24 Jun 2020
Leading factual producer Tern Television, part of Zinc Media Group, has been commissioned by BBC Scotland to make Inside The Zoo (8×60 mins), which takes viewers behind the scenes at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, one of the UK’s most iconic tourist attractions. This series builds on Tern’s portfolio of access documentary series, giving viewers insight into some of the UK’s leading organisations.
Inside The Zoo follows the 200 dedicated staff who face the challenges, joys and complex logistics of caring for over 3,000 animal residents at Edinburgh Zoo and its sister site, The Highland Wildlife Park. Renowned for its state-of-the-art science and endangered species conservation, the Zoo’s team will deliver warm stories of species reintroductions as well as giving a real behind-the-scenes view of their work. The series is expected to transmit on the BBC Scotland channel in the autumn.
Inside The Zoo joins Tern’s large portfolio of access documentaries, which includes: The Children’s Hospital (Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, 16×30 mins for BBC Scotland); Emergency Helicopter Medics (30×60 mins for More 4); The Harbour (Aberdeen Harbour, 12×30 mins for BBC One); The Small Animal Hospital with John Barrowman (Glasgow University’s School of Veterinary Medicine, 15×30 mins for Channel 4); and Wildlife Patrol (National Wildlife Crime Unit, 6×30 mins for ITV1).
Established in 1909, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) has been working to promote awareness and conservation of rare and endangered animals for over 100 years, including at Edinburgh Zoo. Built in 1913, the Zoo receives over 600,000 visitors a year, making it Scotland’s second most popular paid-for tourist attraction, after Edinburgh Castle. Its programme of breeding endangered animals saw it become the first zoo in the world to house and to breed penguins. It is also the only zoo in Britain to house giant pandas.
Harry Bell, Managing Director, Tern Television, says: “What the army of keepers, vets and experts do behind the scenes at Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park is just as fascinating, funny and exotic as the animals in their charge. Their ‘carry on zoo-keeping’ spirit shines through. This passion coupled with their world-renowned conservation of rare and endangered species will appeal to audiences everywhere. We are thrilled to be given exclusive access to such an important centre of zoological excellence.”
David Harron, Commissioning Executive for BBC Scotland, adds: “Inside the Zoo promises to be a treat for viewers with plenty of fun and heart-warming moments and over the course of the series, viewers will also get a real insight into animal conservation work happening here in Scotland.”
Inside the Zoo was commissioned by David Harron for BBC Scotland. It is Exec Produced by Harry Bell for Tern Television at Zinc Media and distributed internationally by TVF International.