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PREVIEW: Animal Park (Summer 2021), BBC One

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 help 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 foo, so to try to recreate this behaviour the keepers have a plan involving some chopped vegetables and some broomheads. 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?

Animal Park returns Monday 9th August at 9:15am on BBC One.

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