Family Life

We can't wait: The Zoo will return to TV this weekend

The highly-anticipated ninth season of The Zoo TV series returns to RTÉ One this Sunday, May 12, taking viewers behind the scenes at Dublin Zoo as they get to know the animals who live there and the dedicated zookeepers who care for them every day. Featuring some of the most exciting, heart-warming and touching stories from the last year, The Zoo TV series is the perfect Sunday-night viewing for the whole family.

This latest season of The Zoo is sponsored by renewable energy provider SSE Airtricity. Aine Plunkett, Head of Marketing for SSE Airtricity commented "As the official Sustainability Partner to Dublin Zoo, we’re really excited to be sponsoring the highly-anticipated new season of ‘The Zoo’ on RTÉ One. We’re proud to be working with Dublin Zoo to promote the small steps we can all take to make big differences for our natural environment and the species we share our planet with. Like everyone else, we can’t wait to see what the animals and zookeepers have been getting up to over the last year."

Some of the incredible stories this season include that of Amur tigers Tundra and Ussuri. Beautiful and ferocious in equal measure, the pair hit it off straight away after they were first introduced to one another last year. With numbers of this species so low in the wild, it’s a huge cause for celebration when the zookeepers find out Tundra is pregnant! We follow the incredible story of the tigress and her family, from giving birth to her two adorable cubs, to their growing playfulness and adventures as they start to mature into confident young tigers.


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Gliding gracefully through the water, the playful and highly intelligent California sea lions are one of the most popular species with visitors at the Zoo. It’s been a few years since pups were born at Sea Lion Cove, so when three new pups are born within a week of each other, it’s all hands on deck for the animal care team. We follow the development of the young pups, from the moment they are born to when they take their first feeds. Follow the pups as they get their first swimming lesson from their mother and witness the incredible underwater scenes when the young pups start to explore the depths of their habitat for themselves.

With so many elephant calves born in recent years and another calf due imminently, there is huge excitement amongst the elephant care team. The baby boom continues over at the African Plains, when Maeve the giraffe gives birth to a beautiful new calf, and with Casey the giraffe also due to give birth, the young calf could soon be joined by another new arrival.


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The heatwave in 2018 saw some of the hottest temperatures on record in Ireland and brought with it some unique challenges for the animal care team looking after the Zoo’s animals, but what better way for Dublin Zoo’s young elephant herd to cool down than a huge mud bath followed by a dip in the pool?

When nine-year-old male western lowland gorilla Bangui arrives at Dublin Zoo, the zookeepers are hopeful he will be accepted into the troop. But in one dominated by female gorillas, how will Bangui settle in? We follow Bangui’s acceptance journey and his remarkable transformation as he develops from blackback into a silverback, as well his parenting skills as he negotiates fatherhood alongside first-time mother Kafi.


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Conservation is at the core of all Dublin Zoo’s work, and every year the show follows a zookeeper as they travel to conservation projects around the world which are supported by Dublin Zoo. This year, Gerry embarks on the trip of a lifetime, travelling to India to see how this conservation work is helping Asian elephants in the wild. It’s an epic and thrilling journey into the habitat of a species he’s extremely passionate about, with beautiful footage and up-close encounters with a host of animals from monkeys, snakes and rhinos to striking birds and water buffalo.


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Other animals featured this season include red pandas, okapi, scimitar-horned oryx, Asian star tortoises, ostriches, wolves, meerkats, Chilean flamingos, orangutans and chimpanzees amongst many others.

Don’t miss episode one this coming Sunday, May 12 at 6.30pm.

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