8:00am PT by Kimberly Nordyke
Animal Planet Renews 'The Zoo' for Season 2 (Exclusive)
Animal Planet has greenlighted a second season of The Zoo, which is the first series to go behind the scenes at the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo in New York.
The show focuses on the stories of animals and their keepers at the zoo, along with its mission to conserve wildlife around the globe. It also spotlights the people who work at the zoo and how their expertise and skills all play a role in providing high-quality care for the animals.
Production is set to begin this month on location for an early-2018 premiere.
"Our series, with its unvarnished look at the Bronx Zoo, its animals and the people dedicated to their well-being, has helped define what a Saturday night on Animal Planet is today: a network with heart and inspirational characters who protect and care for animals," said Patrice Andrews, general manager of Animal Planet.
The Zoo premiered in February, drawing 1.1 million viewers. Each subsequent episode of averaged more than 1 million viewers, making it Animal Planet's most watched freshman series since July 2015.
The first season of The Zoo featured stories on zookeepers and veterinarians helping Ntondo, a silverback gorilla diagnosed with glaucoma; two keeper-raised Malayan tiger cubs preparing to be introduced to their exhibit; and the hatching of a little blue penguin, the first of her species to be hatched at the Bronx Zoo.
The staff also traveled to East Africa to reintroduce 1,000 extinct-in-the-wild spray toads to the Kihansi Gorge and performed a root canal on a snow leopard that was rescued as a cub from a remote region in Pakistan.
"The show [gives] viewers an opportunity to see what happens every day at the zoo, presenting an uncontrived and unscripted look at how we go about caring for the animals and linking our work at the zoo to preserving species in the wild," said Jim Breheny, director of the Bronx Zoo and executive vp zoos and aquarium at the Wildlife Conservation Society.
The Zoo is produced by Left/Right Productions and Copper Pot for Animal Planet. Ken Druckerman and Banks Tarver are executive producers for Left/Right and Dave LaMattina and Chad Walker are executive producers for Copper Pot.
Lisa Lucas is executive producer for the network, with Patrick Keegan as supervising producer.