Bronx Zoo comes to life on Animal Planet

The Bronx Zoo is about to pull back the curtain on what happens behind the scenes in a new television series that will debut on the cable channel Animal Planet later this month.

The show, entitled simply enough ‘The Zoo,’ will debut Saturday, February 18 and focuses on several plot lines as the staff care for animals and take part in wildlife conservation efforts around the world.

Among the stories already announced for the first season include a silverback gorilla being treated for glaucoma; Malayan tiger kittens preparing for the Tiger Mountain exhibit; two endangered birds paired to breed and zoo staffers working to save an orphan snow leopard cub from a remote region of Pakistan.

“The Zoo is an inspiring and eye-opening first ever look at the diverse animals residing at the Bronx Zoo and the passionate caretakers working at the zoo,” said Patrice Andrews, general manager of Animal Planet, one of several channels owned by the Discovery Network. “Our series gives amazing access for our viewers to get a first-hand look at the conservation efforts of the Wildlife Conservation Society.”

Jim Breheny, director of the Bronx Zoo and WCS executive vice president of Zoos and Aquarium said the show will highlight how the Association of Zoos and Aquariums provide excellent care to animals and work to sustain species for the future.

The Bronx Zoo will be hosting a special screening of the show for the media on Thursday, February 16 at the Schiff Family Great Hall where zoo officials will talk about the production in more detail. A preview video for the show can be view on the Discovery Network’s Facebook page.

“We are really happy to be sharing this series with the Animal Planet audience as the series emphasizes that today’s zoos must do more than exhibit animals – they must have a higher purpose and that purpose is conservation of species in the wild,” Breheny said.

“We gave Animal Planet total access so that viewers could see, feel and be part of what we do every day at the Bronx Zoo,” Added zoo curator Pat Thomas.

The show is being produced by Copper Pot Pictures and Left/Right Productions, the latter of which has produced several high-profile shows for various cable networks including VH1’s Mob Wives, ‘This American Life’ on Showtime and ‘Ride with Norman Reedus’ on AMC, a reality show featuring the popular star of ‘The Walking Dead.’

Reach Reporter Arthur Cusano at (718) 742–4584. E-mail him at acusano@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @arthurcusano.

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