The Secret Life of the Zoo

The Secret Life of the Zoo

Series 1 - Episode 1



“The more time I spend working with animals the more it teaches me about humans,” says Chester Zoo’s meerkat keeper Kirsten. And that’s pretty much the agenda of this delightfully watchable series – to draw out the ways animal behaviour mirrors our own, for instance when elephant youngster Hari winds up his aunts for a laugh, kicks a ball around, or enjoys rough and tumble with an older bull.

The matriarch of the herd is reaching the end of her 22-month pregnancy and the focus of this first episode is the birth, which the keepers have to watch from a nerve-racking distance. The mother previously had a stillborn calf, but the keepers have to let nature take its course, even when that means inquisitive calves unhelpfully sticking their trunks where… well, where no trunk should go.


Documentary revealing the hidden lives of the animals of Chester Zoo. The Asian elephant family welcome a new arrival. Grumpy matriarch Thi has been pregnant for almost two years and is reaching the end of her tether. She's given birth to a stillborn baby in the past, so the keepers have a close eye on her. Cameras also follow Red panda Jung, who has been getting the cold shoulder from his partner Nima since they had two cubs.

Cast & Crew

Director Anna Dickeson
Executive Producer Nick Hornby
Executive Producer Alistair Pegg
Executive Producer Ed Coulthard
Series Editor Tanya Winston
Series Producer Anna Dickeson
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Documentary Nature