New Series

Starting this week on Five is the second season of the wildlife series anchored by animal expert Michaela Strachan and ex-‘Blue Peter’ presenter Matt Baker. Airing on weeknights, the series looks at the urgent work going on to save and protect animals in the UK and abroad – from large-scale conservation projects to tiny wildlife sanctuaries.

Focusing on the unsung heroes of animal conservation, Animal Rescue Squad follows the efforts of dedicated zoologists, vets and volunteers to help animals around the world. These men and women work tirelessly to improve the lives of creatures in zoos, safari parks, wildlife reserves and public areas. The series also examines the life-anddeath dramas that unfold in vets’ surgeries up and down the country on a daily basis.

Michaela Strachan has been involved with wildlife programming since 1990. Her most recent series for Five, ‘Michaela’s Zoo Babies’, followed breeding programmes in zoos and wildlife parks across the country. In 2005, she was awarded Best Presenter at the BAFTA children’s awards for her natural-history show ‘Michaela’s Wild Challenge’. Matt Baker has won two children’s BAFTAs and a Royal Television Society Award.

In Monday’s episode, Michaela is in California to assist with the care of a seriously injured sea lion. Back in the UK, the RSPCA has found a pack of ponies being kept in terrible conditions. They are brought to HorseWorld in Bristol for rehabilitation.

On Tuesday, Matt ventures into the wilds of Canada to meet a rare bear who is about to be freed from captivity. And the English hen harrier is the key focus of an endangered-bird programme.

Wednesday’s show sees vet Jason operating on a Weimaraner with a twisted gut. And Michaela meets Maggie, an elephant who had a lucky escape from the poor conditions at a zoo in Alaska.

It is the Swan Sanctuary to the rescue on Thursday, when a diesel spill affects a flock of swans on the Thames. And the most endangered animal in Canada, the Vancouver Island marmot, is being aided by a dedicated team of conservationists. Matt is on hand to help them out.

In Friday’s show, it is back to California for Michaela as she gets to grips with the gorgeous but at-risk southern sea otters at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. And animal-protection officer Robert is on the hunt for the owners of a maltreated dog.

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