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Friday, 22 May 2015

Really wild about Border’s new series

Animal attraction: Merewyne Snowden-Youde gets up close with lions at the South Lakes Wild Animal Park in Cumbria for her new Border TV series.

By Kat Ferguson

A BORDER TV presenter got up close and personal to some ferocious friends as she filmed a new wildlife show.

Merewyne Snowden-Youde encountered lions, tigers and monkeys while making her six-part series, Wildlife Park.

The programme features Cumbria’s South Lakes Wild Animal Park and Merewyne’s two-week conservation trip to the Sumatran jungle with park staff.

She had to contend with mosquitoes and leeches as she slept under canvas and survived on a diet of rice.

And her group was accompanied by the armed guard of the Tiger Protection Unit, to help keep them safe from poachers as well as wild animals.

Poachers have been known to kill anyone who stands in their way.

Merewyne said: “My experience in the jungle and making Wildlife Park hasn’t put me off and I’d go through it all again as it was such a fantastic series to make.”

But the plucky presenter wondered if she had bitten off more than she could chew when a cheeky monkey got the better of her.

“We were filming a monkey when it suddenly made off into the forest with my bag containing 10 days’ worth of film footage,” she said.

“We gave chase and caught up with it half an hour later – minus the bag. We eventually tracked the bag down after much frantic searching.”

The Wild Animal Park is in Dalton-in-Furness and celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. It is home to some of the world’s most endangered species such the Amur and Sumatran tigers.

The first in the series of n Wildlife Park was shown on Friday.