Squirrel at the Zoo
Sammy is a curious squirrel. Although he has spent nearly all of his life wandering from tree to tree in the Phoenix Park, it isn’t until now that he unwittingly finds himself atop an acacia tree at the heart of a new world.
Written by Sinéad McClure
Narrated by Hazel McLynn, with character voices by Richard Carroll, Jho Harris and Sinead McClure, and featuring Pat Feely as Sammy the Squirrel
The Production Co-Ordinator was Peter McParland and The Series Editor is Jho Harris.
Squirrel at the Zoo was produced by All Points West Radio Productions for RTEjr Radio and Funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Television Licence Fee.
A new tree
Sammy flitting from ash tree to oak tree on his hunt for tasty food sources finds himself atop of an acacia tree on the edges of the zoo. Whilst contemplating the taste of the foreign acacia Sammy is surprised by his first encounter with a Zoo resident. It’s Gerry, a young Giraffe. Gerry tells Sammy all about where his ancestors came from. And teaches him a few words in Swahili!
A rare and beautiful flower
After making a quick exit from the savannah plains Sammy is mesmerised by the sight of a peacock showing his feathered display. He thinks these wonderful colours must be the bloom of some exotic plant. He gets too close to this bird for comfort. The peacock tells him he is not welcome in the zoo and talks about the implications of the squirrel staying around. Only when Sammy insists he will do no harm does the peacock tell him the story of his origins in India.
A Shy Tapir
Keen to learn more Sammy decides to continue on his journey through the zoo. He loves learning new languages, and he’s confident that if he gets the same words in lots of different languages he’ll be able to impress all the squirrels in the park. But the next animal he meets takes some convincing to tell her story.
It’s the Wolves!
The tapir gave Sammy a very good tip she told him the wolves comes from lots of different places. And this would be a good opportunity to learn lots of different languages in one go, such as Latvian, Lithuanian and Polish. But she did warn Sammy that wolves aren’t the most approachable of animals. Sammy finds this out for himself in episode four
The Reptile House
Outside the reptile house Sammy squishes his nose against the glass there is something in there changing right in front of his eyes. He wants to find out more about this unusual creature. It will be hard though, if caught entering the reptile house Sammy will be quickly ejected from the zoo by the keeper.
The Elephant’s Story
Making another quick escape Sammy finds himself back out on open ground with lots of trees to jump from. After jumping on a large grey rock, Sammy gets a huge surprise as the rock comes to life. Will Sammy be brave enough to talk to this giant from Sri Lanka?
The elephant settles Sammy on a nearby fence with her trunk. Behind the fence is one of the fiercest animals in the zoo. Sammy must thread carefully. He has no choice but to talk to the tigers. Although some of the tigers had origins in Sumatra. The leader of the tigers was reared at a French zoo. Sammy wants to learn some French to teach it to Gerry the Giraffe!
The Wild Flight
In episode 8 Sammy finds another peculiar bird, it’s a Waldrapp Ibis from Turkey and he has a very interesting story to tell. The wide use of pesticides in the 1950s decimated the Waldrapp populations in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. And now there may be less than 500 left in the wild and 1,000 in zoos.
The Ibis tells Sammy where he can find a range of birds that come from different places but all gathered together at the zoo. Sammy is looking for a flock of flamingos, when he finds these pink feathered creatures he is almost overcome by their need to talk.
We may be monkeys
The Macaques approach Sammy. They see him in the trees and at first mistake him for a lemur! So they aren’t happy he’s above their enclosure. Sammy finds out they originated from the Phillipines. They are Sulawesi macaques and they talk about how they are being kept at the zoo because their habitat was threatened by the clearing of trees in their homeland for logging and agriculture.