!

0:38:540:38:55

And they've gone straight in.

0:38:570:38:59

They're brilliant.

0:38:590:39:01

-Oh, excellent.

-Holly, that went really well.

0:39:010:39:04

As soon as you opened the gate, they kind of just sped out

0:39:040:39:06

and found their way straight to the stream.

0:39:060:39:08

-Yeah, that was pretty amazing.

-Were you expecting that?

0:39:080:39:11

They can veer off sometimes and they almost did, but, no, straight in.

0:39:110:39:14

They know where they're going.

0:39:140:39:16

But we've been doing this very gradually,

0:39:160:39:18

so we've been doing a little further every day so we just build up

0:39:180:39:21

to this point, and then it's as easy as that.

0:39:210:39:24

What are the benefits of them being in the stream?

0:39:240:39:26

Being in the stream is pretty amazing because then they can just

0:39:260:39:30

express all their natural behaviours.

0:39:300:39:31

It's the perfect enclosure for them

0:39:310:39:33

cos it's exactly what they'd have in the wild.

0:39:330:39:35

Little exercise went quite well.

0:39:350:39:37

It turns out you CAN lead a duck to water.

0:39:370:39:39

Earlier this week, we followed a group of keepers

0:39:460:39:49

on an epic fact-finding mission to Kenya.

0:39:490:39:51

Carnivore keeper Amy was part of a crack team

0:39:530:39:56

and had her first experience of seeing a lion in the wild.

0:39:560:39:59

Absolutely incredible.

0:39:590:40:01

Just being this close to a wild lion is absolutely... Oh!

0:40:010:40:06

It's what I've come here to see and I've seen it and it's amazing.

0:40:060:40:12

Whilst there, Amy got first-rate advice from expert rangers

0:40:140:40:18

on the reserve. She wanted to know how to reduce the amount of fighting

0:40:180:40:22

between some of the young male lions in the park.

0:40:220:40:25

Mary suggested that adjusting the ratio of males and females

0:40:250:40:29

in some of the prides could help.

0:40:290:40:31

What happens is that the males are quite comfortable.

0:40:310:40:34

The idea of putting the males together is good.

0:40:340:40:40

But what happened next?

0:40:410:40:43

Kate and I have come up to the lion enclosure with Amy

0:40:430:40:46

to let the lions in. Can I do the honours?

0:40:460:40:48

-You can indeed.

-OK, so we just open this?

0:40:480:40:50

-Here they come.

-You sure you're opening the right gate, Ben?

0:40:500:40:53

I hope so, I hope so!

0:40:530:40:55

How is the restructuring going, by the way?

0:40:550:40:56

Really well, actually. It's early stages.

0:40:560:40:59

-This is the pride you're trying to...

-Yeah.

0:40:590:41:01

Look, here we come. Hello.

0:41:010:41:03

So, trying to get a bachelor group together, but it's very early stages

0:41:030:41:07

at the moment, but hopefully that will go well and then we can

0:41:070:41:10

move on in trying to get the rest together,

0:41:100:41:13

try and get as many girls as we can together.

0:41:130:41:15

Was it fascinating, being out in Africa and seeing

0:41:150:41:20

-your very first wild lion?

-It was incredible.

0:41:200:41:24

Absolutely. I still can't believe that I've actually been to Africa

0:41:240:41:28

and seen wild lions.

0:41:280:41:29

Even just the footprints that I found, that was incredible.

0:41:290:41:32

Just even seeing them, those wild footprints, that was incredible.

0:41:320:41:35

When you look at these guys now,

0:41:350:41:36

do you look at them with a different set of eyes?

0:41:360:41:39

Oh, completely, yes. Completely.

0:41:390:41:41

Just knowing what they're like in the wild

0:41:410:41:44

and coming back here and seeing them again, it's absolutely amazing.

0:41:440:41:48

They're incredible creatures, aren't they?

0:41:480:41:51

And did you get insight?

0:41:510:41:53

Cos I know one of the challenges that you've had

0:41:530:41:55

is with this very big pride and with the lions fighting.

0:41:550:41:59

Did you feel a little bit better when you discovered that lions

0:41:590:42:02

do scrap in the wild, that actually the behaviour that you're seeing

0:42:020:42:06

-isn't entirely unnatural?

-Oh, completely,

0:42:060:42:08

and that's what we've always tried to have going on here.

0:42:080:42:11

We want them to sort their differences out themselves.

0:42:110:42:14

But, yeah, going out to Africa and seeing that's how they do work

0:42:140:42:17

and everything we're doing is actually how they do work

0:42:170:42:20

in the wild, and it was great. It was a good confidence-booster

0:42:200:42:24

to know that we're doing things right here.

0:42:240:42:25

-Well, really, really good luck with the restructure.

-Thank you.

0:42:250:42:29

They certainly look very well and very happy.

0:42:290:42:32

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

0:42:320:42:35

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

0:42:350:42:37

-Everybody ready?

-ALL:

-Yeah.

0:42:400:42:42

It's binturong boy meets girl.

0:42:420:42:45

The mates are put together for the very first time,

0:42:450:42:48

but will they find love?

0:42:480:42:49

I'll visit. Promise.

0:42:500:42:52

It's a tough goodbye to one of elephant Anne's beloved keepers.

0:42:520:42:57

HE SNIFFS

0:42:570:42:59

And a big hello to this little one.

0:42:590:43:01

Quite possibly Animal Park's cutest ever baby.

0:43:010:43:04

He's handsome, he's in good nick, very well behaved.

0:43:040:43:07

Top wildlife cameraman Louis Labrom attempts to capture the Siberian tigers in superslow motion as they ambush their prey, but can he convince them to take his bait?

Meanwhile, over in Wallaby Wood, keepers turn detectives to discover how the mischievous marsupials are escaping their enclosure.

Ben meets an animal with poison so toxic it can stop a human heart, Jean Johansson opens a hair salon for 17 boisterous camels, and Kate relives one of the saddest moments in Animal Park history.