BAFTA-nominated The Secret Life of the Zoo returned to our screens this week with cameras revealing parts of Chester Zoo that visitors never get to see.
The new series, narrated by acclaimed British actress Tamsin Greig, offers a compelling insight into the private lives of animals at the zoo, from the social behaviour of rare Western chimpanzees down to the smallest of inhabitants, such as the dead leaf mantis.
In episode one, we follow 37-year-old female Asian elephant and head of the herd, Thi, who is expecting her ninth baby. Concerns are mounting for Thi and her unborn calf as elephant pregnancies usually last an epic 22 months, but keepers believe Thi could now be up to three months overdue!
New arrival and young giant anteater, Oso, goes on a first date with older female Bliss in a bid to find her a new partner after she was widowed – and rampant male Rothschild’s giraffe, Meru, causes a stir in the zoo’s endangered giraffe herd – with his relentless chasing of the females.
There’s also plenty of drama among the clownfish too as male, Polo, is injured while fighting with other males for the attentions of dominant female, Rosie. Clownfish have the amazing ability to change sex, and Polo’s recovery time away from the rest of the group leads to unexpected consequences.
Follow the weekly antics of the animals – and their keepers! – in Secret Life of the Zoo every Wednesdays at 8pm, on Channel 4.
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