(6/20)

The documentary strand profiling life at one of Britain’s busiest zoos continues. This time around, Zoo Days is presented by Konnie Huq and comes from Colchester Zoo in Essex. Every day, Konnie takes viewers behind the scenes at the zoo, providing privileged access to over 2,500 animals and the dedicated team of 60 keepers that looks after them.

Occupying an area of 60 acres in the Essex countryside, Colchester Zoo attracts more than half a million visitors every year, but is run as a family business – a concept that gives the zoo a unique, friendly atmosphere. The staff at the zoo are full of character and passionate about their work.

For the 60 curators, keepers and vets at Colchester, working at the zoo could never be described as routine. Caring for elephants, tigers, lions, rhinos, chimps and giraffes, no two jobs are ever the same. On one day, staff might be required to encourage endangered species to breed, while the next might see them having to support their animals through dangerous medical operations.

Throughout the series, viewers will meet such characters as Zola, the African elephant who is carrying the hopes of the whole zoo on her shoulders; a desperately fragile baby aardvark; and Jez, the zoo’s innovative new animal trainer.

In Monday’s show, Jez takes on his biggest challenge yet – southern white rhino sisters Emily and Cynthia. How will he go about training these two-tonne giants? Elsewhere in the zoo, news arrives that baby elephant Jambo is off on a big adventure; and the young cheetah cubs have a suspected leg-bone deformity that throws their whole future into question.

On Tuesday’s show, Simba the rhino gets an unconventional beauty treatment; some intrepid keepers have their work cut out as they try to capture an energetic group of mandrills; and the future of the cheetah cubs hangs in the balance when the results of their medical tests arrive.

On Wednesday, it is time to give the zoo’s new baby aardvark a name – but first, the keepers must determine the animal’s sex! And Rajang the elderly orangutan proves to be the cleverest animal Jez has encountered so far…

In Thursday’s instalment, Zola the pregnant elephant could give birth at any time and the whole zoo is on high alert. Sputnik the dominant male mangabey monkey, meanwhile, begins a turf war with a marauding band of mongooses.

Rounding off the week’s episodes, Friday’s show sees Subu the lion get an extra special breakfast. Elsewhere, keeper Nikki says goodbye to the giraffes as she moves on to another section of the zoo; and Fluffy the kestrel starts training for a big public display.

About the author

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1