Edinburgh Zoo: when is the new BBC documentary series ‘Inside the Zoo’ on TV - and what’s it about?

The BBC documentary will take a look at the inner workings of Edinburgh Zoo and The Highland Wildlife Park

By Rhona Shennan
Monday, 7th September 2020, 4:08 pm
The new BBC documentary will air in eight parts (Photo: Shutterstock)
The new BBC documentary will air in eight parts (Photo: Shutterstock)

Edinburgh Zoo is one of the most popular attractions in Edinburgh - and now a documentary from the BBC will take viewers behind the scenes.

This is everything you need to know.

What’s the programme about?

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The eight-part documentary series will take viewers behind the scenes at Edinburgh’s famous zoo.

A camera crew will follow the work of the 200 staff that care for the animals, and the complex logistics of caring for over 3,000 furry residents.

As well as Edinburgh Zoo, the documentary will look at the running of its sister site The Highland Wildlife Park as well.

Harry Bell, managing director at Tern Television, the company behind the documentary, said: “What the army of keepers, vets and experts do behind the scenes at Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park is just as fascinating, funny and exotic as the animals in their charge.

“Their ‘carry on zoo-keeping’ spirit shines through. This passion coupled with their world-renowned conservation of rare and endangered species will appeal to audiences everywhere. We are thrilled to be given exclusive access to such an important centre of zoological excellence.”

David Harron, commissioning executive for BBC Scotland, said: “Inside the Zoo promises to be a treat for viewers with plenty of fun and heartwarming moments and over the course of the series, viewers will also get a real insight into animal conservation work happening here in Scotland.”

When can I watch the series?

The first episode of the programme will be available to watch on BBC Scotland on Monday 7 September.

The show will begin at 8pm and will run for an hour.

If you miss tonight’s episode, it will be available to watch on the BBC iPlayer shortly after it has been broadcast.

The rest of the eight part series will air on Monday evenings at 8pm.

Is Edinburgh Zoo open to visitors?

The zoo had had to close its doors to visitors as the coronavirus pandemic swept across the country, but it reopened its doors on Monday 29 June.

As is the same for a lot of businesses who have reopened, Edinburgh Zoo is operating slightly differently to accommodate Covid-19 safe regulations.

This means that, while the zoo is open to visitors, you’ll need to book a time slot in advance if you want to visit.

How do I book tickets?

You can book a slot on the Edinburgh Zoo website.

Tickets are £21.95 for adults, £12.80 for children and £19.95 for concession. Choose your visit date and then select your arrival time before paying.

In compliance with the Scottish government’s Test and Protect scheme, the zoo requires a telephone number at the time of booking.

Other safety measures undertaken by the zoo includes:

- Frequent cleaning in high contact areas and additional hygiene precautions

- Adding hand sanitiser stations around the park

- Introducing one way routes in some areas to ensure social distancing

- Keeping some of the indoor animal areas and walkthroughs closed

- Mandatory face coverings in all indoor areas, including the admissions building and gift shop

For now, all keeper talks, feeds of the day and penguin parades have been postponed until further notice.