In case you haven't noticed, national treasure David Attenborough has returned to our screens with the unmissable Dynasties series.

His latest show follows the lives of five of the world’s most celebrated, yet endangered, animals as they do whatever it takes to protect their next generation. The awe-inspiring footage comes from the BBC Studios' Natural History Unit, based here in Bristol, who painstakingly filmed these animal families for over four years.

We’ve rounded up where you can find each dynasty in and around Bristol.


The first dynasty to be focused on is the Chimpanzee. Now, you can’t see any of them in Bristol but their bigger, broader relatives - the gorilla - can be found, of course, at Bristol Zoo Gardens. Currently home to a family of seven Western Lowland Gorillas, in 2016 the zoo was the place of a rare caesarean section to deliver baby Afia.

You can now adopt little Afia for a truly unique gift - while contributing to the all-important conservation fund. Bristol Zoo Gardens is actively involved in ensuring there is a strong population of gorillas in human care, vital if their numbers are to recover, as well as being focused on the conservation of apes in Central Africa since 2003.

Image Credit: Bristol Zoo Gardens

Emperor Penguins

The second episode features everyone’s favourite waddler, the Emperor Penguin. You can find the African Penguin at Bristol Zoo Gardens. They are a sociable lot who form bonds for life and groom each other regularly, strengthening this bond.

The Seal & Penguin Coasts exhibit at the zoo allows you to dive below surface with the raft of penguins and see the most expert bird in water in action. In December 2014 Bristol Zoo launched an urgent appeal to help save an unexpected influx of chicks and you can now adopt Poppy, a resident penguin, helping with the conservation fund.

Image Credit: Martin Chainey


Episode three focuses on the lion. These majestic beasts were the first species to arrive at Longleat, the first drive-through safari of it’s kind outside of Africa, when they opened their gates in 1966 and they are still proving to be a star attraction today!

There are two prides of African lions prowling the Wiltshire estate, however, due to them being highly territorial, these big cats live in two separate areas. For those eagle-eyed of you, you can also see a lion in the safari park’s logo.

Image Credit: Longleat

Painted Wolves

The penultimate episode of the series focuses on the painted wolves of Mana Pools Park. Closer to home, you can find a young pack of male European grey wolves at Wild Place Project.  Resembling a large domestic dog, the grey wolf has longer legs, larger feet and a narrower chest than the household pet. Highly intelligent animals, they have a complex social structure.

Sadly, human intolerance is perhaps the greatest threat facing wolves in Europe today. Fear, misunderstanding and the fact that wolves kill livestock have created an uneasy relationship between the pups and people.

Image Credit: Wild Place Project


Bengal tigers are featured in the final episode of the series. You can find Khan, the Bengal Tiger, at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm. These powerful animals like to live alone and with a roar that can be heard up to two miles away, they are experts at warning off potential attackers. It's also true that no two tigers have the same stripes - how cool is that?

Bengal tigers are classified as Endangered on the IUCN red list, in response Noah’s Ark Zoo have been working alongside Tiger Awareness and have hosted special conservation events to raise money for the charity. You can meet Khan every day at 1.30pm in the Big Cat Keeper talk.

Image Credit: Noah's Ark Zoo Farm

Become David for the day:

Take a walk on the wild side and come face to face with some super species for an experience day at the following places:

Become brave at Bristol Zoo Gardens 

A VIP visit to Longleat

Enjoy an Animal Experience at Wild Place Project

Get hands on at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm

Read more


Bristol Zoo Gardens
Animal Collection
Bristol Zoo Gardens Gorilla

Discover hundreds of incredible animal species from across the globe, set in 12 acres of award-winning gardens – the perfect fresh-air destination.

Safari Park
Jungle Cruise at Longleat

Longleat, nestled within 900 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped grounds, is home to the UK’s original Safari Park.

Wild Place Project
Country Park/Nature Reserve
Bear at Wild Place Project

Discover a world of animal adventures – right on your doorstep! Wild Place Project is the perfect fresh-air destination, with 50 acres to explore. Say ‘hello’ to bears, giraffes, zebras, gelada ‘baboons’, cheetahs, meerkats and ring-tailed lemurs, among many others.

Noah's Ark Zoo Farm
Noah's Ark Zoo Farm

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm is the home of the big zoo animals including African Elephants, White Rhinos, Giraffes, Lions, Giant Anteater and Spectacled Bears.