SERIES EPISODE CLIPS & DESCRIPTIONS

The Little Zoo That Could is the engaging 14-part Animal Planet documentary series about the first U.S. zoo to evacuate its animals during a natural disaster, its courageous fight for survival in the devastation that followed, and an amazing comeback that defied the odds.


Go behind-the-scenes and meet the real inhabitants of the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, who when faced with utter destruction by Hurricane Ivan, stood up, fought back and made history all at the same time. Watch as determined Zoo Director Patti Hall and her courageous zookeepers pull off a dangerous rescue mission, then try to rebuild their little zoo while taking care of over 300 exotic animals. It's a heart-tugging, laugh-out-loud, unforgettable family adventure that touched and inspired lives around the world!

Click Scroll down to watch a clip from each episode & read a description

Episode 1: Hurricane Ivan

In September 2004, the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, home to over 270 exotic animals, finds itself directly in the path of a Category 4 hurricane named Ivan. Zoo Director Patti Hall decides to evacuate all of the animals to her home 20 miles inland. It is a risky and dangerous operation; no American zoo has ever attempted a total, off-site evacuation during a natural disaster. The extraordinary bond between these devoted zookeepers and their cherished animals is put to the test when it becomes a struggle for survival under shocking circumstances.

Episode 2: Hurricanes Dennis And Katrina

Ten months after Hurricane Ivan destroys the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, the zookeepers are desperately trying to rebuild the facility while caring for over 300 animals. Barely scraping by with meager funds and manpower, the unthinkable happens as Hurricane Dennis arrives, followed by monster storm Katrina. Forced to evacuate twice in six weeks, Patti and her exhausted staff are overwhelmed as they fight to get through an unprecedented hurricane season and keep their little zoo family together.

Episode 3: The Aftermath

Zoo Director Patti Hall is determined to rebuild the zoo in spite of enormous setbacks from Hurricane Katrina, yet stress is taking its toll. Kenya, the zoo's beloved male cougar, becomes critically ill and is rushed to the zoo's vet, Dr. David Dykes. Plus, the departure of three lemurs in an animal trade is a tearful goodbye. But when Head Zookeeper Cyndi Johnson returns with an adorable baby black leopard, spirits are lifted by this little bundle of joy.

Episode 4: A Day In The Life

As reconstruction efforts continue, the day-to-day responsibility of caring for over 300 animals puts more pressure on Patti and Cyndi. Along with their regular duties, both women are hand-raising Capuchin monkeys that live with them and their families 24/7. Crunch is Patti's rambunctious 3-year-old male who must learn to live full-time at the zoo; and Cyndi's monkey Trey, a special-needs animal with brain damage, has seizures that are getting worse as time goes by.

Episode 5: From The Ground Up

The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo has been closed for over a year after being pounded by three destructive hurricanes, yet Zoo Director Patti Hall is determined to re-open before winter. As the enormous rebuilding continues, animal care is still the biggest priority. The small staff contends with a medical problem involving Umba, the Mandrill baboon; the increasingly aggressive behavior of the aoudads, and trying to wrangle some rambunctious wolves for an important outing.

Episode 6: When Hunger Strikes

As hurricane season continues, the zoo contends with a dangerously low food supply, especially meat for the big cats. Zoo Dietitian Suzie is under pressure to come up with creative solutions to soothe the animals' growing restlessness while yet another hurricane enters the Gulf.

Episode 7: Countdown To Opening Day

The heat is on as Patti pushes her staff to prepare the zoo for "Opening Day." Head Zookeeper Cyndi Johnson is on overload with a few sudden animal crises: Chaka the baby leopard refuses to eat, Hanna Jack the Muntjac deer gets injured, and Lacey the albino python has a sinus infection. In the meantime, another hurricane is brewing in the Gulf while Patti struggles to keep all the plates spinning.

Episode 8: 24 Hours To Go

It's 24 hours before the zoo will reopen to the public. The pace is frenetic, emotions are running high and the zoo's financial future depends on a big turnout. To soothe beastly nerves, Cyndi hands out pumpkins and new basketballs to the big cats and the bears for some much-needed playtime. And when the gates finally swing open, everything falls into place. But the celebration is short-lived when Patti receives heartbreaking news about Runt the Timber wolf and his recent leg pain.

Episode 9: The Zoo Vet's Annual Visit

Hurricane season is finally over and the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is once more open to the public. Zoo Director Patti Hall and Head Zookeeper Cyndi Johnson are nervous about the arrival of Dr. Clay Hilton, an exotic animal veterinarian, who visits the zoo only once a year. They worry about Fontayne the spotted leopard who may have a recurrence of cancer. The monkeys are checked for TB, and Patti struggles over letting Crunch the Capuchin monkey live full time at the zoo.

Episode 10: Meet The Zookeepers

The day-to-day well-being and care of over 300 animals is the responsibility of Head Zookeeper Cyndi Johnson and her small staff of young, female keepers. This behind-the-scenes episode follows a new keeper's 30-day trial and reveals what it really takes to be a member of this dedicated team. It's a demanding, get-dirt-under-your-fingernails kind of job that will shock and surprise the uninitiated.

Episode 11: Jack Hanna Visits The Little Zoo

It's Lady the African lion's 10th birthday, and the staff throws a big party that includes a juicy ham for the hungry birthday girl. Meanwhile, Patti gets a surprise phone call from her idol, "Jungle Jack Hanna," who announces he's coming to visit in three days. The staff goes into overdrive to get the zoo ready, and when Jack arrives with a "little gift" — a beautiful female Black leopard cub — for Patti, she is flabbergasted.

Episode 12: Foundations For The Future

With hurricanes and destruction behind them, Patti focuses on the future of the zoo and its animal population. Sydney the wallaby, a lonely bachelor, finally gets a mate, and Miniature Sicilian donkeys Amos and Buckeye can't wait to meet the new girl, Angie. Roommate issues are also addressed when baby Black leopards Chaka and Katrina move in together, and a medical solution is found for bickering Siberian tiger sisters Salt and Pepper. Add in a few lessons from a local expert on how to wrangle and move alligators safely, and the zoo is ready for whatever the future may hold.

Episode 13: A Thriving Little Zoo

With all that the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo has endured over the last year and a half, life is now one big celebration. Zookeepers cheer all the babies that are born; a sugar glider, lemur twins, cygnets and bunnies, and welcome Big Girl, a 100-pound Burmese python to the family. Black bears Millie and Boodah share a birthday party, and Zoo Director Patti Hall and her staff reflect on their many triumphs and their heartbreaking losses as the journey continues. With the long, lonely months of winter still ahead, they must all persevere until the next tourist season brings renewed hope for the future.

Episode 14: 1-Hr Special, The Little Zoo That Could-A New Beginning

Rising from the utter depths of destruction after being ravaged by Hurricanes Ivan, Dennis and Katrina, the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is a resounding success. Through an outpouring of love, support and donations from fans around the globe, big plans are now in store for the Little Zoo. One-year-old camels Mack and Maggie arrive at their new home, and baby wallaby SuSu is out of the pouch and welcomed to the world. In this follow-up special episode, we find that Zoo Director Patti Hall, her dedicated staff, and all of the zoo's animals are on an amazing new path that will change their lives…forever.