TAKING blood from an alligator and operating on a pony was all in a day’s work for teenager Sam Hassall.
The 13-year-old from Heaton was chosen from more than 1,000 applicants to star in new CBBC show Junior Vets.
The 10-episode series gives six ordinary schoolchildren the chance to become the first juniors to enrol at Edinburgh University’s Vet School.
In the first show the new recruits helped test lonely horse Brie for a life-threatening illness, carry out delicate surgery on a rowdy raccoon and try to find out what was wrong with Ronnie the dog’s sore leg. Sam, a pupil at Bolton School, said: “The scariest moment doing the show was when I had to take blood from an alligator’s tail.
“I had to catch and blindfold it — then sit on it to make sure it didn’t move, so I could put a needle in and take the blood out of its tail. I also did an operation on a pony, I had to drill in to it and stitch it up. I had to scrub up and wear a face mask.”
Filming took place at the veterinary school in August, with the teenagers challenged to see if they have got what it takes to become a vet, while competing for the title of Head Vet.
Each episode took them to a different location, including Edinburgh Zoo, where they got hands-on experience with injured and sick animals.
Sam said: “It was the most amazing experience in my whole life and I was very lucky to get to take part in it. I really enjoyed being in front of the camera, it was great fun and I’m confident so I wasn’t hiding behind the camera and I asked lots of questions.
“I can’t wait for everyone to see it. I would recommend other people to apply for things like this because it really was amazing.”
Jane Sayner, Sam’s mum, said “He likes being on the stage and has been attending Stagecoach (performing arts classes) in Bolton for the last four years.”
The next episode will be shown on CCBC at 5.45pm on Monday.