Helen Skelton hopes Big Week at the Zoo at Yorkshire Wildlife Park inspires next generation

TV presenter Helen Skelton meets the Lemurs during filming for Big Week at the Zoo, at Yorkshire Wildlife Park near Doncaster. Picture by Simon Hulme.
TV presenter Helen Skelton meets the Lemurs during filming for Big Week at the Zoo, at Yorkshire Wildlife Park near Doncaster. Picture by Simon Hulme.

From aardvarks to zebras, the exotic residents of British zoos and the care that goes into ensuring their species’ survival will be showcased on a Channel 5 programme filmed in Yorkshire next week.

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Helen Skelton during filming at Yorkshire Wildlife Park for Big Week at the Zoo. Picture by Simon Hulme.

Helen Skelton during filming at Yorkshire Wildlife Park for Big Week at the Zoo. Picture by Simon Hulme.

Big Week at the Zoo returns for a second series from 8pm on Monday. The creation of Leeds-based Daisybeck Studios, makers of The Yorkshire Vet, filming is under way this week at Yorkshire Wildlife Park, near Doncaster, home to nearly 400 animals.

Self-confessed “greenie” and farmer’s daughter Helen Skelton, who lives in Leeds and stars in the BBC’s Countryfile, spoke to The Yorkshire Post ahead of the show which she is co-presenting with naturalist Nick Baker.

She told of her giddiness at being given the chance to get up close to the wildlife park’s polar bears and said she hoped viewers are inspired by what they see during the programme’s five-episode nightly run next week.

“The significance of being next to what is such an impressive but endangered animal is not lost on me. Zoos are a shop window for why we should save the world,” Ms Skelton said.

“For most people, zoos are the first point of meeting animals and if we can’t get young people excited about animals, how can we get them to take responsibility for them, and for the planet? That’s why it is important that this programme exists.”

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