A behind-the-scenes documentary revealing what it takes to keep Chester Zoo’s 12,500 animals fed, watered and happy will hit our screens on February 2.

Chester Zoo is Britain’s most popular, welcoming 1.6million visitors every year but few will have seen the world explored in Channel 4’s The Secret Life of the Zoo.

Viewers will be offered unique insights into such rites of passage as a baby giraffe dropping six feet through the air as it’s born or tigers moving house.

Promoting curiosity

Dr Gerardo Garcia, curator of lower vertebrates and invertebrates, enjoyed filming and would do it again, ‘anytime’.

“I like the idea of it promoting curiosity in viewers, and maybe making them smile, or ask questions,” he said.

“To have that opportunity to get into the mind of the viewer is great. If the series plants a seed inside them, that is everything.”

The six-part series has been made using a range of filming techniques to capture animals’ behaviour in intimate detail.

'Heart-warming and entertaining'

Channel 4 documentaries commissioning editor Anna Miralis added: “This heart-warming and entertaining series will explore the incredibly close bonds between these animals and the humans who have often spent years in each other’s company.

“The rig will bring us closer to the action providing fascinating footage of animals interacting with one another away from the gaze of people and follow the mind-boggling scale of the operation behind the scenes from the keepers to the scientists, nutritionists and vets working round the clock.”

The Secret Life of the Zoo will air on Tuesdays at 8pm from February 2.