Next Episode of The Secret Life of the Zoo is
Season 4 / Episode 10 and airs on 23 January 2018 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.
In this first episode of the new series, Pedro the giant anteater is about to be reunited with his long-term partner, Bliss. But then he falls ill, and faces a major operation - with an uncertain outcome.
In this episode, young giraffe mum Tula gives birth, while both the penguin chicks and a silvery gibbon baby must face their fears. Rothschild giraffe Tula is a week overdue after a 13-month pregnancy. But keepers are anxious that history could repeat itself - she gave birth to a stillborn calf last year. Meanwhile this year's brood of penguin chicks are about to face the ordeal of joining the main pool, where they must compete for fish with the adult penguins. Before joining the big pool, keepers have to teach the group a vital life skill - catching fish. But there is one member of the class, Squares, who just isn't mastering the basics. Baby silvery gibbon Eko is also having to learn fast. After clinging on to mum Tilu for the first six months of his life, Eko is learning how to branch out and swing between ropes for himself - 50 feet up.
The arrival of a new female chimp causes upheaval at the zoo, baby otter Bo goes missing, cheetah mum Kinky Tail is on the operating table, and the meerkats steal the porcupines' food
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.
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.
Rare okapi Stomp must woo female K'Tusha, the African painted dogs compete to be pack leader, and Raja the Bornean river turtle meets two prospective mates. Okapis are a highly-endangered relative of the giraffe; in the wild they're only found in the Congo. At Chester Zoo, 13-year-old male okapi Stomp is being encouraged to mate with younger female K'Tusha. But on his first attempt, Stomp snaps his horn and causes K'Tusha a minor injury. They're separated until Stomp's horn can be sanded down and he can try again. African painted dog brothers Ivar and Ville have been enjoying a bachelor lifestyle. But with two new females, Kite and K'mana, arriving at the zoo, the brothers struggle to be top dog. African painted dogs are skilled hunters, and when they turn on each other the fighting can be serious. Meanwhile, Bornean river turtle Raja has been on his own for 18 months, but now female turtles Gerda and Greta have arrived from Holland, and Raja mates with Gerda underwater.
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.
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.
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.
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