New ITV documentary goes behind-the-scenes at Bedfordshire's Whipsnade Zoo during lockdown

The two-part series will give viewers at look at life at the zoos during the lockdown. Credit: ZSL

Cameras have gone behind the scenes at Bedfordshire's Whipsnade zoo during lockdown for a new ITV documentary.

It's a chance for viewers to see how the zoo coped with the highs and lows of the pandemic and how social distancing measures created new challenges for zookeepers.

Cameras were also given exclusive access to London Zoo during lockdown as keepers cared for the 20,000 animals at both sites.

Zookeeper Alex Pinnell with sea lions at Whipsnade Zoo. Credit: ZSL

Production company October Film was given access by the Zoological Society of London charity just days after lockdown, up until the zoos reopened on 15 June.

“ITV’s cameras captured a truly momentous time in ZSL’s history, the longest period we have ever been closed to the public for in our 200 years", ZSL’s Chief Marketing Officer, Nigel Campbell said.

"We’ve grown from the world’s first scientific zoo into a world leading conservation charity, but the prolonged closures of our Zoos was the most challenging time we’ve ever faced, and has put us under huge strain –  this programme shows the incredible resilience, dedication and humour of our people, whose priority is always the animals.”

“Our Zoos are famous for the amazing animals, but this is a chance for viewers to see how amazing our people are too. Be prepared to fall in love with everyone on the programme – human and animal!”

  •  The documentary called 'London Zoo: An Extraordinary Year' starts on 24 September on ITV at 9pm.