An elephant calf, Indali, is born at Chester Zoo, but her young half-sister Nandita doesn’t welcome the new arrival. Bush dog dad Franco is under pressure as his family grows, and Apple, an onager – a very rare type of wild horse – faces a major operation. Asian elephant Sundara has been pregnant for 22 months. She’s exhausted, and her mood isn’t being helped by the herd’s only juvenile, one-year-old Nandita, who keeps disturbing her while she’s trying to sleep. When Sundara finally goes into labour, Nandita keeps putting her trunk where it isn’t welcome. And when the calf, Indali, is born, there is concern when she doesn’t stand up for several minutes.
Meanwhile, bush dog dad Franco and his partner Mana have had eight pups. Bush dogs are semi-aquatic small dogs from South America, and are normally monogamous. But when Mana’s sister Jaypura falls pregnant, keepers realise that Franco has been mating with his sister-in-law. There are fears that Mana may see Jaypura’s pups as rivals to her own when they’re born, and attack them.
South East Asian rhino beetle Sheldon is facing the fight of his life. Rhino beetles can lift 850 times their own body weight, but Sheldon was born with a damaged wing case, so keepers worry that he may not be able to impress female beetle Alice. Sheldon must lock horns with his perfectly formed rival, Atlas, if he’s to win Alice’s affections.
Onagers are very rare wild horses from Iran and central Asia that are almost extinct in the wild. Keepers are concerned when Chester’s young onager mum Apple starts limping. But anaesthetising an onager is not easy, as they can be extremely aggressive. Ian the vet must fire a dart at Apple before he can carry out a procedure on her foot to find out what’s wrong with her.
Series Editor: Martin Fuller
Series Producer: Martin Hicks
Executive Producers: Alistair Pegg, Edmund Coulthard
Production Company: Blast! Films
The Secret Life Of The Zoo Episode 4 airs on Tuesday 21 March 2017 from 8.00pm-9.00pm on Channel 4.