Zoo Babies

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A heart-warming look at pregnancy, birth and infancy at Auckland Zoo, with a serious message of conservation behind the cute furry faces.

Visitors to Auckland Zoo love to see baby animals, but most people are not aware of the meticulous planning that goes into every birth.  Many factors come into consideration in the Zoo’s breeding programme, which is focused on saving endangered species and preserving a healthy genetic diversity and some births are planned years ahead.

Zoo Babies shows the first lion cubs born in Auckland in 21 years.  Kura the lioness gave birth to four cubs at night, recorded by a pencil camera and infrared lights positioned in the den in order to film the birth without disturbing her.  We see Auckland Zoo keepers preparing for their first giraffe artificial insemination – necessary because the male giraffe was too short and the female was ageing and the keepers worried that by the time the male matured the female would be too old to breed.  However, a surprise is in store, showing that perhaps nature does know best.  There’s a sad side as well.  There’s much excitement when the orangutan, Dara, is confirmed pregnant, after a year of planning.  We see the only footage of the baby, filmed at one day old.  Then tragedy strikes and the keepers are devastated when both mother and baby die.

Fascinating, moving stories for all ages.

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Promotional Trailer

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Production Details

Producer: Andrea Lamb

Thanks to: Animals and staff at Auckland Zoo

Exec producer: Tony Manson

Network exec: Irene Gardiner

Director: Andrea Lamb

UK director: Patty Kraus

UK crew: Robin Sunderland, Howard Dartnall, Andrew Chorlton

Post production director: Maree Quinn

Researcher: Kim Willis

Script editor: Colin Hogg

Offline editor: Irena Dol

Online editor: Daniel Habedank

Production manager: Philippa Hall, Denene Marten, Emilie Stevenson

Production assistants: Kylie Henderson, Liz Skinner

Camera: Paul Clark, Ian Beale, Warren Bradshaw, Simon Bevers, Roger Duncan, Mark Potter

Sound: Nick Treacy

Narrator: Greg Johnson

Production accountant: Glenda Paterson

Funded by: TVNZ & New Zealand On Air