“Wild Heroes is all about taking viewers behind the scenes to lift the lid on what it means to be a good modern zoo and a scientifically driven wildlife organisation that has conservation at its heart,” says Magnetic Pictures co-founder and Wild Heroes producer Juanita Edwards.
Now in its 101st year, Auckland Zoo is home to more than 3000 animals and 145 different species - advocates for their wild counterparts that connect, educate, and inspire visitors to care for wildlife and the world around them. The intensive wildlife management skills staff continue to grow providing these animals exceptional care and quality of life are increasingly being used to help threatened wildlife in the wild as Wild Heroes viewers will discover.
In the first two episodes, staff join conservation partners on fieldwork in the Southern Alp’s Matukituki Valley (habitat of the world’s only alpine parrot, the kea), release rare hand-reared tara iti (NZ fairy tern) to the wild, and travel to the jungles of Sumatra, a biodiversity hotspot that’s home to endangered tigers, orangutans, and elephants. Back at the Zoo, the veterinary team pulls out all stops to save an endangered native species that comes in critically ill from the wild, two young Sumatran tigers arrive, and baby orangutan Bahmi bravely ventures onto the high canopy habitat’s aerial pathways!
Further into the series, Wild Heroes travels with staff to a remote island in French Polynesia on a conservation emergency with a long-term partner to help save an endemic species on the brink of extinction.