ZOOKEEPER Mark Holden is set to star in a new series of ITV show The Zoo. 

The former St Joseph’s RC High School pupil is now a head keeper at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. 

Mr Holden, who hails from Horwich, is seen working closely with the giraffes as their family group undergoes dramatic highs and lows. 

Viewers will also get the chance to see him looking after pygmy hippo Flora during a touch-and-go time for her and her calf. 

The 40-year-old appears in the third episode of the three-part documentary, which gives viewers a unique glimpse behind-the scenes at the UK’s biggest zoo. 

Head keeper Mr Holden, who now lives in Leighton Buzzard, joined ZSL Whipsnade Zoo just a year after graduating in zoology from Liverpool University. 

He said: “It seems odd at first having the cameras following you about when you are shovelling up giraffe poo or cleaning the meerkat enclosure’s windows but you soon get used to it. 

“It’s great that everyone will get to see the hard work and passion that goes into keeping the animals happy and healthy at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. 

“You never know, we might even end up inspiring some kids to become future keepers.” 

The third episode of The Zoo will be broadcast this Sunday at 8pm on ITV. 

To plan a visit to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, visit www.zsl.org