02 15/02/2017

The Secret Life of the Zoo returns to TV screens for third series

Channel 4's hit series, taking viewers into the hidden world of Chester Zoo, returns for a third instalment.

The Secret Life of the Zoo
Chester Zoo’s much loved documentary series, The Secret Life of the Zoo, is returning to TV screens for a third series on Tuesday 28 February at 8pm on Channel 4.

In the first episode of the new upcoming series - set to air on Tuesday 28 February at 8pm - Pedro the giant anteater is about to be reunited with his long-term partner, Bliss. But then he falls ill and faces a major operation - with an uncertain outcome.

The zoo's extremely rare northern bald ibis birds produce a batch of new chicks, which are destined to be released back into the wild in southern Spain. But one, Britney, is critically underweight and must be hand-reared. If she becomes too tame, however, she won't survive in the wild.

Beni, one-horned rhino
Beni the male greater one-horned rhino is reunited with female rhino Asha

Greater one-horned rhino couple Beni and Asha have been kept separate for the last four years whilst mum Asha raises their daughter, Komala. But now, Komala is leaving home, and the couple are due to be reunited. Will they rekindle their rhino relationship?

In the insect hatchery, Natasha the orchid mantis has eaten all of the males in the zoo, except one. Now the hopes of breeding more of these unusual insects rest with two-centimetre-long Bruce, who must attempt to mate with Natasha. But will Bruce be dealt the same fate as the others?

Natasha - orchid mantis
Natasha the orchid mantis has eaten all of the males in the zoo, except one

Alistair Pegg, head of factual at the Blast! Films production company that have created the series on behalf of Channel 4, said:

The third instalment of The Secret Life of the Zoo will get viewers closer than ever to some of the world’s rarest and most threatened creatures. You’ll see new animal relationships blossoming, families changing and lots of new arrivals.

Using a combination of micro-rigs and crews on the ground, the documentary captures the unique behaviour of some of the zoo’s 15,000 animals and their close bonds with the keepers that care for them.

The third series also features tiny rhino beetles battling, the births of two endangered Asian elephant calves, the birth of a rare Rothschild’s giraffe calf and the heart stopping moment a baby silvery gibbon lets go of mum for the first time, fifty feet up.

The Secret Life of The Zoo, series 3, starts on Tuesday 28 February, 8pm, Channel 4. Join the conversation on Twitter using #TheZoo and by following @chesterzoo