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BBC Documentaries: Season 2011

2011x240 The Animal Magic Zoo

  • 2011-07-21T15:00:00-05:00 on BBC
  • 60 mins
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • Documentary, Special Interest

Terry Nutkins celebrates the 175th anniversary of Bristol Zoo. In this whistle-stop tour through the zoo's fascinating history, Terry reflects on his time presenting the BBC TV series 'Animal Magic' with Johnny Morris. The programme gave voices to the animals, turning Dotty the ringtailed lemur into a household name.

Over the years, the zoo has been home to some notable residents including Alfred the gorilla who became a wartime symbol of resistance, and Rosie the elephant who used to give rides to children.

Contributors to the programme include the Hollywood actor John Cleese who went to school nearby and Creature Comforts creator Nick Park who drew inspiration from the polar bears.

The programme examines how the role of the zoo has evolved over the decades to reflect changing public attitudes. From an initial focus on amusement and entertainment, the modern zoo places more importance on education and conservation.