2 Nov 2017

The Secret Life of the Zoo, Channel 4’s heart-warming documentary series about Chester Zoo, is returning to TV screens for a fourth series on Wednesday 15 November at 8pm

What happens in the lives of Chester Zoo’s inhabitants when no-one’s looking?

In The Secret Life of the Zoo, we find out – as special filming techniques reveal the private life of animals.Cameras take us inside the world of Chester’s 15,000 animals, following their rites of passage, observing family dynamics within the animal groups, and seeing how relationships, old age, parenting, conflict, life and death play out in their lives.

Mysterious tenrec

This new series features more animals than ever before – from elephants to jewel wasps, and the mysterious tenrecs to the critically endangered Javan green magpie. Chester’s keepers also share the secrets of looking after some of the world’s most endangered species, and reveal all they do to keep their animals happy and healthy.In the first episode, eastern black rhino Kitani is due to give birth, and help swell the ranks of this incredibly rare species. It’s an exciting but nervy time for keepers. Jewel wasp Ripley wants to find the perfect cockroach to help give birth to her offspring. She plans to lay her egg on a living cockroach, paralyzing him with venom and effectively turning him into a zombie.

Jewel wasps feature in the new series

The zoo has four rare new arrivals – lowland-streaked tenrecs, mysterious mammals from Madagascar. With so little known about them the keepers are trying everything they can to help them breed.And red river hog Mali has given birth to twins, but could tearaway dad Confetti be a danger to his own babies? The Secret Life of The Zoo, series 4, starts on Wednesday 15 November, 8pm, Channel 4. Join the conversation on Twitter using #TheZoo and by following @chesterzoo

Series Producer PIP BANYARD