Monday 10th March to Friday 14th March at 18:30am on five

The documentary series following daily life at Britain’s biggest zoo continues this week. Chester Zoo is home to 7,000 animals from 400 species and is visited by more than a million people each year. The zoo has some of the most experienced keepers in the business, working alongside a full-time veterinary team with a fully equipped animal hospital on site.

From day to day, vets Steve Unwin and James Chatterton never know what to expect. They may be called upon to anaesthetise an Indonesian babirusa pig so he can have his tusks trimmed, or they may have to operate on dangerous and cunning mandrills. It is all in a day’s work for the vets and veterinary nurses based at the zoo’s Animal Health Centre – who sometimes admit to knowing more about the animals in their care than they do about members of their own family. The series is narrated by actress Jane Horrocks.

In Monday’s episode, head keeper Tim Rowlands thinks spectacled bear Loja might be pregnant. He and his team build a den for her, where she quickly makes herself at home. But is Loja really ready to start a family?

It is mating season on Lemur Island in Tuesday’s instalment, and head keeper Andy Lenihan needs eyes in the back of his head. And a red bird of paradise, one of only seven females in captivity in the world, is seriously ill. Can the zoo vets save her?

On Wednesday, Zac, the South American tapir, goes into hospital to have an abscess removed from his chin. It is a worrying time for Zac’s keepers, because the operation proves to be fraught with difficulty.

Chester’s star attraction, three-month-old Asiatic lion cub Tejas, takes his first steps into the outside world in Thursday’s edition. And in the zoo’s Twilight Zone, the keepers have the spooky job of catching 150 bats.

And in Friday’s instalment, Tim Rowlands is looking forward to a double celebration: two of Chester’s giraffes are due to give birth soon. Elsewhere, Patna the rhino shows off his amazing dribbling skills.

Monday 10th March to Friday 14th March at 18:30am on five

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