ZOO TV: Find out what the stars get up to after closing time
ANIMAL lovers will be getting a rare insight into the workings of Dublin Zoo in a new TV documentary.
The 10-part series, The Zoo, will focus on the daily routines of the zookeepers and 600 animals there.
Cameras followed workers witnessing an endangered animal being born.
An RTE spokesman said: "For this passionate animal care team it takes hard work and dedication to look after some of the world's most endangered animals, but what the job lacks in glamour it certainly makes up for in excitement and drama.
"From the unenviable task of getting a snapping Nile crocodile to hold still for his check-up to the excitement of a baby rhino being born, no two days are ever the same."
This marks the first time that the zoo has allowed such unbridled access to their business in its 180 year existence.
"Over the course of the series a huge cast of captivating animals are featured, from the tiniest pygmy marmosets [and their even tinier babies] to the hulking frame of the white rhinoceros and everything in between, including flamingos, gorillas, turtles, wolves, giraffes, tapirs, penguins, crocodiles, tigers and snow leopards.
"Viewers will also have an opportunity to see first-hand how the work of Dublin Zoo forms part of a wider global involvement to conserve and protect the animals of the world, as the cameras follow the work of the zookeepers outside Dublin Zoo, from conservation project on the rocky beaches of Louth to zoos in England and France.
"For adults and children alike, The Zoo will provide a unique insight into the functioning of a world class zoo."
During the first episode, viewers will watch minders race to replace a silverback western lowland gorilla who dies unexpectedly at London, leaving their three females without a leader.
Dublin Zoo's adolescent male Kesho seems the ideal candidate to replace him, but he goes through a series of rigorous examinations from some visiting zookeepers.
And after 16 long months, fans will watch Suki the white rhinoceros finally give birth.
These zookeepers' days may be irregular, but reptile expert Garth de Jong has the less than ideal task of examining a Nile crocodile, which has been nursing a hidden injury.
According to the show, "There's only one way for him to have a peek under those scales, and that's by wrestling the crocodile into position."
The Zoo airs on RTE1 on February 4 at 7.30pm