The Secret Life of the Zoo

The Secret Life of the Zoo

Series 5 - Episode 1



Animal reproduction is an unpredictable business. “Certain animals … we can’t stop them breeding; others – no matter what we try – they won’t breed.” explains keeper Kirsten.

So although vampire crabs Janet and John have been co-habiting for a year they’ve shown no interest in starting a family; two-horned chameleon Ruby, who arrived at Chester Zoo six months ago, is downright aggressive towards potential mate Charles – but it turns out with good reason; and while meercats are usually prolific breeders, Beagle and Huskie have been put off sex by the introduction of three aardvarks to their home. Well, can you blame them?

However, it’s over in the orangutan enclosure that something extraordinary is going on. Sisters Emma and Subis are both pregnant by the same male. That’s unusual but it’s what happens during the night that stuns the staff. “I’ll never rule anything out ever again,” keeper Debi says.


Orang-utan sisters Emma and Subis are due to give birth at the same time, but after being in labour for more than 24 hours with no progress, Subis is rushed to the vet for a possible C-section. Meerkats Beagle and Huskie have moved to the zoo as the new breeding pair, but their new housemates, the aardvarks, are making them anxious. In an effort to make them more comfortable in their new home, the team decide to redesign the paddock to give the meerkats their own space.

Cast & Crew

Director Myles Jenks
Executive Producer Tanya Winston
Producer Myles Jenks
Series Producer Pip Banyard
Documentary Nature