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Summer 2022: Episode 2



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. \n\nThe 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?\n\nYesterday we showed the incredible story of the birth of Europe’s first southern koala joey, and today we continue to follow its journey. Now six months old, the 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? A visit to the vet will provide the answer but that also means a first separation from mum. Will the keepers be able to safely lift the youngster from Violet without causing either too much stress? \n\nElsewhere 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.\n\nThe team are constantly trying to imitate natural environments and create 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 lorikeet eggs have hatched.

Source: BBC 2

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