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.
Promotional TrailerComing soon
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