(11/20)

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, pregnant elephant Zola is getting closer to giving birth, putting the whole team on night-watch. Zoo curator Sarah gets a crash course in midwifery when she has to deliver a surprise baby lamb; and the keepers play a game of tag with a 30-stone white tiger.

On Tuesday’s show, zoo director Anthony faces up to some harsh truths about Zola’s future; keeper Paula gives the chimps a surprise with a sting in its tail; and there is an emergency at the squirrel monkey enclosure when new mum Flossie falls ill.

Nerves are at breaking point on Wednesday as the team waits for news on Flossie’s mystery illness. At the sea lion enclosure, new recruit Hayley is making progress in her training. Elsewhere, a shock discovery leads to an emergency situation with a rare African hunting dog, and baby elephant Jambo is off on the adventure of a lifetime.

The keepers turn sentimental in Thursday’s instalment, as young Jambo hits the road. Meanwhile, the sea lions reveal some undiscovered artistic talents, and there are new concerns for the future of Flossie’s baby, Rio.

In the last episode of the week on Friday, the team must take urgent action when Depti the African hunting dog takes a turn for the worse. There is thrilling news from the tiger house, while over in the seal enclosure, the keepers battle to save Jasmine’s eye.

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