Wild at Heart

Sunday, 26 February 2012, 8:30PM – 9:30PM

Danny and Ed are anxiously preparing for a review with JLW, the pharmaceutical company that fund their Endangered Species Project. They are desperate for it to go smoothly, and as a result are driving the rest of the family mad. Whilst they are doing final checks on the animals, Ed and Rosie discover two dead wildebeest calves, and Ed asks Rosie to do a post mortem. 

Liv has been keeping her relationship with Fatani a secret, to Fatani’s frustration, but Liv promises him that she’ll tell Danny soon. 

The review is a success: their funding will continue and JLW even want to hold a PR event to hand over the next cheque. However when Danny and Ed tell Rosie the good news, they notice she’s distracted, and Ed is angry when he spots that she’s made a big mistake on the post mortem. 

When Ed goes to apologise to an upset Rosie, she confesses that she’s failed her pathology exam, and is worried she won’t qualify. Ed offers to tutor her, and suggests they keep it a secret from Danny. Du Plessis comes to tell them that a ballsy woman has arrived, asking for Ed, but walks in on a grateful Rosie kissing Ed on the cheek. 

The family are shocked when the mystery woman reveals that she is Fiona Lynch – Ed’s wife. They didn’t even know he had a wife! An awkward Ed explains that they separated after she cheated on him. Fiona has now left the man she had an affair with, and has come seeking reconciliation, but Ed isn’t interested in anything she has to say. 

Rosie sympathises with Ed, she’s going through a divorce with her husband so knows how difficult it can be. Fiona walks in on Ed comforting Rosie and misconstrues the situation. She confides to a disbelieving Caroline that she thinks Ed and Rosie are together. Caroline doesn’t think it can be true, but when she discusses it with Du Plessis he tells her that he saw them in Rosie’s bedroom that morning. They confront Rosie about her “secret” with Ed, but Rosie assumes they’re talking about Ed secretly tutoring her, and furthers the misunderstanding by asking them not to tell Danny. 

Danny is incredulous when Du Plessis insists that Ed and Rosie are an item. A comedy of errors ensues when Danny asks Ed what’s going on, until finally the misunderstanding is exposed. Ed is left reeling that the family believed Fiona, and suspects her of stirring deliberately. 

Spurred by Danny’s reaction to Rosie and Ed’s “affair”, Liv finally plucks up the courage to tell Danny that she and Fatani are a couple, but they learn to their surprise that Danny knew all along. 

The animal problem escalates when a lioness gives birth to two dead cubs. Fiona, a research pharmacologist, offers to help run tests. Rosie isn’t keen to work with her after all the trouble she’s caused, but is grudgingly impressed by her expertise. Together, the two women discover that the mothers of the dead animals had raised oestrogen levels in their blood. They are horrified to find that the drug responsible is made by JLW. Furthermore, they’ve given it to their pregnant elephant. 

While Danny and Du Plessis desperately track the elephant, Ed and Fiona go to JLW. Their suspicions are confirmed when the laboratory director is cagey and refuses to help them. The family are devastated when Danny and Du Plessis find that the elephant calf is dead. They decide that they can’t continue to accept funding from JLW, but this leaves them facing an uncertain future. Meanwhile Fiona is determined not to give up on Ed without a fight.

Sunday, 12 February 2012, 8:30PM – 9:30PM

Danny is in prison, accused of murdering Peeters, but Du Plessis is determined to prove his friend’s innocence by any means he can. Du Plessis’ first attempt backfires disastrously when he harangues a police officer and ends up in a cell next to Danny. However he’s not deterred, and promises Danny that he’ll get him out. Upon his release Du Plessis enlists Fatani in his investigation. They hope that the CCTV at the Big Five will show that Danny had an alibi for the night that Peeters was killed, but this turns out to be futile. However they are taken aback when the CCTV reveals Ed sneaking off into the night. Did Ed kill Peeters? 

When Du Plessis questions Ed about what he was doing that night, and Ed says he was fast asleep, Du Plessis knows he’s lying. His suspicions grow when Ed gets a mysterious call, so Du Plessis follows him, while Fatani searches Ed’s room at Mara. Ed realises that Du Plessis has been trailing him and confronts him with a gun. Du Plessis is terrified that Ed is going to shoot him but instead he shoots a snake that was about to bite him. At Mara, Fatani finds more evidence against Ed – a letter of termination from the Big Five, signed by Peeters himself. When Ed returns to Mara, Du Plessis and Fatani have to hide and they overhear him having a highly dubious conversation. 

Meanwhile, because Ed and Du Plessis have both been so preoccupied, Rosie is left to manage everything herself, to her increasing frustration. She’s due to visit Danny in prison, but when the ailing three legged cheetah runs off, there is no-one else around to go after it, so she sets off into the bush. Finally she manages to catch up with it, and discovers that it went to find its brother. However the wild cheetah turns on Rosie and savages her leg, leaving her unable to move. Danny waits in his cell, getting more and more worried. He calls Caroline, who can’t find Rosie anywhere and raises the alarm. The concerned family form search parties and begin looking for her. 

Caroline meanwhile has managed to secure an emergency hearing for Danny. After some tense moments in court, the judge grants bail. 

Having searched all night long, Du Plessis and Ed finally find Rosie. She’s lost a lot of blood and is in a bad way, so Ed talks to her to keep her conscious while he carries her to the jeep. Seeing Ed with Rosie, Du Plessis starts to think he was wrong about him. 

Danny hurries home to his injured daughter. He’s relieved to see Rosie, but angry with both Ed and Du Plessis for letting her get into danger. 

Fatani finds cash and a flight ticket, which seems to confirm their earlier suspicions of Ed. Du Plessis tries to outline their theory to Danny, but he doesn’t want to hear it, so Du Plessis confronts Ed, accusing him of murder. An astounded Ed, furious at the accusations, explains that all the secrecy was because he was trying to move a rhino to Leopard’s Den. Du Plessis is stymied and Danny turns on him, telling him that this whole mess is his fault. 

Danny and Ed head off to collect the rhino, but on their return the road is blocked by poachers. Ed urges caution, but Danny doesn’t want to comply. However when the poachers force him to hand over the keys, they discover that instead of a rhino in the truck, there’s merely a cow. Danny can’t believe that Ed didn’t trust him enough to tell him that they were a decoy. 

Meanwhile a downcast Du Plessis is buoyed when Rosie and Fatani tell him not to give up trying to prove Danny’s innocence. He re-enacts Peeters’ last moments with Fatani, and they discover a deadly snake near the verandah. Du Plessis realises that Peeters died after he was bitten by a snake. He takes it to the police station and shows the officer the “killer”. 

Danny and Ed return, having made up their differences over the release of the rhino. The family are delighted to tell Danny what Du Plessis discovered – it looks like Danny will be able to fly home for the birth of his baby after all. Danny apologises to Du Plessis and thanks him profusely. 

As the family wave Danny off, Danny urges Du Plessis to make an effort with Ed, but Ed is clearly not relishing the prospect of working with the man who called him a murderer. It looks like fireworks are in store… 


Sunday, 5 February 2012, 8:30PM – 9:30PM

The family are still estranged following Caroline’s decision to move back to the decrepit Clearwater house with Du Plessis. Rosie is determined to reunite everyone, and plans a civilised dinner as a step towards reconciliation. 

Du Plessis’ is horrified when he sees Peeters in town. He can’t believe his eyes – he knows Peeters is dead and buried because he buried him! When he looks again the figure is gone. Du Plessis hopes that it was just his mind playing tricks on him, but when he sees Peeters again in the bar, he starts to think he’s being haunted and stricken, he goes to find Danny. 

However Ed has found out about a small private zoo that is closing down and needs to get rid of its remaining animals, a leopard and an ocelot. Danny is alarmed to learn that they need to take the cats immediately, which doesn’t give them time to get the required permits, so they’d be moving the animals illegally. But Ed insists that it’s a one off for the sake of the animals, and Danny reluctantly agrees. 

Rosie’s dinner turns to disaster when everyone is left waiting for Du Plessis. Little do they know that he’s at Peeters’ grave in a state of turmoil. When he finally arrives, the family are shocked to see him covered in mud and rambling incoherently. He starts an argument with Ed and Danny takes him aside and demands to know what’s going on. Du Plessis blurts out that Peeters’ ghost has been following him, Danny worries that his friend is having a nervous breakdown. 

On their way home, Du Plessis breaks down and confesses to Caroline that he buried Peeters. Her incredulity turns to repulsion when she realises that he’s telling the truth. She decides to investigate the “ghost”, and discovers that it’s actually Peeters’ brother, Luke, who has been looking for Peeters hoping to get a slice of the money that his brother is supposed to have stolen. He’s a horrible, lecherous man, and though Caroline intended to tell him what happened to Peeters, she finds herself holding back. 

The leopard gets really sick with a mysterious illness, so Rosie wants to send bloods off to the lab. Danny and Ed have to admit that they can’t do that, because they got the animals illegally. Rosie is upset that her dad lied to her and Danny starts to question what he’s become. 

Danny and Ed return to the private zoo to investigate further, and discover that the cats were being fed only fish, which has caused a potentially fatal Vitamin B deficiency. When they return they discover that it’s too late for the leopard, but though the ocelot has a seizure they manage to save it. 

Caroline eventually finds Du Plessis and tells him about Luke, reassuring him that he’s not losing his mind. She thinks they should keep it a secret but Du Plessis sees that it’s been slowly destroying them, and resolves to come clean to Luke and the police. Danny agrees to tell the family. 

Du Plessis makes a full confession to Luke, who to Du Plessis’ disgust wants to know what he’ll pay him to keep quiet. Du Plessis refuses to be blackmailed and returns to say goodbye to the family before handing himself into the police. 

However, to everyone’s shock and disbelief, when the police arrive at Leopard’s Den they arrest Danny on suspicion of murder. Danny is cuffed and led away, protesting his innocence. Du Plessis is horrified – what has he done? 


Sunday, 29 January 2012, 8:30PM – 9:30PM

Danny and Ed release two cheetah brothers together – a symbol of their new partnership – but not all of the family are happy about this new start… 

Caroline is still furious at what she sees as Danny’s betrayal of Du Plessis, and is completely opposed to working with Ed. She wants Du Plessis restored to his rightful place in the business and, unbeknownst to Danny, has asked Rosie to come and help, hoping that she’ll be able to talk some sense into her dad. Meanwhile Danny and Du Plessis are still harbouring the dark secret of Peeters’ body, which is buried on Leopard’s Den. 

Danny is delighted to see Rosie again, but Rosie is dismayed at all the tension in the family. She initially bristles at Ed’s abrasive manner, but soon realises that he’s not as bad as Caroline has been making out. 

However things go from bad to worse when Du Plessis finds a hyena digging at the grave site, and Ed decides that it’d be the perfect place for their new quarantine pens. Du Plessis is terrified that if any excavation work happens, Peeters’ body will be discovered. He and Danny try to change Ed’s mind, but he’s adamant. When Caroline overhears Danny telling Du Plessis to oversee every minute of the build, she becomes even more angry, thinking that Danny is treating his friend appallingly. 

Danny tries to get Ed and Du Plessis to work together on essential firebreaking of Mara land, but the fire goes wildly out of control. One of the cheetah they released earlier panics and runs into the fire, and Ed goes after it. Du Plessis charges in after him, and Caroline is horrified when she learns that the two men are missing. Having lost her daughter in a bush fire, she fears that history is repeating itself. When Du Plessis emerges, alive but with a severely burnt arm, Caroline turns on Danny, blaming him for the disaster. 

Danny, Rosie and Ed track the cheetah and find that it has injured its leg. Ed takes it back to the clinic for surgery while Danny and Rosie check that no other animals have been injured as a result of the fire. Ed discovers that the cheetah’s leg is too badly damaged to save. He decides to amputate, and the only person available to assist is Caroline, who is forced to grit her teeth and work alongside the man she despises. 

During the operation, Caroline develops a grudging respect for Ed, and convinces him that Du Plessis deserves more respect. As a conciliatory gesture, Ed puts Du Plessis in charge of the quarantine pens’ build, but insists that it goes ahead at the agreed site. 

However Du Plessis has no choice but to disobey, and face the consequences. Ed is livid when he discovers that the site has been moved, but it’s too late to do anything about it. Danny is forced to side with Ed for the sake of the partnership, and Caroline can’t understand why Danny doesn’t defend Du Plessis. It’s the final straw for her. She decides that she and Du Plessis can no longer live and work with Danny. The whole family are devastated, and Danny and Du Plessis can’t believe that the situation has spiralled out of control. Seeing her family in crisis, Rosie decides to stay for longer to try to put the pieces back together. But as Caroline and Du Plessis move back to Clearwater, the family’s divisions seem to be irreversible. 

Sunday, 22 January 2012, 8:30PM – 9:30PM

Danny has been preparing his pitch for an Endangered Species Project. JLW, a pharmaceutical company, are looking to fund an environmental project and the family hope that this grant money will enable them to buy Leopard’s Den and Mara. However the morning of the meeting lurches from crisis to disaster when Danny and Du Plessis crash their jeep on their way back from collecting a troublesome lion. Caroline has been frantically preparing their business plan and she’s desperately worried when Danny and Du Plessis don’t return in time. 

Covered in mud, late and with the lion in tow, Danny, Du Plessis and Caroline finally make it to their all important meeting. On arrival they are surprised to see Ed Lynch, Danny’s old boss from the Big Five, who explains that he too is pitching for the grant in order to create an elephant sanctuary. Danny and Du Plessis are highly cynical about Ed’s project, believing that it sounds more focused on money than on animal welfare. 

During their meeting, the JLW board quiz them on their finances, but the family’s responses become increasingly erratic when they see through the window that their lion is causing a stir in the car park. When Ed bursts in to tell them that their lion is in distress, Du Plessis suspects him of purposefully disrupting their meeting. The board members go out with them, intrigued as to what’s happening, and witness Danny and Ed coming to a conclusion together about the lion’s problem. Ed offers Danny the Big Five’s facilities to treat the lion, and Danny has no choice but to accept. 

Meanwhile Fatani has been feeling down ever since Buhle left him, but Liv is determined to cheer him up and takes him into town. Whilst they’re there, Fatani notices Thabo being over-friendly with a mystery girl, and Fatani’s attempts to distract Liv fail. When Thabo later tries to explain, Liv interrupts and admits to cheating on Thabo when she was in England. Thabo is crushed, especially since the girl was merely an old friend from foster care. Fatani comforts her, and realises that he cares for Liv more than just as a friend. 

Caroline is upset after their disastrous meeting and convinced that all hope is gone for reclaiming Leopard’s Den. However Du Plessis is determined not to give up and resolves to sabotage the open day for the properties, to buy them more time to raise the money. 

As Danny and Ed operate on the lion, Ed receives a call from JLW asking for him to meet with the board again tomorrow. Danny feels utterly deflated, until he learns that JLW would like to meet with them too. Furthermore they want to hold the meeting at Leopard’s Den. Neither Danny nor Ed can understand what’s going on until JLW explain that they want Danny’s project, but they also want Ed’s business acumen. If Danny and Ed consider pitching together, then the grant is as good as theirs. As the two men consider this surprising turn of events, Du Plessis, unaware of this recent development, releases their lions into Mara in an attempt to deter potential buyers. Little does he know that JLW want to see where the project will take place, and are on their way to Mara at that very moment… 

Danny and Ed can’t believe their eyes when they arrive at Mara to find lions roaming around the house. The estate agent threatens to have the animals shot, but Danny and Ed promise to deal with them. However after a close encounter with one of the lions, the two of them realise that they’ve both darted it, and have given it a potentially fatal overdose. 

After emergency surgery in which they have to improvise with what they’ve got, Ed agrees to become Danny’s business partner on one condition…that Du Plessis does not have any share in the venture. Realising that Du Plessis was responsible for the lion stunt, Ed thinks he’s a loose cannon and doesn’t want him in the partnership. Danny initially rejects Ed’s offer but Du Plessis persuades him to accept, much to Caroline’s anger and frustration. They’ve got their home back, but at what cost?

Sunday, 8 January 2012, 8:30PM – 9:30PM

After the devastating loss of Leopard’s Den, the family are split across continents. Caroline, Liv and a heavily pregnant Alice are in the UK, while Danny and Du Plessis have remained in South Africa, trying to raise enough money to buy a new reserve and make a fresh start. 

Times are hard however, and when we first join Danny and Du Plessis they are working at the Big Five Animal Park in less than ideal circumstances. Du Plessis works in the gift shop whilst Danny works as a jobbing vet. However Danny finds it difficult to get on with his boss, Ed Lynch (played by new arrival Robert Bathurst), as the two of them constantly clash over veterinary decisions, particularly over an elephant that keeps trying to escape. 

On playing Ed Lynch, Robert commented: “Lynch has been a great character to play; he’s certainly not straight forward. He doesn’t try too hard to please and always speaks his mind. He is a man more inclined towards solitude; he’s convinced himself he’s happiest in his own company. He is oblivious to when he’s upsetting people, not that he’s insensitive he just doesn’t beat around the bush so to speak”. 

When Danny and Du Plessis find an injured tiger in a deserted house, Ed overrules Danny and insists on taking the lead on the animal’s treatment. Danny receives a further kick when 

Christian Peeters (their old enemy since his mining company’s compulsory purchase of Leopard’s Den) reveals that Danny has been unsuccessful in his application for a top job at the National Park. Danny is gutted as he’d been hoping this job would free him from the Big Five. 

To add to the pressure that Danny is under, Alice arrives without any warning. He and Du Plessis have let her believe that they are actually running the Big Five themselves, so she is shocked when Ed reveals that he is in fact the boss. After Alice leaves for a B & B in town, furious that they’ve been lying to her, things go from bad to worse for Danny when Du Plessis admits to Peeters that he’s been trespassing on Leopard’s Den. Peeters brands him a common criminal and Danny, overwhelmed by recent events, punches Peeters and refuses to apologise. 

Du Plessis tricks the increasingly perturbed Danny into visiting the abandoned house again and astonishes Danny with the revelation that he has purchased the dilapidated place. He sees its potential as a new home for them, a new future. With the confrontation with Peeters fresh in his mind, Danny surprises Du Plessis when he decides to steal the roof tiles from Leopard’s Den to renovate their newly acquired house. 

Later that evening Du Plessis wakes to find Danny missing and thinks he has gone back to Leopard’s Den. Du Plessis goes there to look for Danny, but is horrified to discover blood on the verandah. He follows the trail to the pool, where he finds Peeters face down in the water, dead. Du Plessis fears that Danny has taken their argument with Peeters too far. After much deliberation, he decides to cover Danny’s crime and buries Peeters’ body in the bush. 

Meanwhile, without Ed’s knowledge, Danny is operating on the injured tiger they rescued earlier and calls Alice, who reluctantly comes to help. As they work together, Alice asks him to leave his job at Big Five, as she can see that it’s destroying him. Danny agrees, but there’s something he has to do first. To Ed’s anger and disbelief, Danny releases the troubled elephant to freedom in the National Park, swimming with it across a river on the final part of its journey. Ed tells Danny he’s fired and threatens him with arrest, but Danny couldn’t care less, he’s got a chance at a new life with Alice and doesn’t look back. 

Meanwhile Fatani receives some terrible news from the UK. Alice’s brother, Rowan, has been in a car accident and is in intensive care. Alice decides to return immediately and Danny insists on accompanying her. However Du Plessis is certain that his friend is fleeing the country because he murdered Peeters. 

Sunday, 6 March 2011, 8:30PM – 9:30PM

The family are making arrangements to leave Leopard’s Den, all except Du Plessis who is steadfastly refusing to accept that he has lost his home. He won’t use his share of the money from the sale of the land to buy somewhere else – so Danny and Alice have been unable to find somewhere new to live. 

They all move into Fatani’s bar temporarily and Danny reaches an agreement with Peeters to set up a field hospital in the bush near to Leopard’s Den, until all their animals have been re-homed. Du Plessis takes this to mean that they are claiming squatters’ rights and he enthusiastically sets to work setting up camp. 

Peeters calls Danny and Alice to deal with a black leopard that has been trapped by Kane, Mara’s head ranger. The animal has seriously injured itself and Danny and Alice bring it to the field hospital for treatment. 

Living at Fatani’s isn’t an ideal arrangement for anyone and when Jana the cheetah, bites an overzealous customer a row sees the family moving out to join Du Plessis in his camp out in the bush. As night falls, and the electricity generator suddenly fails – danger is all around them in the bush……

Sunday, 27 February 2011, 8:30PM – 9:30PM

Du Plessis comes to meet Caroline’s plane but he doesn’t seem happy – he has seen that the mining company have already started building the road which threatens Leopard’s Den. 

With only a couple of days until the court case that will decide their fate, Caroline wants to know what they can do to stop the mining company. Danny reveals that he has applied for Leopard’s Den to become a Protected Environment, which will prevent any development of their land – and invites the National Parks assessor, Leona Bloem, to Leopard’s Den, 

Privately Caroline and Du Plessis decide to take matters into their own hands. Caroline decides to apply for the job of Peeters’ PA. While undercover, she’ll see what she can find out about the mining company’s plans. Du Plessis’s attempts at sabotaging the construction of the road by putting snakes in the JCBs which leads to a sequence of unfortunate events – in the lead up to the court case! 

Sunday, 13 February 2011, 8:30PM – 9:30PM

In his role as State Vet, Danny works with wealthy conservationist, Anton Ziegler, to catch a group of leopard hunters. We discover Ziegler is also buying a tiger from Vanessa, who still struggling with her finances, desperately needs the money to ensure Mara’s future. 

Du Plessis is distraught to discover that the mining company want to buy Leopard’s Den in order to build an access road through their land. They have also made an offer for Mara, but Danny and Vanessa go to see Peeters and reject both the offers – neither are for sale at any price. 

However, when Danny learns that Vanessa’s tiger died shortly after arriving at Zeigler’s, it looks like Vanessa might lose the much needed money from the sale, putting her hopes of keeping Mara in jeopardy. And just how did the tiger die…..? 

Sunday, 30 January 2011, 8:30PM – 9:30PM

Episode four: 

Danny’s first big project as State Vet is a major animal translocation and he is desperate to impress. 

Whilst Alice is out in the bush treating an injured zebra, she is stalked by lions. She just makes it back to her jeep in time but is badly shaken up. 

Danny’s first day of the translocation goes well, culminating in him discovering a rare white-tailed mongoose which he brings back to Leopard’s Den. Alice downplays her near miss with the lions because she doesn’t want him to worry – he has enough on his plate. 

Caroline and Du Plessis are taking some guests out for a camping trip into the bush. Du Plessis is determined to show Caroline the ‘real Africa’ and she’s determined she can rough it with the best of them…. but the novelty soon wears off!

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