The Secret Life of the Zoo

The Secret Life of the Zoo

Series 6 - Episode 7



Old friends fall out tonight. Burt and Terrance are fellow males in the tortoise paddock, but Burt is the alpha male and, in breeding season, he feels the need to show Terrance who’s boss – which in tortoise terms means laboriously flipping him onto his back. Mind you, the pair have known each other since the end of the Second World War, so it should be no more than a blip in their friendship.

Hormones are raging elsewhere, too. One of the most touching sights is the way that Eric, a Eurasian black vulture, drops sticks at the feet of his potential mate, Ethel, to suggest, “How about a nest, and the patter of tiny talons?”


Tortoises Burt and Terrance become rivals in love when they pursue a breeding female. Meanwhile, six-year-old okapi K'Tusha nears the end of her first pregnancy, and keepers hope that her baby will help to conserve this highly-endangered species, and Asian elephant bull Aung-Bo senses that the three-day window for mating is about to begin.

Cast & Crew

Executive Producer Alex Sutherland
Executive Producer Alistair Pegg
Executive Producer Edmund Coulthard
Series Producer Pip Banyard
Documentary Nature