SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL(TM) LAUNCHES SECOND SEASON OF POPULAR DIGITAL SERIES "WILD INSIDE THE NATIONAL ZOO"
DIGITAL SERIES RETURNS ON AUGUST 20 WITH SIX NEW EPISODES
NEW YORK, August 18, 2016 - Following a successful first season that garnered over 10 million video views, Smithsonian Channel's original digital series - WILD INSIDE THE NATIONAL ZOO returns on August 20. Season two, comprised of six episodes, will focus on the same engaging and surprising stories of animal life at Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C., from kiwi chicks and maned wolves to swamp monkeys and pandas. Tian Tian, the famous panda who went viral this past winter when his playful blizzard video became the second most shared Facebook video in first quarter of 2016 with 1.9 million shares, makes an appearance in the first episode.
The second season can be viewed on all of Smithsonian Channel's digital platforms including smithsonianchannel.com/wildinside, mobile apps on iOS and Android, apps on Apple TV, Roku and Fire TV, and on Smithsonian Channel's YouTube channel. In addition, both seasons of WILD INSIDE THE NATIONAL ZOO will be available later this year on Smithsonian Earth(TM) - Smithsonian Networks' subscription video streaming service that delivers spectacular original nature and wildlife content in 4K.
Each episode of WILD INSIDE THE NATIONAL ZOO brings viewers a new animal story, told first-hand from the humans who know them best. Viewers will get a rare glimpse behind the scenes with some of the zoo favorites as well as lesser known inhabitants. With new content rolling out every week through early December, there also will be short clips called #ZooQs where viewers can engage on social media and directly ask the caretakers questions.
Season two kicks off with "Pandamonium," which follows four popular pandas of all different ages and showcases the challenging task of keeping up with their enrichment. From "fruitsicles" to bubble baths, the keepers have to stay creative. While it's a busy time, it's also a time to be treasured, because Bei Bei and Bao Bao will eventually go to China. For now, the keepers will enjoy every moment that they get to watch these animals learn and thrive under their care.
Season two also features the following episodes:
This spring, the Smithsonian's National Zoo is home to some primate babies for the very first time. A red ruffed lemur named Molly - is constantly monitoring her three six-week-old babies as they climb and hang around their exhibit. An Allen's swamp monkey named Layla has one baby named Zawadi. Zawadi loves to hop around the enclosure, sometimes even bouncing off her own mother. Both primates are first-time mothers, but so far the keepers have been able to stay hands-off and let the primates' parental instincts take the lead.
THE FUTURE OF MANED WOLVES:
Maned wolves are as about as far from a typical canid you can get while still being part of the dog family. These wolves - which look more like foxes on stilts - are rare in captivity, so breeding for a genetically diverse population is key to the species' survival. But maned wolves aren't easy to breed, so scientists at Smithsonian's Conservation Biology Institute are looking at how in vitro fertilization could open up a new world of possibilities. But there's a catch: while IVF has been successfully used in humans and other animals, it's remained a mystery in canids - until now. How will this groundbreaking discovery help this unique species produce new, diverse generations of pups?
KIWI CHICKS AND CRANE CONSERVATION:
The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia is home to ten endangered bird species. Their goal is to build up these captive populations as insurance, in case the wild population is lost. Keeper Chris Crowe has formed a pair bond with a white-naped crane that's imprinted on humans and wouldn't mate with her own species. A couple of young kiwis are also coming into the mix. SCBI's kiwi pair has bred successfully for the first time. One egg is moved to an incubator, and a two-day-old chick needs a checkup.
SECRETS OF ANIMAL COMMUNICATION:
Many species at the Smithsonian's National Zoo require hands-on care in order to ensure a long and healthy life. While some keepers make it look easy, there's a deep communication between species that goes beyond spoken words. A geriatric sloth bear named Francois gets a weekly health exam, and he asks to participate in his favorite enrichment activity. A skittish lesser kudu needs his hooves sanded down several times a month. It took years of observing physical cues, but with a lot of time and patience, these keepers have not only learned to read these animals, they've actually learned to communicate with them.
HOW TO TRAIN A DRAGON:
There's no question that the Reptile Discovery Center is home to some formidable creatures, but behind their prehistoric armor are brains that have evolved to an intelligence that might be surprising. Feeding time with several reptiles can lead to aggression, so at the Smithsonian's National Zoo - caretakers conduct training sessions on a daily basis. This training not only aids with daily tasks, but also allows for certain research to be conducted that wouldn't be possible with these species in the wild. From false water cobras to cuban crocodiles, the caretakers at the Reptile Discovery Center are learning how to train them.
WILD INSIDE THE NATIONAL ZOO is produced by Smithsonian Networks and Run Riot Films.
Smithsonian Channel(TM), owned by Smithsonian Networks(TM), a joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution, is where curiosity lives, inspiration strikes and wonders never cease. This is the place for awe-inspiring stories, powerful documentaries and amazing entertainment across multiple platforms. Smithsonian Channel combines the storytelling prowess of SHOWTIME(R) with the unmatched resources and rich traditions of the Smithsonian, to create award-winning programming that shines new light on popular genres such as air and space, history, science, nature, and pop culture. Among the network's offerings are series including Aerial America, Million Dollar American Princesses, The Weapon Hunter, Mighty Ships, Mighty Planes and Air Disasters, as well as critically-acclaimed specials that include Civil War 360, 9/11: The Heartland Tapes; MLK: The Assassination Tapes and The Day Kennedy Died. Smithsonian Networks also operates Smithsonian Earth(TM), through SN Digital LLC., a new subscription video streaming service delivering spectacular original nature and wildlife content. To learn more, go to www.smithsonianchannel.com, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.