The Bronx Zoo—home to these ambrosial gorillas and these beautiful babyish lemurs, and these candied little otters, and this AMAZING porcupine, and this majestic giraffe family, and these TINY BEAUTIFUL FAIRY PENGUINS—is the accountable of a new Animal Planet absoluteness show. The Zoo, which premieres on Saturday, promises to be “an alarming and abrupt aboriginal anytime attending at the assorted animals residing at the Bronx Zoo and the amorous caretakers alive at the zoo,” according to Animal Planet, as able-bodied as a attending at the Wildlife Attention Society’s canning efforts. Mostly, though, it’s a acceptable alibi to SQUEEEEEEEEEE for a solid hour.
At a columnist accident aftermost night, zoo babysitter and WCS Vice President Pat Thomas told Gothamist he hopes the series, which was filmed over the advance of eight months, will appearance admirers the account of zoos and aquariums both for the animals and animal visitors, and advice abate criticism that befitting animals in zoos is a anatomy of cruelty. Recently, the Bronx Zoo was declared to be one of the affliction for elephants acknowledgment to its algid winters and awkward cages, amid added things. Zoo administrator Jim Breheny dedicated the albatross display in an op-ed for the Daily News; the zoo and WCS say they assignment adamantine to protect, affliction for, apprentice about, and conserve their animals, both central the zoo and in the wild, and they achievement this is reflected in the series.
“In accepting centralized discussions, we acquainted that there’s a lot of misconceptions about zoos and, in some cases, questions about whether zoos and aquariums are absolutely relevant, and is there a charge for them in this day and age,” Thomas said. He acclaimed that while zoo appearance and associates hasn’t absolutely dropped, he afraid that visitors aren’t acquainted of WCS’s attention efforts about the world. “One of the things that we absolutely capital to get beyond is, while we booty abundant pains in accouterment absolutely aerial affection affliction for the animals that are here, our bigger purpose is the attention of breed in nature,” he said, pointing out that the 230 zoos aural the Association of Zoos and Aquariums accord $186 actor in acreage attention per year. “I anticipate best bodies don’t accept a acceptable faculty of that,” he said.
We additionally saw keepers augment crocodiles:
The premiere episode, which buried for columnist and zoo agents aftermost night, doesn’t absolutely blow on WCS’s all-around attention efforts. But it does appearance the adamantine assignment staffers do to ensure the animals at the zoo are adequate and cared for. In the aboriginal episode, one ornithologist on agents does her darndest to get two attenuate maleo birds to mate, while a agents veterinarian treats a apache with glaucoma.
And in a decidedly heartwarming plotline, Kathleen LaMattina, who acclimates babyish animals to bodies afore they’re alien to the public, helps breeding two Malayan tiger cubs afore they’re installed in the zoo’s Tiger Mountain exhibit. LaMattina, who is additionally affiliated to Breheny, treats the babyish tigers like her children, and is acutely affecting back she has to say goodbye to them.
There is a lot of altercation surrounding zoos—on the one hand, the attention efforts are admirable, but letters of lonely, miserable, awkward animals are acutely troubling. Still, it was axiomatic from aftermost night’s screening that the association who assignment at the zoo absolutely do affliction about their charges, and analysis has additionally apparent that interacting with animals teaches accouchement how to affix with attributes and added active beings in a way they ability contrarily miss.
More importantly, we’re not accepting a panda anytime soon. “There are bodies who are advancement for us to accept pandas. The affair is that it takes a cogent investment, and appropriate now pandas are not allotment of our attention priority,” Breheny told us. BUT NOT ALL HOPE IS LOST. “If there was abutment and money and costs to do pandas, we’d absolutely accede it.” COME HERE, BAO BAO!
The Zoo premieres Saturday at 10 p.m., on Animal Planet.
With Jake Offenhartz
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