September 10, 2008

The Zoo’s Family Grows


What: The Zoo

Where: TV2

When: 7pm, Sunday


THE multi-award-winning series The Zoo is celebrating its tenth year of taking viewers behind the scenes at Auckland Zoo.

Producer Sharon Bennett says: "This series contains exciting new stories and new animals, but doesn't forget the many well-loved personalities at the zoo who have entertained viewers of all ages for a decade."

The big story this year is the dating and mating of Molek and Oz, the Sumatran tigers whose relationship results in three rare cubs. The zoo has been working toward breeding Sumatran tigers for 10 years as the species is critically endangered.

Carnivore team leader Andrew Coers says: "Oz and Molek's mating was carefully planned to try and ensure a successful outcome. We had to monitor her cycles, giving them closer and more visual access to each other, and introducing them to each other's smells."

The show follows the story from its beginning to the cubs' first vaccinations.

The tigers aren't the only ones breeding in this series. The keepers suspect that Umi the meerkat is expecting. and this is confirmed when three adorable baby meerkats are spotted. It is the first time Auckland Zoo has been home to baby meerkats. The feisty triplets are given enrichment activities to keep them stimulated.

And elephant keeper Laurel Sandy travels to Lampang in Northern Thailand where she spends time at The Thai Elephant Conservation Centre and Elephant Nature Park.


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