Last Chance to See (2009) s01e07 Episode Script

Return of the Rhino - Special

'A year ago the zoologist Mark Carwardine took me to Africa 'in search of the critically endangered Northern White Rhino.
'We had many wildlife encounters' (Just fantastic.
) 'But we singularly failed to find Northern White Rhinos 'which a full scale survey then declared to be extinct in the wild.
'But, sometime after filming, we began to hear of an extraordinary 'mission to take four of the last Northern White Rhinos in captivity 'and return them to the plains of Africa in the hope that they might breed and save their kind.
'It was a mission that risked the life of people and animals alike.
'The last hope for some of the rarest creatures on earth.
' 'Every species of rhino in the world is threatened by extinction and the race is on to save them.
' Oh! Holy mackerel.
'When we were last in Africa, we saw how extreme measures are now being taken 'to move smaller black rhinos to re-establish breeding populations in new areas.
' There's the helicopter over there.
'This work is turning the corner for black rhinos.
'But for Northern Whites, it's already too late for this kind of help.
'Theirs is the ultimate conservation challenge.
' Oh, God.
Once, Northern White Rhinos roamed the grasslands of Central Africa in their thousands.
Today, there are none.
The problem is the horn.
Rhino horn is a key ingredient of so-called 'Chinese Medicine', fuelling the poaching that has depleted rhino numbers right across the world.
Northern White Rhinos were impossible to protect for one simple reason.
They lived in the middle of a long and bloody war.
Today there are just eight Northern White Rhinos left on earth.
Two in a zoo in San Diego, and six in a zoo at Dvur Kralove in the Czech Republic.
Goodness knows how some of these tropical animals cope with frozen water.
'Unfortunately, Northern Whites only breed well in the wild, 'and so a last-ditch attempt is about to be made to send some of them home.
'It's the very last chance to save the third-largest animal on land from imminent extinction.
' This is very There he is.
Oh, I say.
Hello, does he have a name or she? This one is called Sudan.
He's a male.
Right.
And erm, can you believe we're actually seeing a Northern White Rhino.
I never thought we'd see one, we spent all those weeks searching, didn't we, never actually got to the Congo where they were last seen, and I thought that was it, but here we are.
Hello, Sudan, Sudan! Sudan! Oh, look, carrots and apples.
HE TAPS GATE Here he is, hello.
Because they're notoriously not good on eyesight, are they? No, but they can hear us.
Hello, Sudan.
Look at that, carrot? Oh, you do, you definitely wanted that.
'Only five Northern White Rhinos have ever been born in captivity, 'and Sudan has fathered three of them, making him the first choice for the journey to Africa.
'He was captured in Sudan at the age of three and has been in captivity for 35 years.
' Hi, are you Pete? Yes.
Stephen, nice to meet you.
'Vet, Pete Morkell, has just flown in from South Africa 'to take charge of a mission six years in the planning.
'The choice of which rhinos would travel was conducted strictly 'on the basis of which rhinos were most likely to breed.
'Four have been selected.
'Sudan, the only living male to breed previously, 'Sudan's daughter Najin, granddaughter Fatu, 'and a cousin called Suni.
' They must know something's up, you can't help feeling that they do know something's up.
I'm sure this doesn't happen every day they get quite such attention.
hello! So it must be very nerve-wracking for you, the whole process.
Yeah, It is pretty nerve-wracking, I try to look cool about it, but it is nerve-wracking.
I mean although one has experience and I've obviously worked a lot with rhinos, you're never know quite sure how it's going to work out, as big and strong as that, you don't want him to to freak out at 30,000 ft up in a plane.
You want him to be as relaxed as possible.
I remember taking some white rhino to Albuquerque Zoo in the States, and just we're all floating at the zoo, the floor fell out of the crate and we had the rhino Oh, no! .
.
his legs coming out the bottom.
'We're leaving Pete to figure out the details of moving Sudan and the other Northern White Rhinos.
'For Pete, this is a huge challenge, 'and a strange turnaround for a man who learned his craft catching animals in the wild for zoos.
' We took some animals to zoos about 15-20 years ago and I didn't feel good about it.
Having done it the other way around where you've taken it from a huge bit of Africa, and you've flown it across the world and you release it into a little concrete pen, ten metres by ten and how terrible you feel, I thought what the hell, 'can't we do it the other way around, 'can't we bring some of the animals which they have in zoos which we don't have any more in Africa, 'or don't have a lot of, take them back to Africa, 'and I discussed the idea with a friend of mine, 'Hamish Currie, and it was my idea, 'but he's really took it and ran with it.
' Off you go, you fat shlonk.
Hamish Currie and Pete Morkell founded the organisation Back To Africa, and are now champions of the controversial practise of returning zoo animals to their native continent.
We travelled to Swaziland to track down Hamish Currie, and see for ourselves how populations of African animals have already been re-started from shipments of European zoo animals.
The Roan Antelope was once common in Swaziland.
By 1960 poaching was rife and the last individual vanished from the country.
In 2003, Pete and Hamish began to bring antelopes from Marwell Zoo in the UK and Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic.
Now, the animals are re-habituated, but some individuals, it seems, will never quite adjust to the wild.
Hello Hamish.
Hi, how are you doing? Great how are you.
Welcome to Swaziland, lovely to see you.
This is the most tame sort of looking antelope I've ever seen.
Hello.
Yes, this is Tandiwe.
She is a zoo-born Roan, and her parents, her mother actually came from Marwell Zoological Park in the UK, so she's really English.
And was translocated here.
With roan, their ears tell you everything.
When a Roan's ears are up, she's a happy Roan, and when the ears flop down, you've got an unhappy Roan.
Mind those horns.
Yes, I don't want her to whip your goolies off this time.
No, I'd be quite happy for her not to do that as well.
These are powerful horns, they have actually killed lions in the wild.
She's quite interested in my nether regions.
There we go.
She's actually a sweet thing, she just doesn't know her strength.
That is strong.
Yeah.
OK, there we go, puppy dog.
I'm going this way.
It's all right, it's all right, keep calm.
There we go, puppy! There we go.
Hello Are they actually too rare in other parts of Africa to translocate wild animals to bring them back to Swaziland? Why have you chosen zoo animals to do the translocation? I think an important part of this is that, to deplete any species where it occurs naturally is obviously detrimental.
Especially when they're rare anyway.
Exactly, so we're identifying the fact that we can take them from a zoo, where in a sense for generations zoos have existed just to display animals, and now zoos have got a new meaning.
Back in the Czech Republic, Pete has decided on a seemingly radical, but painless procedure, that will deter poachers intent on getting their hands on rhino horn.
Though the process is entirely painless, the rhinos have to be sedated to ensure that the noise of the chainsaw doesn't cause the animals to fling well-meaning keepers in all directions.
But, there's one rhino Pete really doesn't want to sedate.
Though these animals have been known to live into their forties, at 38, no-one wants to take any chances sedating Sudan.
Hello, big fella.
We try one more time, big fella.
Five days before the great journey takes place, there has been a spate of negative publicity.
Some parts of the Czech press have called for the Rhinos to remain in their adopted country, and "expert opinion" has appeared suggesting the animals may not even survive the journey to Africa.
It's not a simple business this translocation, is it? I mean it's not like you just tranquilise an animal and then move it? It carries risk? Well, this is the other worry, of course, as soon as you start darting and anesthetising animals, and putting them in crates and release them to places where there's all sorts of diseases they've never come across, then it's a huge risk and there's a big risk that you might lose some or all of the individual animals you're trying to translocate, so that on top of everything else is why it's controversial.
RHINOS GRUN With pressure mounting, a beleaguered Pete has called in re-enforcements.
What are you up to, eh? Berry White is known as The Rhino Whisperer.
'They're very misunderstood.
'It's quite sad.
I suppose the general public think of animals,' and animals that people love and they think of elephants and tigers, and rhinos just get forgotten about.
Probably no animal that's suffered in such a way.
Like nearly been eliminated in such a short space of time as the rhino.
Having spent her life around rhinos, Berry now specialises in keeping animals calm through traumatic and stressful situations.
C'mon then, Najin.
Starting with Najin the older female, Berry has begun a strict training regime.
At up to three tonnes, when a rhino's patience snaps, it can be seriously problematic.
To minimise the prospect of rhino mayhem at 35,000 ft, Berry wants each of the rhinos to get used to spending time in a very enclosed space.
There's a good girl there's a good girl.
'Once back in Africa, formerly placid zoo animals 'instinctively adopt the habits needed to survive in the wild, 'giving problems to Hamish and his team.
' HE FIRES DAR Good shot.
Very good.
Well done, right in the bum.
'In the wild, male Roan Antelopes have been known to kill competing males with their horns.
'But while this herd is still un-naturally small, 'creative solutions have had to be found to ensure the safety of every individual.
' See the power coming when it just leapt up.
Staggering.
Nice simple technique.
'These tubes prevent other antelope from being injured by the horns.
'Numbers are increasing and the project has been hailed a success.
' I hope he doesn't feel silly in his new gear.
I think he's quite fetching.
It's all right, isn't it? That's it.
In the wild, a female rhino might have a calf every two or three years.
In captivity, only five Northern White Rhinos have been born in three decades.
This is Najin, one of the female rhinos that will be making the journey along with Sudan.
As the only female young enough to reproduce, all hope was placed with her, and ten years ago she succeeded in giving birth to a single calf.
The calf was named Fatu.
Now Fatu is fully grown, and will travel to Africa with her mother Najin, grandfather Sudan, and Suni, the young male.
Though Fatu and her mother are now the only Northern White females young enough to reproduce, neither has successfully done so in the last decade.
'But the team holds out hope that transporting the animals to Africa 'will make all the difference.
' Middens that we see in front of us here The collection of poo.
Exactly.
Is very much a territorial activity of rhinos, and of course every male will have his territory, compete with females, and it's not possible in a zoo just due to spatial issues for rhinos to have that ability, and of course this affects the whole.
It's yet another trigger inside its mind that sets it off on a breading purpose.
'Hamish is taking us to see an iconic species 'that refuses to breed in captivity, 'but here in the wilds of Swaziland, well, it's a very different story.
' They breed so well here and it's because they've got so much space, and of course, if we look at a zoo situation, because they don't have space, the whole social issues of how elephants and rhinos work is different, and I think that's one of the main reasons, it's a space issue.
Just shows that zoos, however well-intentioned they are, what they can't reproduce is the full social spectrum of activity that is part of why big mammals breed.
It's not just "there's a male, there's a female, they're bound to breed", they need all kinds of other triggers.
That's exactly right.
With the "Back to Africa" concept of bringing animals, we've got to tie up the expertise that people in zoos have in breeding animals, and some animals may breed really well, but not forgetting nature.
Nature is also the most powerful stimulus for that to happen.
With two days to go, Pete is working with Suni, the last and perhaps the most challenging of the rhinos to be making the journey.
We're bringing Suni out.
He's by far the biggest animal, so we don't want too much nonsense from him.
Now he's going to be a handful.
Oh, he will, yeah.
For Pete, the next part of the training is the most dangerous.
When he's in the crate, that's the only place we can really operate from, from behind, especially if you have to jab them or check them out.
That's where the gap is at the top back part of the crate, so the more used to him having us behind him the better.
Here he comes.
Who's a good boy? C'mon.
Hello big fella, I'm going to quietly get to the back there.
He's very jumpy, all right.
Hello boy, hello boy.
Don't you go squashing Pete.
Hello big sausage.
You're a funny boy aren't you, there's a good boy.
Hello big sausage, hello boy, hello sausage.
All right there, it's OK, that's OK, son.
I guess you haven't been behind them before in here.
I've always been in the front with him.
All right, son.
They're always dangerous.
There was a young lad in Botswana, he was looking after them in a pen, and he was just trying to get them from one pen to another and they were really tamed down, and he thought he'd go and stand there at the door and waved his hat, and the rhino came through so quickly, he tried to run to the other side of the second pen, and the rhino got him, and that was just sort of squashed him, that was the end of him.
So erm Hello boy, hello boy, hello big chap, hello big fella, hello big fella, hello big chap.
Hello big boy, that's not so bad, yeah, that's not so bad.
That's not so bad.
You're just a different boy all together, aren't you? Might have to look at those pens in Kenya and see if they'll be able to hold this fella.
Last year, when Mark first brought me in search of Northern White Rhinos, we started our adventures at a rhino sanctuary in Kenya.
Four hours north of Nairobi, The Ol Pejeta Conservancy is 90,000 acres of African wilderness, managed by Batian Craig.
'On that first visit, Batian introduced us to some of the rhinos living in the conservancy.
'Now, Batian is about to become responsible for Sudan, 'Najin, Fatu and Suni, the most endangered rhinos on earth.
'While Mark heads back to the Czech zoo to see how the preparations for the journey are going, 'I am making my way to Kenya to see how Batian is preparing for his new arrivals.
' Phew, wow, that's hot.
Ah, Batian, how nice to see you again.
'But on his return to the zoo, Mark finds that the temperature has plummeted to minus 12 'and the place has been transformed by a scattering of snow.
And there is no sign of the rhinos.
' What's a lovely day.
Yes, it's beautiful, isn't it? Yes, crisp and freezing cold, but where are the rhinos? Well, the thing is the rhinos are not going to come out this morning because it is too cold for them.
But that's a problem isn't it, because don't you need every minute you can possibly get to train them going through the crates? Yeah, hopefully this afternoon if it warms up a little bit.
'Sitting on the equator, the Ol Pejeta Conservancy has the perfect climate for African wildlife, 'but there was another reason it's been selected as the new home for the precious Northern White Rhinos.
'Ol Pejeta has excellent security against poachers.
'The entire Conservancy is ringed by 220 kilometres of electric fence, 'patrolled 24 hours a day by Ol Pejeta's own, fully armed, security.
'And, right at the heart of the conservancy, Batian has hurriedly 'built a series of sturdy enclosures for the Northern White Rhinos.
' None of this was there a month ago.
You built this all in a month?! Literally.
In they come, the rhinos, and they'll look around here "Where on earth am I?" 'Although the Rhinos will eventually be released into the expanses of the conservancy, 'while they acclimatise to Africa, they will be kept here.
' In each pen, one token bit of Africa with a bit of grass.
Oh, just to get them, because after all, I mean they are grazers aren't they, and I suppose they've got to get used to grazing, because in Prague I don't think they did any grazing at all.
There's no grass there.
There's no grass in their paddocks? I don't think so, it's hard to tell because it was midwinter when I visited, but it didn't look like the kind of place that would have grass there.
Although the temperature hasn't risen, Pete has decided to give the rhinos one last outing before the long journey in the crates.
For rhinos that will be in Africa in less than 48 hours, it's a strange farewell to the Czech Republic.
Another reason Ol Pejeta has been selected to take the Northern Whites is its expertise is dealing with endangered rhinos.
For the last few years, Ol Pejeta has specialised in conserving the critically endangered Black Rhino and, with 86, is now the biggest Black Rhino sanctuary in East Africa.
Each of the Black Rhinos receives special attention, but none as much as Nabur.
Oh, you're adorable.
'Nabur is an orphaned baby that was brought to the conservancy a year ago.
'She now has Muhammad, a keeper, who not only spends his days with the young rhino, 'he even sleeps next to her.
'As Muhammad has been helping build the enclosures, Nabur has been living here, 'and the final act of preparing for the new arrivals is to move Nabur out.
'But that doesn't mean that she'll be getting any less care and attention.
' Here we are.
this is how you feed a baby rhino, six pints according to Muhammad.
Six pints five times a day.
Five times a day, six pints, 30 pints of this she gets through a day, via the "easy nurse", as they call it.
Quite something, isn't it? I look forward to this.
Nabur? Nabur? Nabur.
Lookie here, look what I've got.
Look what I've got! RHINO SUCKS ON TEA Oh, what a fabulous noise! And you're eyes are opening and closing in bliss.
HE LAUGHS I don't think I've ever done anything more satisfying.
You're nearly finished.
He never even stopped for a breath! That's it, how do you do that?! Everything! What a good girl.
Oh! I expect a big burp now.
Now I think I can possibly retire saying I have done everything on this planet that is worth doing.
The next morning, Pete is up early preparing sedation for the rhinos before they enter the crates for a journey that will last almost 30 hours.
It looks like everything is pretty much ready for the first rhino.
10 minutes to go, we've been told, and we've also been told in no uncertain terms, keep out of the way, so what we've done is we've put four little cameras along the runway here and looking into the crate, little minicams.
Cameraman is going to be hiding behind some rocks in the middle of the enclosure over there, and when I'm given the nod, I'm going to go racing around here and hide behind the wall, and hopefully be able to see something from there, so fingers crossed, one of us will see what's going on.
Pete really is tense.
I'm not surprised cos there's a lot at stake, but he's hardly talking and barking instructions and rushing backwards and forwards, and obviously absolutely focused on what he's trying to do.
(And all's silent.
) Honza is the zoo's rhino keeper.
He's been looking after the Northern White Rhinos for 25 years, and it's his job to lead them into their carrying crates.
Starting with Fatu's mother Najin.
That's amazing.
I think he's actually got a rhino in the first crate.
That was so easy! And next up is Fatu, who's the one people were a little bit worried about a week ago.
It's so cold I can hardly talk! But she's been given some valium at the moment, and as soon as she's ready, a crate's being prepared, and she'll be bought out next.
So fingers crossed she does as well as her mum.
The young Fatu is always unpredictable when she's separated from her mother, Najin.
As Najin has been crated first, no-one knows what to expect from Fatu.
This time, Pete has insisted that Mark and the team stand to one side, well out of sight of the rhino, to minimise any chance of spooking her.
But almost immediately, Fatu starts to give the rhino keepers cause for concern.
(Fatu is not too sure, he looked pretty good, followed the keeper.
(They're just here now, we need to come back a little bit.
) RHINO KEEPER SPEAKS IN CZECH After 50 minutes of coaxing the precious rhino, she's no closer to getting in the crate, and Pete is aware that the drugs he has given her are starting to wear off.
To keep the animal safe, and to keep with a chance of catching the plane, Pete decides his only option is to revert to brute force.
But even with the full force of six people pulling and pushing, the two-and-a-half tonne Fatu is determined not to enter the crate.
Although Berry is not supposed to begin calming the rhinos until they are on the road, she decides to see if a different approach is called for.
All right, angel, all right, darling.
There we go.
Hello, love, hello darling, how are you doing? Come on, are you going to come in? Come on, sweet girl, it's OK.
Hey, what's up? Fatu, come on.
Come on, sweetheart, you're a funny girl, aren't you? Come on.
You're a funny girl, aren't you? You're not at all scared.
Come on, then.
Come on, darling.
Come on.
Come on, darling.
Come on, gently now.
There's a good girl.
There's a good girl.
Well done.
Right, good girl.
Steady, darling.
Well done.
All right, Fatu, come on forward a bit, darling.
There's a good girl.
Good girl.
All right, Angel, all right.
All right, darling.
There's a good girl.
She's a sweetie pie.
She loves it in here.
All right, all right, lady.
All right, lady.
All right, darling.
All right.
All right, darling.
Although Fatu is finally in the crate, she is very unsettled, and it is clear that Berry is going to have to keep a close eye on her throughout the journey.
Next up, I think, is Suni, who is the one everyone's really worried about.
But Suni, the biggest of the rhinos, delivers the biggest surprise of the day and enters the crate in a matter of seconds.
Just one more loading to go.
Hello, Stephen.
'Mark, hello.
' Hi, how are you? I'm in the baking sun in Old Pejeta and it's just beautiful.
Oh, it's hot and sunny here too, actually.
'No, it's a lie, 'it's about minus ten and it's freezing!' We're just watching Suni leave right now, funnily enough.
It's lovely and lush and green here at the moment, all the water holes are full and it's looking great.
They're going to be so astonished.
What an amazing contrast.
Just unbelievable! I can't imagine the culture shock that awaits them.
So is everything ready there, is everything all set for them in Old Pejeta? We've got a bit of work to do before you arrive, we've got to go to the Bomas and make sure that they're all spick and span and rhino ready.
So we won't just be lazing around in the sun, I assure you! Hot and sunny, it's not fair.
I should have had that job! So in the Czech Republic, we saw the rhinos being trained to go into the crates.
Well here we're seeing the humans being trained, as it were, to get this crate as smoothly as possible into that white area there, which is exactly the front of the door, the gate to the Bomas where This is exactly what cannot happen, this must not happen.
Can you imagine how terrible that would be, what a shock to the poor rhinos having had enough of a miserable time and a traumatic time being tranquilised and transported out of its natural home for 30 years.
If that happened, oh, God! See this is the problem.
Three tonnes of sand in there, which is about the weight of the rhinos, but that would In the Czech Republic, Sudan, the only one of the four rhinos to have been caught in the wild, is taking his first steps back to Africa.
Up until now, Pete has avoided giving the older rhino any drugs, but, in readiness for the long journey in the crate, Pete has decided he has no option but to give Sudan some sedation.
Everyone is keen to ensure that the drugs aren't too much for Sudan.
Pete decides to administer an antidote to the sedative drugs as quickly as possible.
Now that Sudan is actually inside the crate, the only way Pete can reach a vein is to risk his own life climbing inside the crate with three tonnes of unstable rhino.
It's a little bit worrying because Sudan was the one that everyone thought would be easy and was left till last, but he's in the crate and was very doddery.
He's now leaning on one side, legs all splayed open.
Pete's looking more worried than he has all morning, and we're just hoping that he's going to come round and be OK, but he's an old boy, 38, so he has to be treated with great care.
So, well, it's quarter to eight here in Kenya, which means that it's quarter to six so they will have taken off and be in the air, those rhinos and Mark.
Can't imagine what it's like.
Whereas this campfire and listening to the sound of the night, this equatorial noise, bubblings and croakings and moaning and warbling, frogs and birds and, I think, I heard a water buffalo somewhere.
At 4am Kenyan time, the special flight touches down on the runway at Nairobi.
But while the flight may be over, for Pete, the ordeal goes on.
I mean look at this, you have all this, all the exhaust fumes from this vehicle, everyone clattering around.
You've had the noise of the vehicles coming off, the planes coming in and out.
You've got the vehicles, the people, it's crazy.
You know, you just keep on wondering when are they going to say, "Listen, that's enough, you know, that's enough.
" 25 hours into the journey, the team is exhausted, and just hoping that all remains well inside the crates.
That rock, out.
What's happening there? Is that a? That ain't great.
That's not going to last very long, is it? No they'll bugger their legs on that.
You're getting an eye for Bomas.
I am I'm beginning to notice the things that stick out.
It's like having a child-friendly house really, you've got to check that there are no bits sticking out, no bits that can scratch, no corners that can have an eye out.
Muhammad Sorry Another one there.
It's all very nerve-racking as it's getting closer.
I know.
Mark.
Hello.
Oh, you're close I can almost smell you.
Oh, thanks a lot! We're just at the entrance of Old Pejeta.
I would say you're half an hour away if you're at the gates.
I don't suppose I could ask a favour, could I? 'Yes, go on.
' 'Do you have any coffee?' I'll make sure there's a pot brewing.
Poor old soul, he's almost getting hysterical.
TRUCK HORN BEEPS The nerves Are you pumping now? Yes, it's now kicked in, natural Red Bull.
Yes! We're going to see a column of dust on the horizon.
I think we're going to have one last mad rush of people MOBILE PHONE RINGS Iaizack Yes.
TRUCK HORN BEEPS There they are, it's a huge truck! Wow Stephen! Mark! Hello.
Where did you spring from, you bugger? I couldn't find you.
I'm almost in tears at the sight of this, it's too extraordinary.
You can't believe they're in here, can you? You just can't.
.
I don't know why I didn't pictured them as being quite so vast.
No these are good.
These are real luxury crates for the rhino.
I've got something for you Have you? You look surprisingly fresh and cheerful.
Oh, I'm so tired.
And you managed to have a shave which is more than I did.
Oh, thank you so much.
Good health.
You deserve it, I'll join you.
This is such an exciting day.
I mean, of course, yesterday and today this whole place was Well, not deserted, but it was the only local Old Pejeta staff, and now it's a circus of gigantic proportion.
It's wonderful.
It's extraordinary.
Look how quickly they're getting at it.
They've got to move them fast, we've been in the hot sun, you think when they left it was minus 12.
Yes, that's a huge contrast, isn't it? I know, and they need to get them out of those boxes.
Each of these boxes with the rhinos in weighs just over four tonnes.
Oh, is it? They've been using three-and-a-half tonnes of sand.
Oh, no, because the rhino, I mean Sudan and Suni are probably three tonnes, and the crates weigh a tonne.
Oh, heck, they've calculated for three-and-a-half.
It's a bit late now! Oh, no, wouldn't that be awful They've come all this way.
Don't Now suddenly, for the first time in the last 24 hours I'm feeling nervous.
Yeah.
Six years of preparation into this moment.
It's unbelievable.
Here goes.
My goodness.
'But Najin's crate touches down on African soil with perfect precision.
' That's what we actors call hitting your marks.
Mm.
'As Najin, the elder female, gets her first sense of Africa, 'the team turns their attention to Fatu, the youngest rhino 'and the least enthusiastic about entering the crate.
' Oh, yes, there, look.
Welcome to Africa.
'For Fatu, it seems that the thing she's missed most of all is being close to her mum.
' Oh, that's wonderful.
Wonderful.
'The third rhino to be released is the youngest and the biggest of the males, Suni.
'As he entered the crate with unexpected speed, 'Pete and the Czech keeper, Honza, aren't taking any chances with his leaving it.
' No hesitation there at all, straight out, a bit of a snort.
Great result, two-thirds of the way through, it's really marvellous.
Two-thirds of the way through? Stephen Three-quarters of the way through.
That's really good news.
I must get to lie down and bathe my temples in Eau De Cologne, I think.
It's going a little wrong in the sun.
'But if it's all getting to me, then there's no knowing what it's doing to Sudan, 'the oldest of the rhinos to be making the journey, and the only one to have been born in Africa.
'Because he collapsed after an injection of sedatives, 'no-one is quite sure what to expect when the crate is finally opened.
' Everybody just move back, please.
Just pull back, please.
'But as soon as the door is opened, we see Sudan standing, 'and looking better than a rhino has a right to expect to after 30 hours in a wooden crate.
' The moment he puts his foot out will be the first time in 35 years that he's stepped on African soil.
That's true, good gracious.
For a rhino that left Africa at the age of three, 35 years ago, one can't help wondering if the smell and heat of Africa stirs even the most distant of memories.
Oh, it's coming, he's coming That's that first step.
Yes, yes, yes.
He's out.
He's out.
They're closing the door.
Well done, that's fantastic.
That's all four.
All four done, yeah.
Fantastic.
Amazing.
It's a real achievement.
'One memory is instantly awakened and, at the first opportunity, this natural born grazer, 'who has lived on carrots and rhino feed for 35 years, 'takes his first mouthful of long, fresh grass.
' Four weeks later, Pete and Hamish are back for the next stage of the release.
They need to remove wild rhinos to another part of the reservation so that the precious Northern Whites can be released into the safety of their very own 800-acre rhino paradise.
Before he can be released, Sudan needs to be sedated once again to have a radio tracking device inserted and, to reduce temptation for poachers, Pete is keen to take the opportunity to finally remove that horn, the quick way.
And a week after that, Najin, as always closely followed by her daughter, Fatu, is the first of the translocated rhinos to step from the enclosures into the wilds of the reservation.
Are you ready? Come on, let's go.
Come on, girls.
Come on, love.
Good girls.
Now, everyone just has to wait to see if Sudan, Najin, Fatu and Suni will survive and reproduce in the African bush.
'Six months after their great journey, we are back.
' How are you? 'We're hoping to find the rhinos, to see if being in Africa has begun 'to change them, perhaps even kick-starting the urge to breed.
'But we are especially hoping to see Sudan, 'the first northern white rhino we saw in the zoo at Dvur Kralove.
' Let me tell you there is nothing wrong with Mr Sudan, he's quite up to patrolling, looking after the area.
Plenty of lead in his pencil? Exactly, yeah.
That's the scientific terminology! 'Berry suddenly spots one of the rhinos.
' Oh, yes, here she comes, look.
Wow.
'It's Najin, the mother of Fatu, looking in perfect health.
' She's looking fantastic.
She's looking in really good condition.
Can you believe that's the same rhino we saw in Prague? No, it's a whole different The way the head's carried, everything, and the way she's smelling the grass.
And just in the expanse of Africa, it's so fantastic, it's so satisfying isn't it? Totally at home.
'And then we see that Najin isn't alone.
'But this time, it's not her daughter Fatu following behind, 'it's a newly dehorned and strangely dapper Sudan.
' Here he comes.
Of all the animals, he's the guy that's looking the best, I think.
A beautiful animal.
Just wonderful.
The contrast between minus 16 degrees in Prague and deep snow and that small enclosure, it's like a different planet.
Time for a cuddle, Berry? It's just amazing to see them now, isn't it, after all this time.
With females coming in season every 70 days, and a rhino gestation period of 16 months, there will be no news any time soon, but Pete is optimistic.
I can't see any obvious problems at all, Muhammad says there aren't any problems.
All we want is Mr Sudan to leap on her back and produce a few babies, you know.
Have there been any signs that they've tried to mate? He's certainly shown a lot of interest, so we're optimistic it's going to happen soon.
Hey, hello.
And this wonderful animal has no idea that she may carry the entire destiny of her species.
It's a heck of a thought, isn't it? 'As we are leaving, we see the other two rhinos right by the perimeter fence and there is a real surprise.
'Fatu, the young female who hated being separated from her mother, 'now seems to have other things on her mind and we find her together with Suni, the young male.
'She may still be playing hard to get, 'but for four of the last Northern White Rhinos on earth, 'things are definitely moving in the right direction.
'If that's not flirting, I don't know what is!'