Animal Park Today April 2024 on BBC One

Today, April 14 2024, BBC presents the series which shows the split-second moments when everyday events are transformed into disasters and meets the people who lived to tell the tale.

Animal Park Today, April 14 2024

DateSummaryNew / Repeat
DateSummaryNew / Repeat
Monday, 29 August 2022No daily shows from todayNew
Friday, 26 August 2022Summer 2022 Episode 15 of 15

Kate Humble and Ben Fogle return to Longleat Safari Park for another spectacular summer series following the fascinating stories of the exotic animals and the keepers who look after them.

The Longleat keepers have some extraordinary news. When doing her morning rounds, Amy spotted some nesting behaviour amongst the critically endangered African white-backed vultures, and on further inspection discovered that one of the birds was sitting on an egg. It’s been ten years since the park had a successfully reared chick, often due to the birds laying too late in the season - poor weather conditions can result in the parents not sitting on the egg. This year the timing is spot on, so everyone has everything crossed for success. Not wanting to disturb the parents, the keepers call in Animal Park’s very own wildlife cameraman, Hamza Yassin, to try to find out if they are still sitting on and caring for the egg.

Kate is astonished to hear that an anteater can eat 30,000 insects a day with their 60 centimetre long tongue. She helps one of the keepers recreate a termite mound in the anteater enclosure. Meanwhile, Ben takes the lead in the rhino field, creating a mega wallow for the three females that live at the park. Megan McCubbin discovers that Koala Creek isn’t just home to Australia’s iconic marsupial, but also to hundreds of stick insects. These masters of disguise start out life pretending to be an ant, then, when fully grown, they look exactly like a leaf.
Thursday, 25 August 2022Summer 2022 Episode 14 of 15

Kate Humble and Ben Fogle return to Longleat Safari Park for another spectacular summer series following the fascinating stories of the exotic animals and the keepers who look after them.

Lions, tigers and wolves are all fiercely territorial and will fight off newcomers without hesitation, but when it comes to defending their patch, few creatures are more fearsome than rabbits. Keeper Gemma attempts to introduce a pair of new rabbits into the group already at the park. She begins by creating a wall down the middle of the enclosure, so all the rabbits can sense each other, but even this is not without risk. Serena, one of the largest and oldest rabbits in the group, could become overwhelmed by the situation, and there is a real risk of her suffering a heart attack.

Meanwhile, Kate helps Caleb as he attempts to fire up the wild instincts of the famous lions, and Ben discovers how those same animals helped Lord Bath save Longleat House from ruin over 50 years ago.

Wildlife cameraman Hamza Yassin trains his long lens on his favourite animals at the park, the gorillas. The keepers have noticed some changes in the hierarchy between the boys, but what clues can Hamza find to back up the keepers' theory? Megan McCubbin helps start a training programme for the pygmy goats and discovers how the keepers are attempting to reduce the food miles of the park’s Australian koalas to zero.
Wednesday, 24 August 2022Summer 2022 Episode 13 of 15

Kate Humble and Ben Fogle return to Longleat Safari Park for another spectacular summer series following the fascinating stories of the exotic animals and the keepers who look after them.

This year, the park and the world celebrated when the first southern koala was born at Longleat. Hazel is growing up fast, but koalas are notoriously difficult to look after, and Hazel’s development is monitored day and night. One of the precious koalas that arrived at the park five years ago, Wilpena, died, and the first sign of problems was a steady weight loss that pointed to kidney disease. It’s for this reason that every weigh-in is a nervous moment. Is the precious new koala's weight heading in the right direction?

Over the years, we have trained our speed gun on some of the most impressive animals on the planet. On paper, the fastest two at the park should be the cheetah and the ostrich, but it has not been easy to get them to run flat-out at the park. One species that we have never clocked the top speed of is the hyena. In the wild, they are endurance runners and can run for several kilometres at a pace of approximately 40 miles per hour. Can Kate and keeper Kayleigh get them running?

Wildlife cameraman Hamza Yassin spends an hour studying the famous lions at the park, but he gets more than he’s hoping for when handsome Harry gets amorous with one of his lionesses. Zoologist Megan McCubbin gives a home makeover to the emperor scorpions, and a tiny zebra mouse has an appointment with the dentist.
Tuesday, 23 August 2022Summer 2022 Episode 12 of 15

Kate Humble and Ben Fogle return to Longleat Safari Park for another spectacular summer series following the fascinating stories of the exotic animals and the keepers who look after them.

Earlier in the series, the wolf pack was rocked by the death of pregnant mother Aliska. She died whilst she was in labour along with her pups. Now, another problem is looming, and this time the focus is on her partner, Jango. He has been showing signs of a urinary infection, so the keepers have brought him into the wolf house. It’s soon obvious that the problem is bladder stones, but if the vets cannot flush them through, Jango's only other option is a risky operation. The keepers are nervous because this was exactly the condition that caused the death of much-loved timber wolf Dave.

At the park, keepers often need to come to the aid of an animal in need, so sometimes it’s nice to stop and admire the beauty and majesty of the creatures, which is exactly what wildlife cameraman Hamza Yassin has an opportunity to do today with the cheetahs. With his zoom lens, Hamza is able to get close enough to see their incredible claws, which unlike most cats' cannot retract, and investigate their incredible markings, which are not just on their fur but in fact go right through to their skin.

Also today, Thorn the giraffe is being trained so that he can receive a giant pedicure, zoologist Megan McCubbin serves up some ice lollies to the donkeys to try to keep them cool, and Ben creates a scent trail for one of his favourite animals, the tapir.
Monday, 22 August 2022Summer 2022 Episode 11 of 15

Kate Humble and Ben Fogle return to Longleat Safari Park for another spectacular summer series following the fascinating stories of the exotic animals and the keepers who look after them.

Today, the team are braced for the arrival of a species that hasn’t lived at the park for 30 years. Longleat is already home to a collection of eleven wallabies, but the park's visitors often confuse them with kangaroos, which are much larger. The best way to teach them the difference is for the two species to live side by side, so a kangaroo is making the 400-mile journey from Edinburgh Zoo to join the collection in Wiltshire. But keeper Gemma is worried. She has looked after wallabies for years and knows they can be quite tricky to control, but kangaroos can grow to more than double the size and are capable of jumping eight metres. Just how big is the animal that she will have to look after?

Elsewhere, another new arrival is causing a stir. The native Eurasian beaver has returned to the estate for the first time in 400 years. This isn’t just good news for the park but also for the environment. Beavers are nature’s ultimate engineers, and their dam building encourages other species to take up residence. In an astonishing development, the Beaver Trust has been called in because some footage exists that might prove that the beavers have had babies.

Zoologist Megan McCubbin feeds the only Californian sea lions in the world who share their home with hippos, and she finds out if, after a traumatic summer, the wolves will unite for a morning howl. Meanwhile, wildlife cameraman Hamza Yassin may have met his match when he is set a photography challenge by Animal Park legend Ian Turner.
Friday, 19 August 2022Summer 2022 Episode 10 of 15

Ben Fogle and Kate Humble are back for another glorious summer series following the incredible lives of the exotic animals at Longleat Safari Park and the keepers who care for their every need.

There was shock last year when a surprise family turned up at the park and established a home. Beavers started building a lodge on Half-Mile Lake alongside two hippos, half a dozen sea lions and a couple of big boats. What’s even more surprising is that the last time beavers roamed this area was before Longleat House was completed in 1580. But are they still in residence? The keepers have been filming throughout the year using camera traps, and the signs are good that the beavers have settled, but when they scroll through the lakeside CCTV, the keepers make an extraordinary and completely unexpected discovery.

Also, the tension between a female tiger and her daughter is approaching boiling point. Normally solitary animals in the wild, the tigers are showing signs of territorial strife in the park’s drive-through. Will the keepers be able to stop these arguments escalating into a potentially lethal conflict?

Ben is in the East Africa reserve to encourage the ostriches to run as fast as they might in the wild, while Megan sets a taste test for the hyenas. Kate discovers how the wolf pack and their keepers are doing since Eliska died, and plants a tree in her memory.
Thursday, 18 August 2022Summer 2022 Episode 9 of 15

Kate Humble and Ben Fogle are back for another sunny summer series following the remarkable lives of the exotic animals at Longleat Safari Park, and the keepers who care for their every need.

The keepers recently discovered that the mother of the wolf pack, Eliska, is pregnant. However, in today’s episode, their joy turns to fear. They’ve spotted some very strange behaviour. Eliska is lethargic and not interested in her food. She’s clearly in need of urgent attention, so the vets are called, but if the worst happens, what will be the implications for the rest of the pack?

This summer, we have been following the first southern koala joey born in Europe, tracking her progress day and night as she has grown before our eyes. Today, Kate and Ben meet her to find out what she’s eating, how fast she’s growing and if mum and daughter are bonding.

Megan McCubbin continues to discover how the team keep their animals entertained and in great condition, and as a former animal keeper herself, Megan needs no encouragement to get stuck in. Today, she’s planting a lawn of grass for the southern hairy-nose wombat, and she reveals why they have cube-shaped poo. Meanwhile, wildlife cameraman Hamza Yassin uses his powerful macro lens to film the park’s spiders in extraordinary detail.
Wednesday, 17 August 2022Summer 2022 Episode 8 of 15

Ben Fogle and Kate Humble are back for another glorious summer series following the incredible lives of the exotic animals at Longleat Safari Park, and the keepers who care for their every need.

The keepers have called the vet to check one of the zebras. She has had a snotty nose over the winter and is now weak. As well as her health, the keepers are concerned that because she’s isolating herself from other zebras, the rest of the herd could turn on her. Will the vet and the keepers have to intervene?

Also, the keepers have spotted a problem with one of their older cheetahs. He has lost weight and his teeth are worn down. The vets are called to investigate, which means an examination under sedation. The news isn’t good - the cheetah has serious kidney failure. One of the most important things the keepers must do now is to help the cheetah drink more water, but how do you measure how dehydrated a cheetah is, and how do you encourage this very fussy animal to drink more water?

Elsewhere in the park, Kate finds out how the keepers are slowly gaining the trust of their hyenas. Ben helps keeps the emus cool with a spot of grape bobbing, and Megan helps the keepers weigh the delightful red-handed tamarins and puts the Indian runner ducks to bed. Hamza spends an hour getting close up and personal with a Rothschild's giraffe.
Tuesday, 16 August 2022Summer 2022 Episode 7 of 15

Kate Humble and Ben Fogle return to Longleat Safari Park for another spectacular summer series following the fascinating stories of the exotic animals and the keepers who look after them. Today, Kate and Ben find out why love isn’t always easy - even for animals.

We have been following the incredible story of the birth of Europe’s first southern koala joey. As koalas are now classified as endangered in parts of Australia, the park’s breeding programme has never been more important, and with this in mind, the keepers have decided to introduce successful dad Burke to a different female, Maisie. But they’re both feisty animals, so it's not clear if they can even live together, never mind mate. A few days after they are introduced, the keepers spot some surprising behaviour - but is it good news?

There’s also some unexpected behaviour in Wolf Wood. The keepers have noticed that the wolves have been digging a lot recently, and this could be a clue that the pack is on the brink of enormous change. Could the mother of the pack be pregnant? Wildlife cameraman Hamza takes the chance to get a closer look at the pack’s dynamics and check in on the mum-to-be. Will he find more evidence of pregnancy?

Ben gets an update on three-year-old tiger Yuki, and Kate mourns the loss of one of the park’s legendary animals. Meanwhile, Megan continues to find out how the keepers in the park maintain their animals' great condition. Today, she helps with a health check on two new arrivals - a pair of royal pythons.
Monday, 15 August 2022Summer 2022 Episode 6 of 15

Ben Fogle and Kate Humble are back for another sunny summer series following the remarkable lives of the exotic animals at Longleat Safari Park, and the keepers who care for their every need.

Today, we find out that building a relationship with an animal takes a huge amount of work and commitment, but the results can be spectacular. Over the last few years, Animal Park has followed the park’s efforts to gain the confidence of the hyenas. They have had a history of being skittish and staying away from humans, but the keepers have worked slowly to gain their trust. This week, the park needs to tidy and maintain their enclosure, so the hyenas can remain active and in good health, but they can only do it if they can persuade the hyenas briefly into their house. It’s a nerve-racking experience for the keepers as one false move could mean losing years of trust-building with the hyenas.

Also, the keepers have to carry out essential health checks on the park’s new red pandas. The animals spend most of their lives in the treetops, so it’s hard to see their feet, but the keepers have a plan. They are building a clever gadget that will show each panda’s reflection, but only if they can be persuaded to stand on it. How will the keepers encourage these famously nervous animals to come near it?
Friday, 12 August 2022 (two episodes)Summer 2022 Episode 4 of 15

Ben Fogle and Kate Humble are back for another sun-filled summer series, following the extraordinary lives of the exotic animals at Longleat Safari Park and the keepers who look after their every need. Today, we find out how the keepers' continued vigilance and dedication to the animals' welfare can alert them when something seems to be wrong.

There’s another milestone for Hazel, the first southern koala born in Europe. She has to be separated from her mother for a short period. This is to ensure that the keepers earn the baby’s trust before she becomes impossible to work with. Without this, the park wouldn’t be able to perform their routine and important health checks. But can the keepers separate Hazel from her mum for ten minutes without distressing either of them?

Also, one of the keepers has noticed that the park's monitor lizard has a worrying issue with his spine. A specialist osteopath, who takes care of zoo animals that suffer from muscle or joint problems, is brought in to investigate. If he can’t treat the lizard, the keepers will have to resort to giving him medication, a dangerous job for those who look after him. The osteopath decides to use laser therapy on the lizard, but will it work?

Elsewhere in the park, it’s not just the animal keepers who are kept on their toes. The housekeepers of Longleat have their hands full hunting for carpet beetles that munch away on natural fibres like wool and silk. Kate heads inside to help in one of the house’s 135 rooms. Ben celebrates a white-fronted brown lemur’s 28th birthday, but what type of cake does a lemur enjoy?

Megan McCubbin finds out how the keepers train the nervous bongos to accept medical procedures like medicine and blood tests. Hamza Yassin has been given a task by the head of animal operations: to record the number of different wild birds he can spot in the park in just an hour. It’s a useful barometer of the diversity of native species in the park.

Summer 2023 Episode 5 of 15

Kate Humble and Ben Fogle return to Longleat Safari Park for another glorious summer series, following the incredible stories of the exotic animals and the keepers who look after them.

The park’s Amur tiger breeding programme has been a huge success, with a male and female born three years ago. The precious cubs are now almost fully grown and nearing the age when they could be separated to start their own families. Before the keeper's do this, they want to assess the male’s strength and determine if he has developed enough to cope on his own should he be moved to another breeding programme. They have built a massive spring to test the cub’s strength. Can the nearly grown tiger outmuscle his dad?

It’s always exciting when a new species arrives at the park, but it’s also a lot of work. The keepers have to do all their research and then create an environment that is specifically designed for that creature's needs. The latest addition to the park is one of the world’s slowest mammals, a two-toed sloth. They have to build an enclosure to meet her exacting needs, but can they create the perfect atmosphere with the exact humidity and heat she needs? If they can’t, her stomach will stop working, and she won’t be able to digest food properly. Wildlife cameraman Hamza Yassin takes his chance to get some amazing close-up shots of the sloth, but it turns out that trying to film one of the slowest animals on earth isn’t as easy as you’d think.

Elsewhere, Ben helps the keepers hang a swing to keep the rhesus macaques entertained, and Kate helps build an assault course for the only southern hairy-nosed wombat in Europe. Also, zoologist Megan McCubbin continues to find out how the keepers in the park keep their animals entertained and in great condition. Today, she discovers how the keepers keep their rabbits' teeth trimmed.
Thursday, 11 August 2022Summer 2022 Episode 3 of 15

Kate Humble and Ben Fogle return to Longleat Safari Park for another glorious summer series, following the incredible stories of the exotic animals and the keepers who look after them. There have been many successful newborns at the park over the years, but today we find out why breeding programmes are not always easy.

There’s a race to stop one of the park’s most important breeding programmes from falling apart. Last year, the park joined a red squirrel breeding programme, and they have already had babies. However, those babies are already nearly adults, they’re squabbling, and they can’t live together. So they need to be separated. But you can’t just catch a squirrel as it’s too stressful for them, so the keepers have to make a plan. With the animals' safety at stake, this is one move that can’t happen soon enough, but can the keepers do it without causing serious stress to the squirrels?

Also, could it be 'maybe baby' for one of the park’s most endangered species? Kate meets a new female red panda, who has been paired to breed with a male. Kate sees that there are exciting signs that she could indeed be pregnant, and she helps the keepers weigh her. Meanwhile, wildlife photographer Hamza Yassin tries to confirm whether one of the other female pandas is building a nest high up in the enclosure’s tree? If so, it might be a sign that she could also be pregnant.

Elsewhere, Ben is serving dinner to a pair of cold-blooded killers, the Cuban crocodiles, and he has brought ‘Croc Cam’ to capture every bite. Zoologist Megan McCubbin continues to find out how the keepers in the park keep their animals entertained and in great condition. Today, she uses her skills as a former animal keeper to muck out the park’s collection of Rothschild's giraffes and help identify whether a camel has a tooth problem.
Wednesday, 10 August 2022Summer 2022 Episode 2 of 15

Ben Fogle and Kate Humble are back for another sunny summer series, following the lives of the exotic animals at Longleat Safari Park and the keepers who look after their every need.

The keepers are nervously waiting for a new arrival - a capybara, the largest rodent in the world. He’s in a lovely new home, and after a month’s mandatory quarantine, he's allowed out into his very spacious enclosure. But this isn’t without risk. The keepers must ensure that every inch of the fence line is secure, because they want the capybara to explore his enclosure - not the rest of the Longleat estate. Our cameras capture his release, but within seconds the keepers’ fears are realised, and he disappears from view. Do they have an escaped animal?

Yesterday we showed the incredible story of the birth of Europe’s first southern koala joey, and today we continue to follow its journey. It’s now six months old, and keepers are nervously doing everything they can to ensure its survival. We find out why baby koalas eat their mum’s poo, and when they take their first steps to independence. But there’s one big question - is this joey a boy or a girl? To answer this involves its first vet visit - and its first separation from its mum. Will the keepers be able to safely lift it from Violet without causing either too much stress?

Elsewhere in the park, Ben and Kate have been following the journey of Willow the aardvark since she was born at Christmas in 2020. Her mum couldn’t feed her, so she was hand-reared for five months, and since then she has grown to be bigger than the rest of her family. Ben helps with one of her regular check-ups, crucial to ensure her continued health.

The team are constantly trying to imitate their animals' natural environment and creating fresh ways to keep the animals engaged. Megan McCubbin helps the keepers stimulate the meerkats' senses with a variety of smells. Will they prefer lavender, eucalyptus or fruit tea? Or the box they arrived in? Hamza Yassin uses his powerful macro lens to help keepers identify whether any of the newly hatched lorikeet eggs have hatched.
Tuesday, 9 August 2022Summer 2022 Episode 1 of 15

Kate Humble and Ben Fogle return to Longleat Safari Park for a spectacular, sun-drenched summer series, following the remarkable lives of the exotic animals and the keepers committed to help them.

In this episode, a cowardly lion is in danger of being attacked by her fellow lioness. Beryl's solitary behaviour is putting her in peril, as an unconfident member of the pride can be rejected. To ensure her standing in the group, the keepers have come up with a plan to elevate Beryl's status amongst the lionesses and build up her confidence.

It’s been three years since Europe’s only southern koala breeding programme started, and Animal Park has followed every step of the phenomenal journey. There has been some incredible news, and it’s all been caught on camera. Violet started putting on weight last year, and after a few months there were signs that there was life inside her pouch. The keepers nervously wait for signs that their hopes of a precious joey could come true.

Elsewhere, Ben helps geriatric pygmy goat Jake have his first bath. Kate meets the park's eastern black and white colobus monkeys and finds out why they appear to have a ‘cape,’ and how they move around their own island.

Wildlife photographer Hamza Yassin is back for another series, using his specialised kit to help the keepers solve some of the trickier problems across the park. Today, there’s a mystery to solve: can he sex the three baby Pere David deer?

This summer we have a new member of the team, zoologist Megan McCubbin. She’s finding out how the keepers in the park keep their animals entertained and in great condition - and as a former animal keeper herself, Megan needs no encouragement to get stuck in. Today, she’s helping the keepers encourage the Amur tigers to swim in their pond. They are surprisingly powerful swimmers with partially webbed paws.
Monday, 8 August 2022No showRepeat
Friday, 5 August 2022No showRepeat
Thursday, 4 August 2022No showRepeat
Wednesday, 3 August 2022No showRepeat
Tuesday, 2 August 2022No showRepeat
Monday, 1 August 2022No showRepeat
Friday, 29 July 2022No showRepeat
Thursday, 28 July 2022Summer 2021 Episode 4 of 15

Longleat's keepers have to be ready for anything in the park, and today they have a challenge on their hands when one of their residents goes missing. While doing the morning rounds, it was discovered that Spud the two-year-old porcupine had disappeared from his enclosure. Any escaped animal, no matter how dangerous, is a serious matter, but how do you find a perfectly camouflaged escaped animal amongst a million trees? He’s a highly skilled climber and well adapted to this climate, but it’s still dangerous for him outside his enclosure. The keepers spread out to hunt him down and search the CCTV footage to retrace his steps.

Meanwhile, the future of one of the legends of the park, Dave the wolf, hangs in the balance. He has been having problems urinating for a few weeks, and everything points to an infection. Initial medication doesn’t seem to be working, so the keepers and vets have to sedate and X-ray him to diagnose and treat his condition. The whole park holds its breath over the future of this beloved wolf.

Elsewhere in the park, Ben witnesses a three-hour-old red deer fawn take its first steps, and Jean Johansson helps some of the animals behave the way they would in the wild, with an insect-filled log for the armadillo and a tall feeder for the donkeys.
Wednesday, 27 July 2022Summer 2021 Episode 3 of 15

Growing up is hard to do, especially if you’re a tiger. The park’s young male tiger, Rusty, is being far from charming. His rough pawing and attention seeking are raising tempers with his sister and mother, changing the once harmonious family dynamic. The behaviour is natural, but the keepers are concerned and feel they must intervene to prevent any serious injuries. In the wild, male tigers are solitary animals, so the keepers decide to separate Rusty from his mum and sister at night. But how will the animals react?

Elsewhere in the park, there have been two tiny new additions, arriving as part of an international breeding programme. They are a pair of dik-diks, a tiny species of antelope. The keepers are thrilled to see signs of a potential pregnancy, but just days later, they make a discovery that points to an illness. Working with the vet, they must diagnose the problem, hoping that it doesn’t risk the future of the breeding programme.

Meanwhile, Kate helps perform a rhino health check using a very large set of bathroom scales, and Jean Johansson helps the keepers feed the stick insects whilst ensuring nothing goes to waste at the park.
Tuesday, 26 July 2022Summer 2021 Episode 2 of 15

The lives of a mother and her tiny baby hang in the balance when a birth goes dramatically wrong. The park has been trying to grow their herd of pygmy goats, so were thrilled to discover two were pregnant, but there is also concern. Pygmy goats are cute and cuddly, but size matters when you’re giving birth, and often this tiny species struggles in labour. When one of the females goes into labour early, the keepers rush to her side, but as time goes by, they get increasingly worried about the kid. They soon call in the vet as the situation worsens, but can they do enough to save the life of the baby and the mother?

Also in the programme is Baloo the binturong, who arrived in the collection just before Christmas. Binturongs are natural tree climbers, and Baloo is especially good at climbing out of his enclosure – five escapes and counting! The keepers have no idea how he is doing it, but they need to find out fast so they can reinforce the enclosure. They decide to take a risky strategy: allow Baloo to escape so that he reveals his escape route. But will he make a run for it today, and will the keepers be able to get him back?

The park has had much success breeding pancake tortoises, which is important because they are at risk of extinction in the wild. Ben has been following the family at the park for the past few years, and today he is helping the keepers sex the young tortoises. The team are constantly trying to mimic their animals' natural environment and inventing fresh ways to keep the animals entertained. Jean Johansson helps the keepers add some variety to the diets of the tigers and hyenas, serving up some ostrich eggs.
Monday, 25 July 2022Summer 2021 Episode 1 of 15

Kate Humble and Ben Fogle return to Longleat Safari Park for another sun-drenched summer series following the extraordinary lives of the exotic animals and the keepers committed to help them.

Jumba the lion has a worrying infection in his tail, so the keepers and the vets must work together to find a solution fast. When the park first opened in 1966, very little was known about lions from a veterinary point of view, but since then the team have made an enormous contribution to the worldwide understanding of exotic species. When Rich the vet has to amputate Jumba’s tail, it’s not just a first for him, it’s the latest extraordinary procedure to support the welfare of animals at the park.

Kate marvels at the huge herd of eland, but also finds out why there have been a few more babies this season than they were expecting. Ben gets the extraordinary opportunity to observe the troop of bachelor gorillas. In the wild, they spend much of their day foraging for food, so to try to recreate this behaviour the keepers have a plan involving some chopped vegetables and broom heads. Jean Johansson helps cool down the South American tapirs, who would normally stay cool under a rainforest canopy, and finds out how parrots react to the heat of fiery chillies that they might find in the wild.

There’s also a new member of the Animal Park family: wildlife photographer Hamza Yassin is focusing his specialist zoom lenses on the behaviour of the park’s amazing animals. Today he is with the macaque monkeys. Can he identify the dominant member of the group and help the keepers understand the latest hierarchy?
Friday, 22 July 2022Summer 2020 Episode 15 of 15

The keepers in Koala Creek are on tenterhooks as they await news of the park’s southern koala breeding programme, the only one of its kind in Europe. After experienced dad Burke mated with all three females, everyone’s eyes are peeled for signs of pregnancy. But koala joeys are just two centimetres long when born and hide out in their mum’s pouch for the first few months of life. As the keepers prepare for every eventuality, will a heat-sensitive camera detect a raised temperature that could indicate the park’s first ever koala joey is on its way?

Ben joins the park’s two troublesome tiger cubs, Rusty and Yuki, for their first birthday bash. The youngsters are in for a treat, as keeper Amy has constructed an extraordinary cake - sausage, fish and all!

After 20 years of working at the park, Kate is allowed to walk the giraffe out to pasture. It’s a risky job. Rothschild’s giraffes are skittish, capable of charging at 30 miles per hour and have a kick strong enough to take down a lion. Experienced keeper Tina is there to guide her through every exhilarating step.

Jean Johansson joins keeper James to take a closer look at the anatomy of Gwen, a huge hairy tarantula. But as Jean confronts her fears, she sees the beautiful and fascinating creature behind the scary spider stereotype.
Thursday, 21 July 2022Summer 2020 Episode 14 of 15

In this episode, we go in search of the native wildlife that lives tooth-to-jowl with Longleat’s impressive exotic animal collection. The park's head of forestry, Jim McConkie, is trying to capture an image of wild otters thought to inhabit a river on the estate, and he has roped his children in to help. They find evidence of crayfish, one of the otter’s favourite snacks, but can they capture this elusive, nocturnal predator on their camera traps?

Senior keeper Ian is a keen photographer and birder. He has snapped a true rarity feeding at his garden table – a songbird that hails all the way from the Far East. But can he photograph red kites, the majestic birds of prey, scavenging for supper from the leftovers of the lion feed-up?

Red, the male Amur tiger, has been behaving badly around a few visiting vehicles. The team have a new training regime to get him back on the straight and narrow, but will he earn his meaty reward, or is his taste for cars too strong? Meanwhile, Kate is with another of the park’s big cat family as she checks on the mobility of female cheetah Xena. Born with a growth abnormality in her legs, Xena had to be hand-reared. It’s an emotional moment as this cat, who has been through so much, shows that she has plenty of gas in the tank.

And Jean Johansson joins keeper Sophie to weigh the park’s elderly Asian elephant. Anne might be in her sixties, but at just under three and a half tons, she still packs some muscle.
Wednesday, 20 July 2022Summer 2020 Episode 13 of 15

Kate meets Turnip, a young Grant’s zebra, who has suddenly become lame. Is the cause a strange neurological condition called wobblers disease, or are the other zebras picking on the youngest in the herd? Whatever it is, little Turnip faces an uncertain future.

Prehensile-tailed porcupines Squash and Pumpkin are proper little escape artists. Using their long, monkey-like tails to climb, they flee their enclosure at night to roam wherever they want, putting themselves in danger. Ben plays Sherlock Holmes to track them down, and a special camera rig is built to capture exactly how these two rascals are getting out.

Jean Johansson is with keeper Caleb as Harry the lion comes face to face with his own reflection and life-size photographs of other male lions. Will he attack them as he might in the wild, and will his pride of lionesses stay loyal to their fella?
Tuesday, 19 July 2022Summer 2020 Episode 12 of 15

In the cheetah house, romance seems to be brewing between new girl Rachel and ladies' man Carl. But will the partnership result in babies? There is a concern that Carl is too old to become a father again, but with two of his sons vying to be next in line to woo Rachel, Carl needs to watch his back.

Meanwhile, in an incy wincy corner of Animal Adventure, a lone male desertas wolf spider is attempting to save his entire species by mating with a rather scary female who goes by the name of Exorcist. As many female spiders are cannibals who eat their partners, keeper James isn’t sure whether their courtship will read like a romantic novel or a horror story.

Jean Johansson joins keeper Rosie and Alima the Bactrian camel for some laser treatment with animal osteopath Tony. Ben is in fine voice when he is invited to a birthday party for AJ the red panda, and Kate loses out to Burke the koala in a popularity contest as she rifles through his extensive fan mail.
Monday, 18 July 2022Summer 2021 Episode 15

Thorn the giraffe is an elder statesman of the park and has a reputation for a fiery temper and grumpy demeanour. But as animals get older, they come to rely on their keepers more. Thorn is having problems with his hooves, which have become overgrown. For the vet to get close enough to treat Thorn's hooves, the keepers need to train Thorn to lift his foot on command. Can the keepers train this giant giraffe without getting in the way of a potentially killer kick?

Elsewhere in the park, another team of vets are preparing to perform a procedure on a pair of male reindeer. They need to have their antlers removed before the new growth starts, and it’s a physically demanding job. Reindeer antlers are incredibly tough and need to be sawn off by hand while the animal is sedated. Working on two animals at the same time is a big challenge and requires teamwork between the keepers and the vets, but no anaesthetic is without risk, and one of the reindeer has not responded well to the drugs in the past. Will the two reindeer come through the operation this time?

Also, Jean Johansson finds out how fast the park’s legendary lions can run and gives the giant African land snails a bath.

About Animal Park

Cute critters and caring keepers. Kate Humble and Ben Fogle explore Longleat Safari Park, meeting a host of exotic, fascinating animals and the people who look after them.

This show is broadcast on BBC, also known as the British Broadcasting Corporation.

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