Animal Park – Wild on the West Coast
Programmes on animals and wildlife have always been popular and this is a spin-off of “Animal Park”, with the team visiting California and the West Coast of America. It is presented by Ben Fogle (of Castaway and Countryfile) and Kate Humble (Springwatch).
During tonight’s programme of Animal Park – Wild on the West Coast, we saw:
- Scientists anaesthetising a giant male elephant seal in order to tag it for research. This was quite tricky as the seal was surrounded by a number of aggressive males who were making quite a lot of noise. Once the dart had been fired, the seal was kept under constant surveillance as it was possible for it to die by asphyxiation. The seal had a tag on its tail and an expensive satellite device placed on its head. It will be monitored for about a year and should give useful information about its lifestyle.
- An orphaned bay sea-otter was introduced to a surrogate mother from the local zoo, with the aim of her being taught “how to be an otter”. The introduction went surprisingly well.
- Ben Fogle assisted in introducing a sealion back into the ocean. The programme showed how to manouvre the animal using a set of boards and a cage. It was released together with another abandoned sealion and it was an emotional moment.
- The catching of jelly fish and we learnt that they have no brain but a complex nervous system, stinging tentacles and mouth pieces. Ben was nervous of being stung as they tend to go for soft flesh (and he had smooth presenter’s hands!).
- An island in the Pacific which is not just home to many varieties of seabird, but is the main stop off point for migratory birds as they travel around the globe. After it had been weighed, measured and tagged, Kate Humble released a sparrow back onto its flight path.
The programme is being aired during the weekdays and Friday’s episode will feature dolphins and the tagging of a blue whale.