When George Mottershead, an ex-serviceman still struggling to come to terms with the effects of the Great War, finds a monkey locked up in a quarantine cage, it sparks an idea that becomes a life-long mission. He dreams of building Britain's first zoo without bars. Unable to see a creature in distress, he soon starts buying up unwanted animals. But George lives with his parents Lucy and Albert Mottershead, his loyal wife Lizzie and his daughters Mew and June. The family home is bursting at the seams. Something has to change... George soon spies a large rambling estate in the countryside.