The Zoo (RTE) 2010+ (Documentary)


The Zoo is a Documentary series about the Zoo in Dublin, Ireland. It is an unscripted show created by the RTE network out of Ireland. As such, it is not readily available in the United States. As of this writing, there are seven seasons, three which are viewable in the United States if you can manage to find them.

This is one of those shows that I stumbled upon by accident. I was looking for a show of the same name that was created by Animal Planet. I found that I really enjoyed this show.

The show has a very simple premise. Just follow zookeepers around and see what happens. You get to see the daily lives of the zookeepers of the Dublin Zoo and the animals under their care.

What I really like about this show is that they just describe what is happening and show you snippets of daily life at the zoo. They tend to focus on one or two animal species that the zookeepers are working with that have something particularly interesting going on such as surgery, births, introduction of new animals, etc.

Unlike American reality shows, this show does not play up the drama. They don’t magnify the conflicts. I can envision a reality version where they follow zookeepers around and provoke them into fighting with each other. Instead, we get to see the inner workings of a zoo. It’s very interesting all by itself. No need to play up the drama. The fact that there are seven seasons of this shows how interesting life in a zoo can be.

There are several related series which I may talk about later. One takes place in the London Zoo another takes place in New Zealand and then there’s the series on Animal Planet. I will be watching the Animal Planet version soon. But I’m worried that it may be a typical American reality show and favor human conflict over the inner workings of a zoo.

My recommendation: If you are at all interested in seeing behind the scenes at a zoo, then watch this show. If you work at a zoo, then never mind, you already know all this. But be prepared for some graphic scenes of animals giving birth. They don’t pull any punches in that area.


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