Wild Animals

Joe visits an animal shelter and learns how wild animals live in the city!


Before you watch

Think about the following questions:

  • What wild animals do you usually see in the city?
  • Have you ever volunteered for a charity?
  • Would you donate money to help animals?

Watch Joe as he goes to London's Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service.


Britain is a nation of animal lovers. From the cute and cuddly to slimy and scary, we love them all.

Some of us have a passion for our pets, the animals that become part of the family. But here at the Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service, they are wild about wildlife.

London is home to millions of people but it’s also home to many wild animals and sometimes they can get hurt.

Here at the centre, the staff look after injured or very young animals and then hopefully get them well enough so they can go back into the wild. It’s hard work looking after them. The first task of the day is serving breakfast.

Most of the people who work here are volunteers. None of them are paid. They help out and provide their time for free, for the love of the animals.


Joe: Hi, Barry.

Barry Smitherman: Hi, Joe.

Joe: I’m here to help.

Barry Smitherman: Great. There’s a spare broom here.

Joe: Great. Thank you very much. So tell me about the rescue centre, Barry.

Barry Smitherman: Primarily our work here is to care for sick and injured animals and birds and where possible release them back into the wild where they belong.

Joe: And you’re a charity, aren’t you?

Barry Smitherman: Yes, we are. Obviously we rely upon donations to keep the work going, by people coming and visiting us at the centre and seeing some of our animals and kind donations from the public.

Joe: And with this many animals here there’s obviously a lot of work to do.

Barry Smitherman: Yes, yes, it’s not easy. There is always a lot to do. 

Joe: Well, let’s get going.

Barry Smitherman: Good idea.


Loss of natural habitat has led to wildlife and humans living in closer proximity to each other than ever before. When man meets animal, it’s the wildlife that often comes off worse. Road traffic accidents, poisoning and attacks from domestic pets often cause injury.

When the animals are first brought in, they often need treatment here at the animal hospital. Let’s go and visit some of the patients.


June takes care of the baby animals. Some of the tiny ones need a lot of attention.

Joe: So what’s wrong with this hedgehog, June?

June Smitherman: This hedgehog was attacked by a dog and it’s got two wounds: one underneath, one on top.

Joe: And what sort of treatments are you going to give him?

June Smitherman: Well, I’ll give him a course of antibiotics. Hopefully that should make him better.

Joe: And will he be released into the wild?

June Smitherman: Not this one, because this one’s not going to be fit enough, so this one will stay with me until next year.


Now it’s a big moment as one of the little hedgehogs is going to be released back into the wild.

When this little chap arrived he wasn’t strong enough to feed but now he’s well enough to survive in the wild. The big question is: will he want to leave?

Well, he’s not too sure at first. But now he’s made it back to where he belongs - in the wild. And it’s thanks to this and other rescue centres across Britain that more animals are free to be wild again.

Task 1

Match the descriptions to the video sections.


Task 2

Which of the sentences are true, and which are false?


Task 3

Drag the phrases which mean the same as the words IN CAPITALS to the right places.


Average: 4.3 (7 votes)

Submitted by Alena1408 on Tue, 29/08/2023 - 08:19


I sometimes see foxes, hedgehogs, storks.
I haven`t ever volunteered yet.'
I`d donate money for animals, if I was sure, that the organisation uses money for animals, not for themselves.

Submitted by May Thida Su on Tue, 23/02/2021 - 05:05

HELLO !!! I want to listen more like this videos. They help me very much when I practice my English. I want more. Could you give me any site for learning? I learn very well with British council podcasts. They help me a lot. Please forgive me for my wrong speaking. Thanks!!

Hello May Thida Su,

There are lots of videos on our site! In addition to Word on the Street, in our General English section you can find the Video zone, Britain is Great, Starting Out and How to ... Our LearnEnglish Video app also features lots of these videos in a format that's easy to use on your phone.

We also have a series of Speaking skills videos and you can watch recordings of live events on our Community events page.

Beyond our site, I'd suggest BBC Learning English, where there is also lots of video content.

Hope this helps!

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Mohanad on Fri, 21/08/2020 - 08:54

Hi, I actually have a problem with listening, so when I listen a native speaker I get confused specifically when it's British, maybe because I used to listen American accent a lot in movies, tv shows.... etc Anyone can tell me what to do, I will appreciate

Hi Mohanad,

Listening can be a difficult skill to master because we can't control the text in the way that we can when reading. However, with practice it is possible to improve your listening skills.

Don't be afraid to use subtitles when watching a video or listening to a text. It can be very useful to read as well as listen as it helps you to develop a sense of how words are connected in fluent speech. It's also a good idea to watch more than once and try to speak with the speakers as you listen. This will help develop your speaking as well as listening and will give you a good sense of the rhythms and patterns of natural speech.


Try to learn some ways to control the conversation when you are speaking with someone live. Learn how to ask politely for them to slow down or pause for a moment, and learn how to ask them to repeat, to rephrase something or to explain what they mean. Remember that conversations are active interactions and you have a part to play in helping the other person communicate effectively with you.


There are many sources for listening materials online. Sites such as YouTube offer closed captions and these can be helpful, though they are often inaccurate. However, you can find many free audiobooks which you can listen to on your computer or phone. If you also download the original text then you can read and listen at the same time.


The more you practice, the better you will get. Good luck!



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Bruno2020 on Fri, 15/05/2020 - 02:04

Hello guys!Here in my city in Brazil,we usually see toucan and little monkeys in the countrysides.
Profile picture for user Duy Nguyen

Submitted by Duy Nguyen on Sat, 11/01/2020 - 19:30

Hi Team, I am wondering a bit about the sentence "When this little chap arrived he wasn’t strong enough to feed but now he’s well enough to survive in the wild." There are two questions of mine: One, what does 'chap' here mean? Two, why the man said "he's well enough" instead of he's good enough. I think he could say ''He get well enough". Is this possible? Thank you
Profile picture for user Peter M.

Submitted by Peter M. on Sun, 12/01/2020 - 07:09

In reply to by Duy Nguyen


Hello Duy Nguyen,

'Chap' is an old-fashioned word for a man; 'little chap' is a humorous way to talk about a child.

'Well' can be an adverb (good > well) but it can also be an adjective meaning healthy. We use it in this way when we say 'Get well soon' to someone who is sick, or when we say 'I'm not well enough to come to work today'. In your sentence 'well' has this meaning.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by nikoslado on Tue, 03/09/2019 - 16:46

Dear Team I think the second answer in Task 2 is ''false'', not ''true, according to the text.It refers ''most of the people are volunteers''.[That means maybe some people are paid.] Am I right? Ever grateful, nicoslado
Profile picture for user Peter M.

Submitted by Peter M. on Wed, 04/09/2019 - 07:21

In reply to by nikoslado


Hello nikoslado,

The correct answer is 'True' because the next sentence says 'None of them (i.e. the people who work here) are paid'.

This, of course, would suggest that some of the people who work there are not volunteers but are also not paid. This sounds strange but it is possible. For example, there could be some people who are sent to work at the centre, such students doing internships as part of their studies.



The LearnEnglish Team