13 votes
The Secret Life of the Zoo

The Secret Life of the Zoo

Channel 4 2016

Chester Zoo is the most popular zoo in Britain. This observational documentary series uses micro-rig camera technology to capture, in incredible detail, the remarkable behaviour of the animals there.

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The 10 Best Episodes of The Secret Life of the Zoo

The Secret Life of the Zoo - S2E5

#1 - Episode 5


Season 2 - Episode 5

There's an escape at Chester Zoo in this episode. The Sumatran orangutans have been getting used to new quarters, when keepers see from CCTV that Subis, Tuti, Siska and Indah have gone missing. They find Subis in the roof of the Monsoon Forest: an area that's strictly off-limits to orangutans. But Subis seems to be enjoying a day out, trying on a fire hydrant cover and some vet's gloves for size. The keepers must rely on their understanding of the escapees to try to tempt them back inside. Family dynamics are always shifting in Chester's animal groups. In the meerkat house, the dominant female is facing trouble, from her own daughter. Known as Number 13, the daughter is launching physical attacks on Mum, in a struggle for dominance.

The episode was rated from 19 votes.

The Secret Life of the Zoo - S4E6

#2 - The Secret Life of the Zoo at Christmas 2017


Season 4 - Episode 6

The keepers at Chester Zoo are busy making gifts for the animals. But there's chaos when the chimps seek out their parcels. Plus: rhinos, ants and dwarf mongooses.

The episode was rated from 13 votes.

The Secret Life of the Zoo - S1E1

#3 - Episode 1


Season 1 - Episode 1

Grumpy elephant Thi is expecting a baby. The chimps battle for dominance. Red panda Nima gives her partner Jung the cold shoulder. And the meerkats prove they're not as loveable as they first seem.

The episode was rated from 37 votes.

The Secret Life of the Zoo - S3E5

#4 - Episode 5


Season 3 - Episode 5

Rhino Kifaru is attempting to mate, despite his arthritic knees, tapir Jenny falls ill, widowed porcupine Roxy meets a new, younger mate, and a flamingo chick goes missing. At 32, Kifaru is the oldest eastern black rhino at Chester Zoo. The species has been hunted to near-extinction, with only 600 left in the wild, but Chester has a successful breeding programme. Kifaru is introduced to younger female Malindi, in the hope that they will produce offspring. But Malindi is taller and 150kg heavier than Kifaru, so mating with her is challenging. Lowland tapir Jenny has been with her partner Cuzco for 25 years: one of the longest relationships in the zoo. The couple live with their most recent offspring, two-year-old male Zathras, and 18-month-old Inca. But Jenny has been plagued by a troublesome cough, and seems to be losing weight.

The episode was rated from 18 votes.

The Secret Life of the Zoo - S2E3

#5 - Episode 3


Season 2 - Episode 3

Spring is in the air at Chester Zoo and many of the animals are giving birth, but an outbreak of disease in the penguin colony leaves penguin chick Munch fighting for his life. Sulawesi macaque mum Lisa gives birth to Han, but dad Mamassa isn't proving much parenting help, so Lisa's older son Beaker steps in to help with the babysitting. Andean spectacled bear Lima is entering her short window of fertility, and 19-stone male Bernie seems determined to woo her, but Lima doesn't seem to want to let Bernie get close to her. And when young male tortoise Football muscles in on 71-year-old Bert's harem of females, keepers decide to keep Bert's spirits up by introducing two Swedish female tortoises to the group.

The episode was rated from 17 votes.

#6 - Episode 7
Season 3 - Episode 7

Mr Parsons the chameleon meets a new mate, Daphne from Paris. Young giraffe Murchison faces the great outdoors for the first time. And another baby elephant is born.

The episode was rated from 17 votes.
#7 - Episode 4
Season 3 - Episode 4

An elephant calf, Indali, is born at Chester Zoo, but her young half-sister Nandita doesn't welcome the new arrival. Bush dog dad Franco is under pressure as his family grows, and Apple, an onager - a very rare type of wild horse - faces a major operation. Asian elephant Sundara has been pregnant for 22 months. She's exhausted, and her mood isn't being helped by the herd's only juvenile, one-year-old Nandita, who keeps disturbing her while she's trying to sleep. When Sundara finally goes into labour, Nandita keeps putting her trunk where it isn't welcome. And when the calf, Indali, is born, there is concern when she doesn't stand up for several minutes. Meanwhile, bush dog dad Franco and his partner Mana have had eight pups. Bush dogs are semi-aquatic small dogs from South America, and are normally monogamous.

The episode was rated from 21 votes.
The Secret Life of the Zoo - S1E2
#8 - Episode 2
Season 1 - Episode 2

Inseparable penguins Rud and Spike have been a couple for 15 years. But Rud's arthritic hip could be affecting his quality of life. The tigers move house, and a tarantula risks his life to reproduce.

The episode was rated from 31 votes.
The Secret Life of the Zoo - S1E6
#9 - Episode 6
Season 1 - Episode 6

Female rhino Kitani is introduced to her new mate, Magadi. But rhino mating is a risky business. There's a surprise birth in the orangutan house. Plus: fruit bats, macaques and young jaguars.

The episode was rated from 13 votes.
#10 - Episode 4
Season 2 - Episode 4

Sumatran tiger mum Kirana faces losing her two sons, Topan and Jaya, who are fully grown and being moved to other zoos to start families of their own. Keepers are unsure how Kirana, and her remaining cub, daughter Kasarna, will react to the departure of the boys. One of Chester Zoo's most secretive and sensitive animals, Oana the anoa, gives birth to a calf, Nani. But Oana's anxiety after the birth threatens Nani's health: she's licking her so much that the calf is losing its fur.

The episode was rated from 17 votes.

Last updated: sep 10, 2021

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