The Insects of the Zoo: A Complete Episode of Secrets of the Zoo: Down Under – Documentary

The Insects of the Zoo: A Complete Episode of Secrets of the Zoo: Down Under – Documentary

The Bugs of the Zoo (Full Episode) | Secrets of the Zoo: Down Under

Feeding time at the zoo is like a military operation to keep all the residents fed, and at Teranga’s kitchens, the bug house is always buzzing with activity. Insects are a crucial part of the diet for many insectivorous animals at the zoo, and the Bug House ensures that they are always stocked with live food.

Christine, a food technician at the Bug House, meticulously prepares weekly orders of insects for the zoo’s insect-eating animals. From mealworms to maggots to crickets, every bug is bred on site and carefully packed for delivery to various precincts around the zoo.

Meanwhile, at the reptile house, Keeper Emma attends to Blue, an elderly rhino iguana who has been experiencing health issues. With the help of vet Gabby, Blue undergoes a thorough examination and is found to have a cataract in his eye and a small ulcer. Despite the initial complications, Blue is treated with pain relief and antibiotics, and his health is closely monitored.

In another part of the zoo, Keeper Michael works with endangered Northern corroboree frogs, breeding them as a safeguard against extinction. He watches as tadpoles metamorphose into frogs, a process that is essential for the survival of this unique species.

Back at the capybara exhibit, five brothers are causing concern as aggression escalates among them. Vet Kimberley inserts a hormonal implant into the main aggressor, Rodney, in an attempt to reduce his testosterone levels and curb the fighting within the group.

As the weeks pass, Rodney’s aggression decreases, and the peace is restored among the capybara brothers. Unfortunately, not all stories have a happy ending, as beloved Blue the rhino iguana passes away from a stroke. The zoo mourns the loss of this favorite resident, but life goes on with Basar, the remaining rhino iguana, taking over as the exhibit’s queen.

From the Bug House operations to the care of endangered frogs and the challenges of managing animal behavior, “The Bugs of the Zoo” offers a glimpse into the intricate workings of a world-class zoo and the dedicated team of keepers and vets who ensure the well-being of its residents.

Watch the video by Nat Geo WILD

Video Transcript

Feeding time at the zoo is like a military operation to keep all the residents fed teranga’s kitchens never seem to shut and the live food unit known as the bug house is quite literally always buzzing it’s full of Little Critters that are bred on site and others that

Are ordered in all of the insects that we order in come in life the main reason is insectivorous animals don’t see a dead bit of meat and think food they need that movement that stimulation to make them want to go after and Chase and hunt the

Prey niis thank you I’ll wait for your call bye this morning Christine is preparing weekly orders for the zoos insect devores or insect eating animals the orders have to be um very precise to make sure the correct amounts go out we spend a lot of time putting all

Of this together for it to happen all in one day we’re sending one to nocturnal two to retreat these bags and boxes are packed full of insects in all shapes and sizes this trolley is full of beetle are they so most people are pretty familiar with mealworms the reason they’re called

Mealworms is that they’re actually kept in brand or like mey sort of stuff and that’s what they eat morning out is the ordering Christine has worked here for four years and she loves her bugs oh they adorable look at those little faces these little mandibles insects are the cutest this

Cute little just soft crawling around it’s a really comforting feeling for Me one of the most important roles of the bug house is to breed insects including house flies this one net will produce a week’s worth of maggots this net alone produces 20 kilos in a week every day we put it in egging tray and when we get it out

They are chalk full of maggots they are so thick in there the containers actually feel warm but maggots are just the first stage of housefly development that is fed to the hungry insector fly pupet is like the Crysis for a butterfly but for flies the next

Day AG is pupe and they’re just as much in demand they’re little packets of protein wrapped in a little case there’s this beautiful grainy sensation like putting your hand into rice or seed and they’re just they’re quite cool I will admit they do have a bit of an unusual

Smell on an average week we aim to produce about 20 kilos of pupe this is actually our week’s haul collected from our fly room to stop them all hatching into flies we’re going to freeze it we want to have the bigger sizes for the majority of our

Animals other than that the really small stuff is actually great because we can use some of the really small hatched flies to feed our really small spiders with each stage of the fly life cycle passing in just a few days timing is everything especially in the maggot

Room so these guys believe it or not the ones I’m harvesting today they’re 5 days old tomorrow when they’re 6 days old they’ll start pupating and we’ll Harvest on day seven uh if we leave it to day eight they will be flies these guys live on brand uh effectively cereal and they get

Nice and big on it too which is very very lovely we’ve got 16 trays to collect today so there’s a lot of hungry mous to feed out there and they all quite love these little tiny tiny maggots with her maggot orders nearly done Christine completes the weekly inscore buffet with some crunchy

Crickets which are also bread at Tango okay we go through different sizes so the larges we only go through about 5,000 a week but we go through a hell of a lot more smalls so every day when we set up our large crickets we actually put in an

Egging tray something like this and they’ll just lay these beautifully almost translucent eggs that are very very tiny and thin and in about 9 to 11 sometimes 14 days they’ll hatch and they’re incredibly tiny these hatched this morning and these are very essential for our crowberry breeding

Program so the cowberry frogs are very very tiny when they’re young and they have to eat really tiny food like every animal in teranga’s care even the insects are cherished until they’re eaten of course so we’re just pouring the Crickets all into here crickets they like being being sheltered so when they

Get buried in the vermiculite they’re actually not that upset it’s safe it’s dark Predators can’t find them we want to make sure that we’re providing the best welfare for these guys so that in turn they can provide the best welfare to the animals they’re fed to so when

These guys are happy and healthy the animals that eat them will also be happy and healthy half of this tub is going to nocturno house and half of it going to our Carnival team when it comes to Counting how many crickets we’re assigning to each department

We have to eyeball it it would take me quite a while to individually count, 1500 crickets into the tubs and that’s just a little bit silly for this morning and with thousands of hungry mouths waiting there’s no time for that Christine’s only priority is to get the

Insects packed and out for delivery as quickly as possible this is usually done within 90 minutes cuz after a certain point the zoo is closed to all vehicles so our delivery truck can’t get through if we’re running late it can stop function in the rest of the zoo cuz if they don’t

Have their food on time certain feeds can’t happen and that’s the last thing anybody or any animal Wants teranga’s reptile house is home to a pair of elderly rhino iguanas hello sweet girl hello basar come on in go who are a bit of a favorite with keeper Emma we have Tabasco here who is 24 years old uh she’s the boss of the exhibit and we

Also have blue and he’s our 28-year-old male Rino uana they are currently in a relationship and they have produced many babies over the years they’re a beautiful couple they are a terrestrial iguana so in the wild these guys would be found in the Dominican Republic and Haiti and

They’re from quite a dry environment they really do well in our Australian heat and when we look at them they truly do look like little dinosaurs so that little Rhino horn on her nose there that’s where they get their name from and those big chunky Jaws are mostly for display but they also

Mean that she’s got a very strong bite she’s got a lot of jaw power yes she’s telling me to go away at the moment I just wait Tabasco I know you’re the boss but sadly age brings complications and keepers have noticed that blue has been a bit off color

Lately hey little Excursion buddy we do like to keep a pretty close eye on our aging animals to make sure that they’re in the best condition that they can be he’s enjoying his little Chariot right we have noticed that his left eye has been squinting a little bit lately

So that could be a sign of a cataract or some sort of other underlying issue let’s pop him in here lizards rely on their excellent Vision so this is a red flag for vet Gabby so do you think he’s been able to see out of his left eye

Since I think his yeah his Visions dropped quite significantly and we’ve Tri it with food as well and putting it on his left side he just doesn’t even see that it’s there but he can see you with his right eye yeah AB he’s very responsive good so we’ll approach him

From the left let’s do that Safety First blue Must Be Sedated before the team can put him on anesthetic gas but that’s easier said than done oh you’re a stinky liard not skinny he’s a strong lizard he’s got a big neck and some big gels I’m just going to right it’s coming from

Okay here we Go sleepy T beautiful okay yep before Gabby can intubate blue she must ensure he’s had enough gas and that’s Complicated by the fact that reptiles can hold their breath our goal is to get an airway access to him so I want to be able to put a tube into

His draa for two reasons number one it’s it’s safe if I have access to his Airway and it means that we can breathe for him if he stops breathing which reptiles often do you may well jump you stand by Rhino iguanas are armed with powerful

Jaws and sharp teeth so the team must be certain he’s fully asleep he’s really good at closing his jaw with a lot of power behind it so I’d really rather my fingers not be in his mouth at that time yeah a little bit more he was Pretending located on pctures Sydney Harbor Tanga is one of the most spectacular zoos on the planet but some of teranga’s most important work takes place in a car park so we’ve got hundreds of hundreds of species here at throng Gazo that a lot of people get to see on a daily

Basis but there’s a lot of things out the back that people don’t see and here is one of our I guess conservation facilities that people wouldn’t be aware of keeper Michael is doing crucial work with an iconic and endangered Australian species the tiny Northern cobery frog at

The moment cuz they’re just warming up out of their winter Slumber we’re doing this little I guess small health checks on them make sure they all look good make sure they they all look healthy they’re all alert and active and so far everything we’ve seen seems perfect so these little Northern C frogs

Are pretty special they’re brightly colored one of our most brightly colored frogs they’re unique to Southeast region of Australia so they’re only found up in the High Country up in the areas like the snowy mountains in Kiosco and and just the bordering areas of the act as

Well they’re a walking frog so they’re not a jumping frog you won’t see these guys jumping along so they’re a little bit different to most frogs that people think about in their backyards where they lay their eggs in ponds or in in rivers these guys lay their eggs in

Terrestrial moist Moss nests these are guys are actually poisonous not poisonous to me and that’s not why I’m wearing gloves I’m wearing gloves more from the quarantine aspect they sequester some toxins in their skin some alkaloids from the ants and mites and other invertebrates they eat but they

Actually synthesize their own toxins as well which makes them immune to most predation that means the cobery Frog’s toxins would likely kill any predator unlucky enough to eat one so clearly Predators aren’t the reason these frogs are endangered in the world we don’t know exactly how many are left but there’s

Probably around a few thousand and the primary factor driving these guys to towards Extinction is an introduced disease it’s caused by a fungus called krid fungus and this fungus arrived in Australia back in the late ’70s early ‘ 80s and it it spread throughout the eastern part of Australia first and

Unfortunately we lost we think six species to the fungus and many more like the crwby frogs are right on the brink so this is really a safeguard for the species what you can see in the containers here every container’s got between four and six of these little

Northern crowberry frogs in them so that way if anything happens to this species in the wild and they disappear totally we’ve got a good insurance population here and hopefully once we work out better ways to aate kitd fungus in the wild we’ll be able to really boost

Population numbers back up again with a broader genetic range of the species as we can I personally really love working with these little guys uh for a couple of reasons one is my interest is conservation management but secondly the challenges that go along with working with small amphibians amphibians are

Amazing in terms of how they breed how they reproduce every species is quite different the challenge of conserving threatened species is something that really drives me and the one of the primary Reasons I’m here at Tanga and even more exciting for Michael is around this time each year he sees

The payoff for his labor of love here are our Northern cby frog Tad Pooles and these T Poes are pretty important these little guys here are the start of a new insurance population One of teranga’s most recent additions is a family of the world’s biggest rodents hey boys Cy Cappies the cppy bar native to South America come on guys so these five brothers came to us uh from New Zealand 12 months ago and we uh purpose built this new new habitat

For them and since arriving they’ve been enjoying their new environment perhaps a little too much in the wild capibara are semi- aquatic so they eat both terrestrial and aquatic plants um but they they are mainly grass eating rodents and a single Capi Bara can eat

Up to 3 kilos of grass in a single day they’ve pretty much destroyed all the uh the grass in this exhibit they’ve absolutely smashed it yeah but as the cap bars mature keepers are noticing it’s no longer happy families they are a funny Bunch they have the similar kind of traits that

You’ find in in five brothers no matter what species you are they’re reaching an age of almost 2 years old now and that’s an age when they each starting to develop individually um and because they’re all slightly different individuals they’re they’re developing a slightly different rate so we’re seeing the the Dynamics of

This group changing they are interacting with each other slightly differently as they start to reach that mature age keeper Johnny has identified the brother that’s really asserting his dominance over the rest so this is Rodney so he is the formerly the run of the litter now the the heaviest the

Biggest the boldest of the five brothers um he’s the one that’s been causing uh all the trouble that we’ve had recently in this group him and one of his cohorts Pedro have decided to pick on one of their brothers and it’s it’s little behaviors like chasing him into the pool and

Making sure he doesn’t come out uh or or chasing him away from feeding spots and one sibling seems to be the regular Target of Rodney’s attacks this is Carlos he’s the victim of the uh the Discord and aggression that we’ve seen in the group uh most recently and you

Can see a couple of open wounds on his body at the moment which I’m being very careful uh when touching he’s copped a few bites from his bigger brother Rodney and as you can see he’s uh he’s a bit nervous at the moment around any of

The other uh for boys and he has very much been uh put down to the bottom of the pile in terms of hierarchy in this group in the short term we’re monitoring the capibara group more closely and then we’re also going to bring the Vets down

Here and see what the options are in terms of quelling the aggression and trying to sort out uh some of the some of the Discord that’s happening with this group and try and bring Harmony back into the capibara environment we really want to nip it in the bud before it escalates to something

More than this P good across teranga many animals rely on live food for nutrition and enrichment and the food production unit affectionately known as The Bug House provides this vital service food technician Christine is racing against the clock to get the weekly orders packed and on the delivery

Truck before the zoo opens the deliveries go all across the zoo there’s so many precincts that he goes to I think the only one that isn’t included in the run is the Marine Mammal team cuz they eat fish they don’t eat bugs first stop for driver Martin is the

Bird kitchen morning morning we’re an average of 10 kilos of bugs are delivered every single week our bird section is the only Department that gets all three stages of fli they love their maggots they love their pupe and they also love their live flies but today it’s not just the clock that

Martin is racing it’s also the sun seasonally with the deliveries we want to be very aware of the temperature if it’s going to be a really hot day we want to have everything on the truck really quick very fast here’s your buds today cheers mate awesome that stuff’s

Frozen okay put the frz now thanks man have a good day winter we can be a little bit more relaxed in how long we leave stuff out but in summer it’s on gone and back in a freezer as quickly as we can make it morning good morning got our bug

Delivery yeah do you want an inside yeah that’d be great thank you so much next customers are the miria cats make a bit of mess who have been impatiently waiting for Danielle to deliver their breakfast okay little Mar’s marries M cats are omnivorous so they like to eat fruit and vegetables and a

Whole lot of of insects in the wild their favorites are scorpions if a scorpion was to bite a meat nothing would happen they’re immune to the scorpion venom so as part of their diet we do feed them a lot of insects and one of these things is fly pupe you can see

They really like it they like it so much that they have these little scuffles and these little tiffs over it it’s every individual for themselves when it comes to fly pupe cuz it is a tasty little treat Meats have very high metabolisms cuz they’re active all day so they burn

Their food quite quickly so we do need to give them small feeds regularly so this is just part of one of those feeds that they get throughout the day another mouthwatering morsel are the Crickets which are loaded into a man-made termite mound to tantalize these little carnivores taste buds the

Carnivore team A500 large crickets in there order there’s one that will last them for just a week while the Crickets keep the Mir cats busy the next Bug House delivery is eagerly anticipated blue the 28-year-old rhino iguana has been having some trouble with his left eye and this morning fed Gabby

Is trying to solve the mystery I just love his little thighs he’s in beautiful condition you’re an old boy yeah yeah although he’s an older lizard he still has a good set of teeth and a powerful jaw which makes intubation a delicate and lengthy business it really

Stimulates them if you open their mouth when they’re once they’re asleep and if you start putting a tube near his Airway he will react so he has to be nice and asleep okay let’s give him another go bit of anesthetic spray we want to ensure that we don’t squash the Tube okay so we’ll leave that in his go it takes nearly an hour for blue to be fully intubated which gives Gabby the green light to start the procedure you can see his cataract here pretty easily a cataract is when the lens has changes in it to make it look white the

Lens is made up of fibers and the fact that they are aligned perfectly makes it actually see through so when you get inflammation and changes in the lens those fibers don’t align so perfectly so you can see them while the Cataract is restricting Blue’s fish it shouldn’t be causing any pain how

Long has he been squinting for few weeks that we’ve seen when you’re trying to discern whether or not he is in pain obviously he can’t tell us but he’ll squint so squinting is often a sign of pain one of the most painful things you

Can have in an eye is an ulcer on the corne and so this dye just helps us pick one up if there’s one there he’s got a tiny little ala on the corn okay it’s only small unrelated to the Cataract yeah so it’s on the outside of ey

Y whether or not that’s enough to cause the squinting is Up For Debate it’s but we’re going to treat him with pain relief and we’re giving him some antibiotics Gabby flushes the eye clean with some saline and then begins a thorough examination of this aging iguana I’m also looking for any crepitus

In the joints which just means crunchiness which can indicate arthritis so far so good he’s very good for a 28-year-old while Everything feels okay only x-rays will reveal any serious deterioration he looks so cute in that position just like look at that muscle just on first view his hips look

Great his ankles look great his knees look good the last thing on the list today is to get some blood and Gabby draws it from an intriguing part of Blue’s Anatomy lizards and snakes have a vessel that runs underneath their vertebrae of their tail it’s like a sinus rather than

An actual vein and pinpoint accuracy is crucial as it’s not the only precious piece of equipment hiding in the T end of this lizard most of their reproductive organs in the tail itself as well that’s where he’s are yep and he’s got a a double Banger too he’s got

Two of them got one on the right one on the left that’s where I’ll leave that oh there’s the blood Gabby will send Blue’s blood to pathology for analysis it’s all part of the hospital’s General Health check for its geriatric animals he’s up he’s up it’s an absolute

Thrill to work with blue I think he’s one of the more unique animals we have here and his exam’s gone really well last year he had a bit of stiffness in his right elbow and that’s resolved all his joints move really well he’s got good range of motion in his joints

Indicating that there’s no arthritis there and that’s confirmed on the radioraps how’s he going he breathing niely okay I’m happy for you to take it yeah they kicked up the stink before but now it looks pretty happy and just as well for While Blue may look

Pretty good on the outside he’s got an unseen problem Brewing on the inside sadly once it makes itself known it may be too Late back at teranga’s mundane looking cluster of shipping containers keeper Michael’s vital work with the endangered Northern cobber frog is paying off as the Next Generation finds their feet literally quite a few changes have happened here in the greeing facility the northern cowberry frog tadpoles have now mostly metamorphosed into frogs so

In this container we’re looking at at the moment there’s five all five little guys from this container of metamorphosed we have four that have fully resorbed their tail and we have one who’s still got a little bit of tail resorption to go he’s got his beautiful crobby frog patting beautiful uh cby

Frog colors but he’s still got quite a bit of a tail so at the moment he can’t eat all his energy at the moment is coming from that tail resorbing into his body so in maybe another I’d say four to 5 days time he’ll reabsorb that tail and

In about a week’s time he’ll be able to start to start feeding as a frog and start eating little crickets and little invertebrates these little tadpoles have gone through significant changes in around a fornite so this little guy I’ve got on my hand now is a terrestrial Northern

Cory frog he’s fully metamorphosed from a a t hole into a frog and being terrestrial means he’s now on land he’s only been an actual fully formed frog for maybe 2 or 3 days so not very long at all he’s actually gone from a a little swimming tadpole which has gills

For breathing so he’s lost these gills and developed internal lungs to be able to breathe he’s developed legs he’s popped his little front legs out through his through spiracles uh and his legs are fully developed now uh he’s gone from having a a suctorial disc type mouth part to having an actual

Carnivorous mouth part to be able to eat and not only that his internal digestion he’s gone from having a long spiraling vegetarian gut um to a short carniverous cut that a frog would have so his whole body has effectively changed over the last over the last two weeks it’s a

Massive changes for this little guy and for a species that’s teetering on extinction in the wild this gives Michael great pride and hope for the future it’s always great personally to see these little guys coming through at this time of year when they’re metamorphosing cuz it means everything

Been done right their tal husbandry their frog husbandry up until now is great and they’re getting through as little frogs for me that brings a great sense of personal satisfaction that that these little ones here are the start of a new insurance colony and over the next

Few years now we’ll really build that up and then I’ll be feeling a lot more secure that should anything happen in the wild um we’ve got a backup we’ve got an insurance population ready to go very Happy teranga is home to a vast array of animals some you’d love to cuddle some you’d love to swim with some you’d love to play with and then there’s those that you’d probably prefer to step on yeah what do you think’s in here we work with a whole range of

Species up here at the Institute and in here is definitely one of my favorites but in order to get him out I’ve got to find him first so I just have to try and gently remove the soil a bit just so I can find out where he is hello

Gorgeous so this is a giant borrowing cockroach the giant burrowing cockroach also known as the rhinoceros cockroach is an unlikely world record holder they are the heaviest cockroach in the world and they come from Australia there’s about 4,600 species of cockroach and he’s the heaviest these guys they can

Weigh up to 30 G and when you think about a cockroach that you might have in your house American and German cockroaches those guys weigh like 500 times less you know they’re 06 of a gram they’re teeny tiny in terms of their weight these guys are are much much

Heavier while Susie Treasures her adult cockroach keeper Paul is Keen to show off some of its young there there you are so this one here is just a uh it’s a sub adult giant baring cockroach these cockroaches give birth to live young and the mum is the one that will look after

The babies for up to a year unlike the uh the PES be the cockp they find around your house that can give birth to a couple of hundred uh young each year uh these give birth to up to about 30 we’ve got about 12 little youngst is here at

The moment and they’re about a year old this one’s got a fair bit of GR left to do it get probably about twice this size but it’s definitely old enough now that Mom would have left it be on its own so this is just one of many that

We’ve got here at the moment we do like to breede them ourselves and they are relatively easy to breede and the good thing is that if we’re able to be self-sufficient in that way we don’t have to take them from the wild and they make great ambassades for the species

And U you they’re really cool for our lessons and and encounters and things like that and despite their species reputation these guys are not pests they really are completely opposite to what everybody thinks of when they think of cockroaches you know they don’t carry diseases they’re not dirty or anything

Like that and they really do help the environment out a sentiment enthusiastically shared by Susie so this is definitely not your average cockroach they aren’t something to be scared of they’re not gross or creepy who takes her fondness for this cockroach one step further I love working with our

Cockroaches I think they’re so unique they’re so impressive he um whereas yeah cockroaches at at home I just don’t like Them there’s been some concerning brotherly aggression down at the cppy bar exhibit lately keepers are worried that as they get older increased testosterone levels are causing fights amongst this once tight-knit group the aggression has ramped up recently and the the victim or the the the bottom of

The pile so to speak Carlos has been uh found with bite marks on him there’s one main aggressor Rodney so to try to temper his moods vet kimbery and her team plan to insert a device which will regulate his hormone levels Kimberly to Capa Bar Keepers are you guys ready for us to

Head down down great thanks we’re heading down because the cppy bar are new to Tanga this is New Territory for kimbery I haven’t done a Kappa bear before this is first Kappa bear anesthesia I think at Tanga Zoo so we’ll see how we go did a quick research in capara anesthetic and

I found a paper and it looked like it was going to be a great paper but it was all in like Italian or Spanish or something I I did find I found the temperature temperature range got um fine well we’ll treat it like a giant guinea pig let see how we

Go as Rodney Waits the Vets prep the needle how this way but if kimbley hopes this is going to be easy okay put that in Rodney quickly sets her straight you’re okay f it’s Bug House home delivery day so we’re just pouring the Crickets all into here where a week’s worth of live

Insects are delivered to almost every Precinct in the zoo we breed everything up we when we get it all to the right stage then we can ship it out it’s been a busy morning of deliveries for driver Martin and the last stop is primates you got for this one box

Today thank you very much today we’ve got our protein order a bug order from the bug house looks like we’ve got some maggots and some meal worms we’ve just got a little bit today so a bit of a lunchtime snack in the wild squirrel monkeys Feast on a balanced diet including fruits

Flowers leaves and a r of insects protein is really important for these guys so that comes in the form of insects maybe eggs that they might find in the wild things like that our monkeys here love spending every afternoon in the afternoon sun catching bugs they

Love it hey girls what have I got what do you think pinky a maggot snack oh yum so they’re grabbing their handfuls of maggots and running you can imagine there’s 12 Monkeys so they need a lot of bugs so we supplement them with extra protein every afternoon let’s add a few

Meal worms down there the meal worms are their favorites but it seems like maggots are pretty popular today too they’ve picked out every little individual maggot so you can see their little fingers really small very very clever they’re great at using their hands they’re tiny little maggots and

They’re excellent at picking up tiny things like this maggots for these guys are like chocolate they love it it’s important for these guys that the food is live though and the movement of those insects captures their interest and that’s what attracts them to go and catch those insects so thanks for the

Bug House these guys have had a lovely little Snack the bug house is one of teranga’s behind the scenes powerhouses but Christine gives most of the credit to the unsung heroes of the food supply chain it’s really great I love doing my job I love doing the job well I’m always told that I’m a little

Bit too fussy with my bugs but I I love them I spend way too much time fussing over my maggots but they are my pride and joy I’m very proud of Them keepers have noticed that the five cppy bar brothers are no longer getting along the aggression has ramped up recently and the the victim so to speak Carlos has been uh found with bite marks on him so vets are hoping a home monal implant in the main aggressor Rodney

Will lower his testosterone levels and help curb the Fighting Kimberly is struggling to anesthetize Rodney so she hands the pul syringe to keeper Johnny to have a crack and Johnny hits the target first Go just mean Rodney has received his do as this is the first anesthesia on a capu Bara at Tanga no one really knows how he’ll react so nurse Liz keeps a close eye on him um he’s breathing well the um induction was very smooth and

Gentle um so he’s in the light made of anesthesia but so far everything’s going well once he’s fully under it’s off to the wildlife hospital for this feisty little rodent okay we’ll just wh that yep the door closed subtract it from that so we can get up this is the reproductive implant in

Males we use it to help quell aggression because it’ll decrease the testosterone levels it’s going fine no just glue it just need to pull it out slowly and leave it as I pull in the plunger leave it there so it doesn’t come out with it we only have one with the implant successfully

Inserted fabulous I’ve just used tissue glue to close the little hole that I made and you can’t even see that there’s an incision there so it’s very good kimbery takes full advantage of this first time procedure look at that little stubby tongue there’s not much of

A tongue there to get a closeup look at the teeth that Rodney’s been sinking into his younger brothers those in sizes are very much why we uh we want to stop the biting Behavior goes through flesh very very easily so those are huge they look really nice they’re worn well you get a

Good idea of how sharp they are side yeah yeah yeah big teeth to be biting yeah the other guy with yeah for sure all right I’m happy to take him back with all signs positive Rodney heads back to his four brothers I don’t think it’s going to

Take him long give him a little bit of a pillow that’s good yeah that’s great he’s had the reversal drug so it could take apparently anywhere up to 10 minutes from him to to kind of get get up and start moving around but I’m sure we’ll start to see signs shortly of him

Getting uh getting better while today’s procedure has been successful Keepers must wait a couple of weeks to see whether the implant works and the group returns to the original five fun loving Brothers it’s hard to know if this is this will be successful we don’t always

Know if it’s going to work in in different species so we’re we’re trying this but we’ll see we’ll see hello chaps how we doing it’s been a few weeks since Rodney the cppy barer received his hormonal implant to control his aggression towards his brothers hello in the first few days after the

Procedure Keepers were concerned with what they were seeing initially that implant actually caused them to spike as part of its regulation process um so we actually saw the aggression worsen slightly for the first week or so uh after the implant was uh put in um but then that everything started to work and

Started to settle down and kick in and work as it should do um and we’ve seen a drop in the aggression since then it’s not ideal to be a hormone implant in animals if you can avoid it but in this situation this is the the the best way to have dealt with this

Issue in the wild at this age they would start to get on each other’s nerves test each other’s boundaries and patience and that’s how they would naturally split up from each other uh and spread that brotherly the genetics elsewhere um but because we just have the five brothers

Here we don’t plan to breathe them at tangazo um these implants are a great way to manage their testosterone levels uh to manage that behavior as well that comes with it um and to keep them living very peacefully together uh for the future and thankfully the target of Rodney’s aggression is benefiting as

Well so just behind me uh on my right is Carlos and you can see on his left rump there he copped a bit of a nip from one of his brothers uh which have thankfully since healed up um but he’s had a a much much better existence since uh those

Implants have kicked in um and we’ve seen in the last few weeks that his life and quality of life has increased a lot that’s a fantastic thing from our point of view as as animal managers and animal Keepers it’s always good to see our animals in good condition and having a nice relaxed

Life the zoo’s elderly residents hold a special place in everyone’s Hearts vets and Keepers strive to give them the best quality of life with regular checkups so far so good he’s very good for a 28-year-old it’s been a year since blue the Aging rhino iguana was examined at

The hospital and although he was in good health for an old lizard time catches up with us All mo back and now there’s only one rhino iguana in the exhibit hello basar come on here we go here we go Blue unfortunately passed away from a stroke and it was totally unexpected come on okay B day today it was heartbreaking he’s one of my favorite animals and you

Feel it you feel it every day now that Blue’s gone it’s definitely been a a shift into bat’s Behavior she is the queen of this exhibit um she’s not afraid to tell tell anyone off of being in her space don’t you bite me and Tabasco is particularly

Territorial at meal times this is what we call a lizard salad and it has end dive kale sweet potato carrot squash zucchini H tomato egg everything a a lizard could ever dream of and she’s also got a couple of little treats here this morning so she’s got some mbery

Leaves uh she’s got some beautiful hibiscus flowers which she absolutely loves some ftles as well she really loves those greens these guys are her bous but they will also eat the occasional insect as well and even on a full stomach Tabasco lives up to her

Spicy name h h h no that’s not nice you ran out of treat so you start biting people oh okay you’re going to do a storm off now you are a diva you’ve had enough of Television you’re going to go see yourself in the sun okay while it’s hard to know whether or

Not she misses blue Tabasco does seem to be enjoying her own space and having everyone looking out for her she’s the boss she’s is the queen of this exhibit I’m just her humble Servant

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Video “The Bugs of the Zoo (Full Episode) | Secrets of the Zoo: Down Under” was uploaded on 01/24/2024 to Youtube Channel Nat Geo WILD