Animals in Love

Animals in Love

Series 1 - Episode 1



The sound of a bonobo chimp laughing while being tickled might persuade you. Or maybe hearing how, on the exact anniversary of his death, a herd of elephants returned to the home of the man who’d rehabilitated them. But is there scientific proof that animals are capable of the same emotions as humans?

To a slightly crass Barry White/Motown soundtrack, Liz Bonnin observes prairie dogs, penguins, wild dogs and tamarinds to learn about their diverse and complex relationships. The most startling discovery is how many different species are in a long-term, same-sex relationship. Breeding is clearly irrelevant to them and their bond has the same quality, strength and intensity as heterosexual pairs.


Liz Bonnin presents the first of two programmes exploring animal relationships, finding out how they meet, mate and form relationships, and asking whether they can fall in love the same as humans. On her travels, she finds several animals that have discovered the secrets of successful long-lasting relationship, including the bonobo of the Congo, Africa's wild dogs and tamarins in the UK. But there are other sides to the story, like the devoted penguin couple that stayed together for 10 years, only for things to turn out not quite as they seemed. Liz also hears how a Siamaon gibbon dealt with the death of his life partner and meets a pair of elephants with an extraordinary friendship.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Liz Bonnin
Director Anne Sommerfield
Executive Producer Jane Aldous
Executive Producer Alice Keens-Soper
Producer Anne Sommerfield