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The Ark: Natural Selection 12 rating

The second episode in documentary filmmaker Molly Dineen’s BAFTA-winning series The Ark.

Documentary 1993 58 mins

Director: Molly Dineen



Natural Selection is the second in a series of four films in which director Molly Dineen reveals the inner workings of London Zoo as the institution is rocked by uncertainty and change. The impact of the events described in the series opener, ‘Survival of the Fittest’, is immediately felt in this second episode. With a third of the keepers already departed, it is left to the remaining staff to dispose of a third of the zoo’s stock. As Dineen noted, ‘people were easier to get rid of... the animals were harder’. The emotional climax of this second film is a harrowing sequence in which head elephant keeper Brian Harman coaxes a reluctant Thai on to the truck that will take her to Chester Zoo.

Winner of Best Factual Series at the BAFTA TV Awards in 1993.