Series Final

The documentary strand profiling life at one of Britain’s busiest zoos concludes this week. Konnie Huq presents the series from Colchester Zoo, where 2,500 animals live under the care of a dedicated team of keepers.

Colchester Zoo boasts 270 different species and plays host to more than half a million visitors every year. The zoo’s team is involved in pioneering research and is at the forefront of some exciting conservation projects, working to ensure the survival of some of the rarest animals on the planet.

Supported by zoo and wildlife vet John Lewis, curators Clive Barwick and Sarah Forsyth head up a team of 60 keepers – all experts in their field with a passion for animal welfare to match.

This week’s programmes begin in dramatic fashion on Monday, as the keepers attempt to catch a poorly penguin who seems determined not to receive medical attention. Elsewhere, zoo curator Sarah has the job of feeding hand-reared cheetah cub Katavi, and a new arrival at the reindeer enclosure gives everyone a work-out.

In Tuesday’s show, there is an emergency when Piora the tamarin escapes. On the other side of the zoo, the keepers must step in to save a sick crowned crane chick, and there is an unusual naming ceremony for a cute new arrival.

When the team is tasked with moving some squirrel monkeys into a new enclosure on Wednesday, a shocking attack leads to a dash for the animal hospital. At the giraffe enclosure, meanwhile, new arrival Century gets measured. Over at the elephant house, mini cameras provide a keeper’s-eye view inside a four-tonne elephant’s mouth.

On Thursday, Zola the African elephant rejoins the females after eight months away. At the orang- utan house, the team prepares for a life-or-death procedure. Elsewhere, an upsetting discovery leaves big questions over Katavi’s future.

The series finale on Friday sees the vets anaesthetise Rajang the orang-utan for his move to a new home. Despite months of preparation, the keepers are not sure if he will survive the ordeal. Meanwhile, there is some exciting news at the aardvark house, and Katavi undergoes a series of tests to decide her fate.

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