Zoo Days

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.

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.

This week sees the return of Zoo Days – the documentary strand following the daily lives of the staff and animals at one of Britain’s busiest zoos.

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 series opener, Konnie Huq takes viewers behind the scenes at the zoo for the very first time, and introduces the dedicated keepers and the amazing animals they look after. Konnie meets the zoo’s Amur tiger couple who are celebrating Christmas with a little help from their keepers and a pack of rare African hunting dogs. Also, she meets Zola, a particularly important African elephant. Zola is pregnant – but there is a problem: her troubled past has left her bruised and fragile and she does not like baby elephants…

On Tuesday’s show, keepers call in vet John Lewis after they notice a nasty cut on Zola’s leg – but the elephant does not react at all well to the attention. And OQ the aardvark is about to give birth, so keepers are on high alert and must make some speedy last-minute preparations to ensure the delivery goes smoothly.

On Wednesday, the whole zoo is delighted that OQ has given birth successfully, but joy soon turns to concern when keepers discover that the baby has a skin condition that requires round-the-clock supervision. When zoo curator Sarah takes the newborn baby home with her, it develops an unlikely new friendship – with her cat! At the leopard enclosure, meanwhile, pioneering training methods are underway to help save a dying breed.

In Thursday’s instalment, the vet is called in again after a keeper’s favourite bird escapes and gets shot. Also, the meerkat enclosure turns into a mongoose dating agency as two new females are introduced to the group. And at the elephant house, sibling rivalry goes too far when a playfight leaves baby elephant Jambo needing an urgent visit from the dentist.

Rounding off the week’s episodes, Friday’s show sees Jambo get his first filling. Elsewhere, there is a new arrival at the squirrel-monkey enclosure; and, after four weeks apart, Colchester’s aardvark family is reunited.

The documentary series following daily life atBritain’s biggest zoo concludes this week.Chester Zoo is home to 7,000 animals from 400species and is visited by more than a millionpeople each year. The zoo has some of the mostexperienced keepers in the business, workingalongside a full-time veterinary team with a fullyequipped animal hospital on site.From day to day, vets Steve Unwin and JamesChatterton never know what to expect. They maybe called upon to anaesthetise an Indonesianbabirusa pig so he can have his tusks trimmed, orthey may have to operate on dangerous andcunning mandrills. It is all in a day’s work for thevets and veterinary nurses based at the zoo’sAnimal Health Centre – who sometimes admit toknowing more about the animals in their care thanthey do about members of their own family. Theseries is narrated by actress Jane Horrocks.In Monday’s episode, it is a big day at the zooowing to the long-awaited arrival of a new Indianrhino. Batschii has come from a zoo inSwitzerland to be a mate for Patna – Chester’sonly male Indian rhino. As the animal arrives, sheis welcomed by head keeper of rhinos ChasMackenzie and an excited team of keepers andvets, who now have a total of nine rhinoceros intheir care. Meanwhile, vet Steve Unwin mustexamine a nine-day-old giraffe who is sufferingfrom an upset stomach.In Tuesday’s instalment, a group of seven ring-tailed lemurs leaves the zoo. The animals havebeen excluded from the 27-strong lemur colony atChester Zoo following a number of familysquabbles, so staff have decided to send them toa zoo in Siberia for a new life. Batschii the Indianrhino, meanwhile, settles down to her new routinein Chester.Wednesday is a sad day at the zoo becauseTejas, the Asiatic lion cub, leaves for a new home inFrance. Keepers and staff wave goodbye as thefive-month-old cub is driven away by head keeperAlan Woodward. It was Alan who hand-rearedTejas at Chester when the animal’s motherrejected her cub. Thanks to Alan and his team ofkeepers and vets, Tejas survived to become one ofonly nine Asiatic lion cubs in the whole of Europe.On Thursday, Tejas arrives at his new home inFrance after a gruelling 900-mile journey fromChester. Alan is at his side as the cub isintroduced to his new French keeper at BesanconZoo near the Swiss border. Back in the UK, thereare still concerns about Margaret, Chester’s babygiraffe, who is only half the size she should be.And in the last programme of the current serieson Friday, it is an emotional day for Alan as hesays goodbye to Tejas. After five monthstogether, it is time for the two of them to part. Inthe first few days of their acquaintance, Alan keptthe tiny cub at home and bottle-fed him everythree hours, night and day. His dedication, andthe back-up provided by the other keepers andvets, enabled Tejas to pull through. Alan is theonly parent Tejas has ever known. “He’ll miss us,”says Alan. “But we’ll miss him more. We’re all veryproud of him.”

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, there is drama at the elephant house when bull elephant Upali takes a fancy to a young female. Also looking for love is Tuan, the zoo’s new male orang-utan, who has just cleared quarantine and is free to mingle.

Nerves are jangling in Tuesday’s instalment, when the head keeper of reptiles, Isolde McGeorge, introduces male Komodo dragon Norman to Nessie, a potential mate. And Majene, the Indonesian babirusa pig, is pregnant.

On Wednesday, a new baby giraffe is born at the zoo, but she is the smallest head keeper Tim Rowlands has ever seen. Tim will have his work cut out if the baby is to survive. Elsewhere, Tuan proves a hit with the ladies.

Tim Rowlands is forced to make a critical decision in Thursday’s edition, as he holds the future of the zoo’s new baby giraffe in his hands. Plus, keeper Wayne McLeod must take a plunge into the icy waters of Flamingo Lake to ensure that his population of birds is keeping safe.

And in Friday’s instalment, the staff prepare to say goodbye to Tejas the lion cub. The zoo’s number one attraction is about to leave for his new home in France. At the same time, the keepers are getting ready to welcome an exciting new arrival –a rhino from Switzerland.

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

This week sees the return of the documentary series following daily life at Britain’s biggest zoo.

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 that 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 members of their own family. The series is narrated by actress Jane Horrocks.

In the opening episode of the series on Monday, Tejas, one of the rarest lion cubs in the world, is having trouble walking properly. Vets have discovered that he has a problem with his tendons and he has been fitted with splints. Today, veterinary nurses Karen Homer and Tanya Curnow come to remove the splints. If there is no improvement in his condition, the two-month-old cub will face major surgery. Tejas is one of only nine Asiatic lion cubs in the whole of Europe, with only 250 animals remaining in the whole world. The Chester Zoo staff, therefore, are desperate to see their brave little cub make a full recovery.

Head Keeper Tim Rowlands turns dentist in Tuesday’s instalment, as he uses cheese wire to trim the tusks of a babirusa pig. There is a new arrival in the form of a young South American tapir, whilst some baby-faced baddies from the lemur family make their departure from the zoo.

On Wednesday, the head keeper of the zoo’s flamingos, Wayne McLeod, is involved in a dramatic race against the clock to get his birds safely inside their new winter home before they fall victim to the twin threat of freezing temperatures and prowling foxes.

Vet Steve Unwin has to keep his wits about him while operating on a new and dangerous patient in Thursday’s edition. Mandrills are the world’s largest species of monkey. They are famous for their big teeth and sense of cunning – they have even been known to fake being asleep. Can Steve complete the operation safely? Plus, the zoo’s extraordinary baby pandas come out to play.

On Friday, the Head Keeper of Elephants, Mick Jones, moves heaven and four tonnes of earth to give his favourite elephant, Sheba, a comfy bed for the night. Sheba is the matriarch of the ten-strong Chester herd of Asian elephants and she has not been sleeping well of late. Can Mick put things right?

Monday 3rd March to Friday 7th March at 6:30pm on five

zoo days (16/18)

This week sees the conclusion of the observational documentary series following the daily drama of life at Britain’s biggest zoo. Chester Zoo is home to 7,000 animals from 400 species, and is visited by more than a million people each year. With so many animals, ranging from ants to elephants, something is born in the zoo almost every day. Vets at Chester’s state-of-the-art animal hospital do not think twice about treating a 22 foot-long reticulated python with pneumonia, or helping an Asiatic lion prepare for the birth of her cubs.

The stories featured in the series range from that of the flamingo who patiently sits on her precious egg until the nest is almost washed away by the summer floods, to the potentially dangerous introduction of a male elephant to a female who is unwilling to accept his amorous advances.

Zoo Days also gets up close and personal with the keepers –who sometimes admit to knowing more about the animals in their care than members of their own family! The series is narrated by actress Jane Horrocks.

In today’s programme, all eyes are on a new and important arrival at the zoo –a tiny lion cub called Tejas who spells hope for the future of an endangered species. Elsewhere, the chimpanzees line up to take their medicine.

In Tuesday’s show, Tejas proves to be a demanding house guest for head keeper Alan Woodward, while the other zookeepers are kept busy with a flurry of activity on Lemur Island.

In the series finale on Wednesday,love is in the air at Chester Zoo as rhinos Emma and Mugadi snuggle up under the watchful eye of Head Keeper Chas Mackenzie.

zoo days (11/18)

This observational documentary series follows the daily drama of life at Britain’s biggest zoo. Chester Zoo is home to 7,000 animals from 400 species, and is visited by more than a million people each year. With so many animals, ranging from ants to elephants, something is born in the zoo almost every day. Vets at Chester’s state-of-the-art animal hospital do not think twice about treating a 22 footlong reticulated python with pneumonia, or helping an Asiatic lion prepare for the birth of her cubs.

The stories featured in the series range from that of the flamingo who patiently sits on her precious egg until the nest is almost washed away by the summer floods, to the potentially dangerous introduction of a male elephant to a female who is unwilling to accept his amorous advances. This week sees the arrival of two extraordinary new additions to the Zoo’s family.

Zoo Days also gets up close and personal with the keepers –who sometimes admit to knowing more about the animals in their care than members of their own family!

In today’s programme, the Zoo celebrates a remarkable event as lioness Asha gives birth, ending a long wait for all the staff. However, head keeper Alan Woodward soon spots that all is not well with the two new cubs.

Tuesday’s show sees the keepers and vets face some tough choices over the future of Asha’s cubs. And is it the end of the road for Rafters the giraffe?

On Wednesday, head keeper Alan Woodward plays mum to the two new lion cubs. And Larry the lemur gives the zoo vets cause for concern.

Thursday’s edition finds senior keeper James Andrewes going behind the scenes of the largest bat cave in Europe –Chester Zoo’s Twilight Zone, which is home to nearly 600 bats.

Rounding off the week is Friday’s programme, which sees some dramatic news about the lion cubs –and Chester Zoo’s baby pandas coming out to play.

Zoo Days

Please note that Five’s new documentary series ‘Zoo Days’ starting tonight at 18.30 is to be narrated by Jane Horrocks, star of ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ and ‘Little Voice’, and one of the voices in ‘Fifi and the Flowertots’ and ‘The Little Princess’, two of Five’s own children’s series.

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