ZOO TALES

Hosted by Dr Harry Cooper

Premieres Sunday February 4 at 6.30pm on Seven

ZOO TALES takes a behind the scenes look at two of the world's most popular zoos, Taronga Zoo in Sydney and Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, NSW. Between them they receive over one and a half million visitors each year. Zoo Tales takes us on an amazing journey of what we wouldn't usually see and meet the people behind the animals.

Hosted by Australia's favourite vet Dr Harry Cooper, Zoo Tales explores everything from the zoo's breeding and rehabilitation programs as well as the effort that goes into animal training for their daily shows. We meet the amazing men and women who are dedicated to caring for the Zoos' famous animal residents as well as treating and rehabilitating native animals through the Zoos' Wildlife Clinics each year.

"Zoo Tales gives you a look behind the scenes and introduces you to a group of people that you never knew existed but without them places like Taronga Zoo and Western Plains Zoo would not exist. They are the unsung heroes of the animal nursing profession who have a true love for animals of all kinds, shapes and sizes. They help keep our zoos and nature parks on an even keel and when an animal fights for its life you can count on them to be there to help. Next time you visit the zoo- think about what goes on over the fence because it is these unsung heroes that we really depend on to keep these zoos functioning", Dr Harry says.

Each year Taronga and Western Plains Zoo successfully breed many threatened and endangered species, but they had never been able to successfully breed one of the world's rarest animals- the secretive Snow Leoparduntil now.

Zoo Tales showcases an Australian first when we view exclusive vision of the birth of Sabu and Kamala, a major moment for Taronga Zoo and its staff.

After 15 years of dedicated work on behalf of the keepers, the Snow Leopard family is now one of the major highlights for Zoo visitors.

Cheetahs are the fastest animals on earth, but at the Western Plains Zoo 'Moyo' a ten month old cub may lose his ability to walk let alone run. Vets at the zoo try to save Moyo with radical surgery.

While down the road zoo staff work on training Amira the baby white Rhino to behave like one rather than the goat that she thinks she is. Amira was separated from her mother at birth, who developed a medical problem and was then paired with Gertie the goat as her companion. The two developed a very special bond but at 400 kilos, it's time for Amira to learn, think and behave like a rhino.

Each year around 1500 sick and injured native animals are treated at Taronga and Western Plains Zoo's Wildlife Clinics. Most animals are rehabilitated and released back into the wild.

Zoo Tales features some of those animals including Rodney the Little Penguin, rescued from Sydney's Northern Beaches. The staff treat up to 35 penguins a year which join the zoo's penguin 'boot camp' where they rehabilitate them so they can return to the open ocean. An injured owl and two baby possums also become patients who must receive care from the dedicated Zoo staff 24 hours a day for the best chance of survival.

We also meet Beth who suffers from a severe case of arachnophobia and who turns to Taronga Zoo for help signing up for their 'Fearless Course'. The course helps people overcome their fear of spiders and guarantees they will be holding a spider by the time they finish the course only four hours later, but will it all be too much for Beth?

ZOO TALES hosted by DR HARRY COOPER premieres

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 4 at 6.30pm on SEVEN.