Secret Life Of The Zoo returns for fifth series

It’s back! The Secret Life of the Zoo returns to Channel 4 for a fifth series

  • Popular TV show starts on Wednesday 18 April
  • Bafta-nominated documentary series throws a spotlight on some of the world’s most endangered species

The Bafta-nominated Channel 4 series, The Secret Life of the Zoo, is back for a fifth series on Wednesday 18 April at 8pm

The hugely popular TV series, The Secret Life of the Zoo, which goes behind-the-scenes at Chester Zoo, is back!

Episode one of a brand new series of the Bafta-nominated documentary returns to Channel 4 on Wednesday 18 April at 8pm.

The new run has used an array of special filming techniques to reveal even more about what goes on in the private lives of many of the zoo’s 21,000 animals when no one is watching.

Cameras take us inside the world of creatures great and small – from towering giraffes to tiny vampire crabs and incredible orangutans to a group of chameleons rescued from the illegal wildlife trade - with keepers sharing secrets about what’s involved in the care of some of the world’s most endangered species.

In episode one

Sumatran orangutans, Emma and Subis, are due to give birth at around the same time. When Emma appears one morning with her new baby, it seems that Subis is going into labour. But after 24 hours of no progress, she is taken to the Animal Health Centre for a possible caesarean section. What happens next is a highly unexpected turn of events.

Meanwhile, two horned chameleon Ruby, who arrived at the zoo after being seized from the illegal wildlife trade, is part of a coordinated breeding programme. Charles and Eddie, the two candidate chameleons in waiting, would usually be expected to display to one another to impress the female and prepare themselves for mating. Eddie isn’t up to the challenge though, so keepers hope that Charles’s own reflection may be enough to get the process going. But as Ruby rapidly changes colour, her feelings are clear to see.

Meerkats Beagle and Huskie have moved to the zoo as the new breeding pair. But the aardvarks, who share their habitat, are causing them some anxiety. To the surprise of keepers, the meerkats won’t go anywhere near the aardvarks or the shared sleeping area. The team decides to redesign the paddock to give the meerkats some privacy in their own pad.

The zoo’s pair of vampire crabs have been in the same habitat for nearly six months, but Janet and John have not bred successfully. The keepers introduce larger male Claude to their habitat to increase the odds of a successful mating. As John and Claude face off, the hope is that Janet might produce some babies, without either male losing his claws in battle.


The Secret Life of The Zoo, series 5, starts on Wednesday 18 April, 8pm, Channel 4.
Join the conversation on Twitter using #TheZoo and by following @chesterzoo

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