BBC show documents life behind the scenes at Colchester Zoo during lockdown

Sarah Forsyth stars in the BBC's 'Our Lives' series as the cameras go behind the scenes at Colcheste

Sarah Forsyth stars in the BBC's 'Our Lives' series as the cameras go behind the scenes at Colchester Zoo. Picture: BBC - Credit: Picture: BBC

A new BBC programme gives viewers an insight into two animal-action-packed weeks at Colchester Zoo during the pandemic.

The 30-minute programme in the BBC’s ‘Our Lives’ series, follows zoo curator Sarah Forsyth as she works tirelessly to deal with the summer baby boom, animal emergencies and unique situations created by the absence of the paying public.

Camera crews visited the Maldon Road site during the pandemic, when the zoo was forced to close for more than three months after the UK went into lockdown.

The documentary follows Sarah, who lives on site, as she headed into the busiest summer of her life keeping countless animals happy while 80% of her keeping staff were furloughed.

There were concerns the zoo would not make it through the challenges posed by the pandemic, but its doors reopened to the public in June and things are starting to return to the ‘new normal’.

However, home secretary Priti Patel visited the zoo last week and warned that it is ‘not out of the woods’ just yet.

She met with members of management on her visit and praised staff for making the zoo ‘safe’ and introducing measures that reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19.

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She said: “With major ongoing daily costs, there is no doubt that the zoo has been hit hard by the long pandemic closure. Even though it is now up and running, it is not out of the woods yet and urgently needs donations towards its ‘Save the Zoo’ campaign.

“Colchester Zoo is a superb attraction for Essex and a well-known and respected centre for research and conservation. I hope local people will continue to give it their full support.”

MORE: Colchester Zoo ‘not out of the woods’, warns Priti PatelThe one-off programme is now available to watch on BBC iPlayer and will air for a second time on BBC One at 7.30pm on Wednesday, September 9.