London Zoo: An Extraordinary Year – 29 March 2021 – 29/3/2021 – Monday – ITV

London Zoo is usually open every day except Christmas day. It has only closed for two weeks during the Blitz, but now it’s been shut for months. The animals need huge amounts of money to pay for their food and care and without any visitors the zoo is suddenly facing a £25 million shortfall. While the battle to find a way to reopen continues, some animals are taking advantage of the quiet period and others are missing their interaction with the public.

Jimmy, the 30-year-old northern white-cheeked gibbon, loves people and has a particular soft spot for brunette ladies. But when will they come back to see him again? Keepers Mick and Joe are attempting to use the quiet period to build the confidence of Genghis, a very rare Bactrian camel, to adventure outside his paddock and explore the zoo in the footsteps of his more assertive paddock mate, Noemie.

The elephant keepers at Whipsnade are desperate for a baby elephant, not just to protect the vulnerable Asian elephant species, but also to help bring more visitors to the zoo. But has Ming Jung, the very young bull elephant who recently arrived, successfully mated with Geetha?

Meanwhile, keeper Laura spots that the Zoo’s threatened oriental small-clawed otter couple, Pip and Tilly, seem to have had their first babies. The otter pups remain hidden in their holt for several weeks as the keepers wait to catch a glimpse. Then, just as the pups get big enough for their nervous parents to let them come outside, it’s announced that public can return to the zoo.

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About London Zoo: An Extraordinary Year

ITV has been given exclusive access inside ZSL London Zoo and its sister zoo Whipsnade during lockdown, as its staff and keepers care for more than 500 species – from giraffes and tigers, to monkeys and meerkats. London Zoo: An Extraordinary Year provides a unique view of the Zoo, part of international conservation charity ZSL, from the perspective of its close-knit team of keepers and vets as they continue to care for the 20,000 animals in London’s Regent’s Park and atop the Dunstable Downs in Bedfordshire

This show is broadcast on ITV.

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