Zoo Babies

5:25pm Saturday, December 5 on TV One

TV ONE’s new series Zoo Babies, shows the magic surrounding the birth of animals in zoos and wildfire parks across the United Kingdom (today at 5.25pm).

Presented by Michaela Strachan, Zoo Babies reveals the remarkable biology of animals at their most precarious moments of life – and also at their cutest. The series highlights the dramas, heartbreak and joys of animal breeding programmes, and shows every aspect of the reproductive cycle from courting, mating, pregnancy, birth and finally parenting, through to the first delicate weeks of the life.

Strachan says, “for keepers at zoos and wildlife parks across the [UK] it’s always exciting when an animal in their care is pregnant, especially if that animal is rare or endangered.”

Zoo Babies also meets the vets, keepers and animal handlers for a more detailed understanding of the animals, their home environment, and their babies.

Episode one sees Strachan at South Lakes Wild Animal Park where the condition of pregnant white rhino, Ntombi, keeps the staff guessing. Strachan says the keepers have waited 16 months for the birth of the first baby rhino.

“So they don’t miss the main event they put up a CCTV camera in the rhino shed,” she explains, “just like most animals, white rhinos like to be left alone when giving birth.”

Tonight’s episode also sees one keeper play mum to an Indonesian piglet; while in the reindeer enclosure, the herd is expanding – literally.