Next Episode of The Secret Life of the Zoo is
Season 4 / Episode 6 and airs on 20 December 2017 20:00
The Secret Life of the Zoo takes a look behind the scenes of Chester Zoo. Using a range of filming techniques, including micro-rigs to capture close up animal behaviour, it will explore what the animals get up to, as well as their relationships with the keepers.
West African mandrill JC is being challenged for his dominant position by his sons Ludo and Jareth. While JC is taken to the vet's for some health checks, Ludo gets 'over-friendly' with his dad's girlfriend. The keepers are concerned that the situation might turn nasty when JC returns. Male red panda Jung is losing weight and the keepers can't work out why. After relationship problems with his partner Nima are ruled out, Jung is put on a special diet, but with no success. So Jung undergoes a full medical examination and keepers have to make a difficult decision. Sumatran tiger Kirana and her daughter Kasarna have started to clash at mealtimes. The keepers have a plan to sort out the tension between them. Tempers start to fray among Chester Zoo's Humboldt penguin colony during the annual moult. Can young penguins Frazzle and Munch avoid being picked on by the grown-ups?
Andean bear Lima has a three-month-old cub, but keepers are concerned that her overprotective behaviour may curb its development. And when Lima's back is turned, cub Madidi embarks on an adventure into the paddock next door. The rock hyrax family enjoy the quiet life, spending eight hours a day sitting on their rocks. But they're in for a rude awakening when three new pups are born. For mum Daissie there's no escaping their demands. The pygmy marmosets also have new babies. Mum Audrey has to carry her twins everywhere she goes to ensure their safety. But the whole family is soon on hand to give her a rest. Young elephant Nandita is desperate to make friends with babies Aayu and Indali, but her boisterous behaviour is proving too much for them. Can she learn the maternal skills she needs to win them round and persuade them to go swimming with her?
It's mating season for Chester Zoo's onagers and after two years living alone, male Holmes is released into the female paddock. It's a bruising encounter as he goes straight for his old flame Zarrin, before chasing every other female in sight, including the camel next door. Galapagos tortoise Charlie is losing weight and keepers believe that it's down to bullying from her older sister. They step in with an innovative system to try and alleviate the problem. Keeper Niall barters with eldest chimp Boris for the return of a large stick that the chimps have been brandishing, but Boris is wary of dominant male Dylan stealing his reward, and plays hardball with Niall. And Plo, a village weaver, is tirelessly building a nest to impress a female. If the foundations aren't strong enough to support a whole family it will be dismissed on first inspection, and he could be destined to remain a bachelor.
There are only around 50 Javan green magpies left in the world, and two of them live at Chester Zoo. Keepers are desperate to breed youngster Permata with older female Metina, but the problem is that he still has his juvenile blue feathers. Will he mature and can he help breed the next generation? Chester's bachelor pad of lemurs is in for a shock with a female on her way to their island. In the lemur world females rule the roost, so the boys' peaceful existence may be coming to an end. The zebras also have a newcomer to their herd: female Okoth, who starts to make a play for power, which doesn't go down well with top zebra Florence. And the zoo's three Komodo dragon sisters need some space from each other. Keeper Isolde has an unusual plan to take them for outside walks.
It's Christmas time and Chester Zoo's keepers are busy making gifts for all the animals. But it's a chaotic time for the chimps. With leader Dylan otherwise occupied by female attention, it's a free-for-all when the group seek out their parcels. And with Mandy left out, not everyone ends up in a festive mood. Horned rhino couple Beni and Asha are also experiencing family dysfunction. With Asha attacking and then ignoring Beni, he's left to find solace in the company of a deer. The zoo's new thousand-strong family of leaf cutter ants work together to build a new home for themselves out of their Christmas bounty. And can dwarf mongoose couple Cooper and Mini deliver some new babies in time for Christmas?
Spider monkey Mary, who's 50, has had 19 children and the Chester Zoo keepers are concerned that another pregnancy could be risky. They introduce a new younger female, Kiara, to the group in the hope that Mary's long-term partner Popoyan will develop a relationship with her instead. But Popoyan seems to be more of a romantic than the keepers thought. The zoo hope to breed dominant female giant otter Icana with new arrival Diego, but Icana's daughter Runa has a chronic liver condition, so she has other things on her mind. Then a tragic turn of events changes the family dynamic. Sloths Tina and Rico live together at the zoo, spending up to 18 hours a day asleep. But for the past three years Tina has spent her waking moments giving Rico a hard time. Now there's a plan to try and bring them closer together. And keepers embark on a speed dating event with three-legged chameleon Tripod. Will she go for number one, number two or number three? Or will they all be dismissed at the first hurdle?
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