In episode 5 of The Secret Life of the Zoo Rhino Kifaru is attempting to mate, despite his arthritic knees, tapir Jenny falls ill, widowed porcupine Roxy meets a new, younger mate, and a flamingo chick goes missing. At 32, Kifaru is the oldest eastern black rhino at Chester Zoo.
The species has been hunted to near-extinction, with only 600 left in the wild, but Chester has a successful breeding programme. Kifaru is introduced to younger female Malindi, in the hope that they will produce offspring. But Malindi is taller and 150kg heavier than Kifaru, so mating with her is challenging. Lowland tapir Jenny has been with her partner Cuzco for 25 years: one of the longest relationships in the zoo. The couple live with their most recent offspring, two-year-old male Zathras, and 18-month-old Inca. But Jenny has been plagued by a troublesome cough, and seems to be losing weight. Vet Ian investigates, and decides that the team must face the prospect of putting Jenny to sleep.
Meanwhile, elderly one-eyed South African porcupine Roxy has been getting over the death of her partner, Hector. Keepers decide to introduce her to a new younger male porcupine, Henning, in the hope that she’ll find companionship in her old age. And on Flamingo Island, the Caribbean flamingos are breeding again. It’s been a bumper year for the birds, with 23 chicks born, but one chick goes missing…
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 5 airs on Tuesday 28 March 2017 from 8.00pm-9.00pm on Channel 4.