Rollo Lee arrives at Marwood Zoo with a formidable challenge ahead of him. He immediately calls on his experience as a policeman to help keep Marwood Zoo open.
He appears detached and unfeeling as he demands drastic changes to the exhibits and their inhabitants, but we soon discover that beneath this layer of apathy lies an interior as soft and cuddly as the animals he is trying to get rid of. He quickly forms a bond with Rollo the Lemur and, as a result, the keepers too.
Despite his background in law enforcement, Rollo suffers from cowardice when it comes to Octopus Inc, and in true bumbling English tradition finds his foot placed repeatedly in his mouth. The arrival of Willa Weston soon puts a spring in his step and he drives the campaign to restore Marwood Zoo to its former glory, cuddly animals and all.
Business executive Willa arrives at Marwood Zoo with a point to prove - she's forever being judged on her good looks and she soon makes it obvious that she isn't afraid of using this to her advantage. Like Rollo, she tends to intimidate those around her and takes a while to warm to people.
Although she is keen to make a commercial success of the zoo, she wants it to keep its integrity, after she "makes contact" with Jambo, the Silverback Gorilla.
She also falls for one of the less hairy inhabitants of the zoo, Rollo Lee, much to the shock and disgust of Vince, who she teases and manipulates endlessly.
When he's first introduced, Vince McCain comes across as a spoiled, greedy egotist with no concern for anyone but himself... probably because that's exactly what he is. He constantly struggles to win the approval of his stern father, Rod McCain (the family resemblance is unmissable), but always falls short of the mark. Vince truly believes that his actions will have no consequences. Not for him anyway. So when he transforms Marwood Zoo into a commercial nightmare, he ruffles more than a few feathers along the way.
He has only two weaknesses; the wealth that his father refuses to share with him, and the charms of Willa Weston, and he'll stop at nothing to win them both. Despite his corrupt approach, Vince's childlike antics are a constant reminder that he is simply a little boy trying everything he can think of to get his father to notice him.
Bugsy's passion is insects, Terry the tarantula being one of his regular companions around the zoo. As his somewhat nerdy exterior would suggest, he is a mine of information, which he is glad (if not determined) to share with his fellow keepers.
Unfortunately, his encyclopaedic knowledge frequently lands him in hot water - he just doesn't know when to shut up. His habit of pointing out everyone's mistakes isn't exactly a crowd-pleaser either. He clashes spectacularly with Rollo, then Vince and eventually, in a very one-sided showdown, with Rod McCain himself.
Sydney Lotterby is one of the keepers whose creatures are in jeopardy, and he joins in the crusade to ensure the survival of the soft and cuddly animals.
Small in stature but big in heart, Reggie refuses to accept the 'Dangerous Animals' rule and becomes part of the mob who rebel against Rollo Lee. His sea lions are jazzed up by exciting costumes and even more exciting female swimmers. Funnily enough, it seems to go down quite well...
Have you ever had to suck up to your boss? Well, Neville has - for his whole career. His job as Rod McCain's assistant gives him a taste of the power he obviously craves, but it costs him his dignity (the familiar cry of "Bend over, Neville" is simply part of his daily routine). He never wastes an opportunity to increase the divide between the McCain father and son, and will stop at nothing to ensure his own personal success.
This foxy keeper has no need to fear the survival of her animals; the famously ferocious big cats. But as a true animal lover, Cubs joins the fight against Octopus and the exploitation of the animals, both big and small.
Keeper of everything hoofed, Garry finds himself in crisis when the 'Dangerous Animals' rule is imposed. He soon joins the rest of his colleagues in the fight against Octopus.
Pip Small Mammals
Pip Small Mammals is as sweet and sensitive as the animals she cares for and, as such, is hit hard by Rollo Lee's 'Dangerous Animals' rule. She named one of her ring-tailed lemurs "Rollo" out of respect but, of course, as a cuddly creature "Lemur Rollo" is left at the mercy of his namesake. Can the two Rollo's find a way to live in harmony, or will Pip lose one of her closest companions?
The animals in the care of Hugh resemble their keeper; big, intimidating but ultimately gentle and caring. Being Head Of Primates, such as the impressive silverback gorilla Jambo, Hugh has no need to fear for his own animals being removed from the zoo. Of course, that doesn't stop him from joining the campaign to put a stop to the exploitation of Marwood Zoo.
Di is Rollo Lee's assistant, and finds herself torn between her professional position and her love of the zoo. When Rollo refuses to budge on his Dangerous Animals rule, Di's behaviour towards him changes drastically and she firmly aligns herself with the keepers.
New Zealander Rod McCain is the relentlessly determined owner of Octopus Inc. He's cold, calculating and completely unfeeling towards both people and animals.
His relationship with his son, Vince (a "chip off the old block"), resembles that of a parole officer rather than a father, as he revels in the opportunity to put Vince behind bars. Of course, Rod's discourteous nature isn't reserved for his son; he judges everyone on face value and sees everything in terms of dollars and profit. He has decided that, upon his death, he should be cryogenically frozen until a cure can be found, but of course things don't always go to plan...