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Our Zoo

Our Zoo

The true story of Chester Zoo 

A charming series based on the true story of the Mottershead family who, despite staunch opposition and huge personal sacrifice, founded Chester Zoo in the 1930s. 

When George Mottershead, an ex-serviceman still struggling to come to terms with the effects of the Great War, finds a monkey locked up in a quarantine cage, it sparks an idea that becomes a life-long mission. He dreams of building Britain’s first zoo without bars.

Unable to see a creature in distress, he soon starts buying up unwanted animals. But George lives with his parents Lucy and Albert Mottershead, his loyal wife Lizzie and his daughters Mew and June. The family home is bursting at the seams. Something has to change…

George soon spies a large rambling estate in the countryside. In a poor state of repair, the house and land are up for auction. It’s the perfect spot for his zoo. But how to raise the funds?

Lucy Mottershead finds her world turned upside down when her husband, Albert, decides to help his son in his madcap scheme, sells the family business and puts their life savings into the project.

From struggling to win over the hostile locals, to coaxing two bears off a hillside, and working out the best way to transport a dozen penguins, Our Zoo follows the ups and downs faced by the Mottershead family as they try to get George’s idea off the ground. 

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