24 Oct 2019

Channel 4’s much-loved documentary about Chester Zoo is back for a brand new series.


The eighth instalment of the Bafta-nominated show, The Secret Life of the Zoo, returns to TV screens on Thursday 31 October at 8pm with a fresh run of episodes.

Be prepare to be charmed, intrigued & entertained as cutting edge cameras once again reveal the private lives of rare animals in unprecedented ways.

In this first episode of the new series, the Asian elephant herd is recovering from last year’s devastating deaths of two calves, after they succumbed to a deadly herpes virus. Thanks to constant monitoring, keepers and vets are able to make an early diagnosis when another calf, two-year-old Indali Hi Way, tests positive for the same virus. In a world first they embark on a new specially-developed treatment that could be her only chance of survival – and could offer hope for the species globally.

Our Humboldt penguin colony has 16 new members including feisty female Almond and chunky mate Walnut. As the new pair go nest-box-hunting for the most des res, unbeknown to them an unwelcome intruder is eyeing up their turf – and the chance to steal their eggs.


Ring-tailed lemur, Dog, is the only male in his well-established matriarchal tribe, but when a bachelor group of five lively red ruff lemurs move in, his days as top dog may be numbered.

At the aquarium, a breeding phenomenon plays out among the extraordinary cardinal fish. The gender tables are turned, with the males taking charge of incubating the eggs and carrying the fry in their mouths, until they are ready to be released into the outside world.  Meek Richard is carrying his partner Hyacinth’s eggs as they grow ever bigger. But as the shoal hatches he struggles to keep them safe from his circling, cannibalistic neighbours who sense a fish buffet is in the offing.


The Secret Life of The Zoo, series 8, starts on Thursday 31 October, 8pm, on Channel 4. Join the conversation on social media using #TheZoo and by following @chesterzoo

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