Our Productions

Hero Animals: The Gorilla That Saved The Boy

  • 2009
  • 30 mins
  • Channel 5/ National Geographic

Episode 3 of 6-part series for Channel 5 and National Geographic

The Gorilla That Saved The Boy is a drama-documentary about a boy who was saved by a silverback gorilla named Jambo after falling 12 feet into a zoo enclosure.

Levan Merritt’s story made headline news around the world when he tumbled 12 feet on to concrete in the gorilla enclosure at Jersey Zoo, cracking his skull and falling unconscious.

Now, for the first time, he and his family look back on what it was like to be part of the panic that followed – the high anxiety of waiting to see how the agitated gorillas will react to an invasion of territory, and their awed astonishment when the silverback male, Jambo, comes to the boy’s aid.

Dramatic re-enactments, and eye-witness evidence from paramedic, Brian Fox, and keeper, Richard Johnstone Scott, add extra insight to the event and into the character of Jambo, the wild animal that stood against his own family members to protect a child.


‘Cue lots of grainy footage, tense reminiscences and endorsements of animal compassion’ - Sunday Telegraph
'Tonight's especially gripping episode.….. this is an uplifting story of another animal hero' - Daily Mail


  • Narrator:
    Paul Viragh
  • Photography:
    Paul Williams and Mark Hammond
  • Music:
    Al Lethbridge and Audio Network
  • Editor:
    Paul Boobyer
  • Producer/Director:
    Ruth Harries
  • Executive Producer:
    Sarah Cunliffe