11 07/11/2016

The Secret Life of the Zoo returns for second series with groundbreaking footage of rare animals

• Charming Channel 4 documentary series about Chester Zoo begins on Thursday 17 November, 8pm
• New footage captured for series takes viewers closer to the zoo’s 20,000 animals than ever before
• Behind-the-scenes access throws spotlight on some of the world’s most threatened species

The Secret Life of The Zoo
Series two of the Channel 4 documentary series, The Secret Life of The Zoo, which follows the amazing lives of the animals at Chester Zoo and the staff who care for them, begins on Thursday 17 November at 8pm.

At the start of 2016, more than 4m viewers per episode tuned in to series one of The Secret Life of the Zoo.

Now, this groundbreaking Channel 4 documentary series is back, putting more cameras in more places the public never gets to see at Britain’s most popular wildlife attraction, Chester Zoo.

From the difficult birth of a baby zebra, to elephant mating, to moving a giant python, the series will tell the stories of extraordinary rites of passage in the lives of some of Chester’s 20,000 animals, many of which are rare and endangered.

Using a micro-rig to capture animal behaviour at eye level, the series takes us closer to these creatures than ever before.

And Chester’s keepers and animal care staff will reveal their close relationships with animals they have cared for over many years.

Many of the animals in the zoo are threatened with extinction. We’ll see how some of the rarest animals in the world, from Eastern black rhino to Sumatran tigers, are helped to breed. And we’ll also see how babirusa give birth, sloths form pair bonds, Asiatic lions mate, and orangutans protect their territory.

Episode One

The first episode of the new series sees Florence and Nadine, two of Chester’s Grevy’s zebras, both about to give birth. But fixing a due date is almost impossible, and so the keepers are keeping a close eye on both.

Other animals are struggling to produce offspring. Iblis is an Asiatic lion, one of the rarest animals in the world. His partner of five years, Kumari, seems to be losing interest in him. Keepers can find nothing physically wrong with the pair, so decide to put Iblis on a programme of tearing animal carcasses from trees in order to get him into shape. But will it be enough to impress Kumari?

Meanwhile warthog dad Magnum is feeling the pressure of parenting. Two of his older children, Dobby and Neville, are becoming increasingly hard to control. Magnum must impose order on his family again – if he can.

And a new arrival to the zoo, Rico, a two-toed sloth, is finding it hard to attract the interest of female sloth Tina.

The Secret Life of The Zoo starts on Thursday 17 November, 8pm, Channel 4. Join the conversation on Twitter using #TheZoo and by following @chesterzoo

Series Producer: Martin Hicks
Executive Producers: Alistair Pegg, Edmund Coulthard, Sarah Spencer
A Blast! Films production for Channel 4