Forget about all these bachelors and bachelorettes.
The cutest new stars of reality TV are Hunter the koala, Joanne the gorilla, and a baby klipspringer (a type of antelope), along with the people who keep them—and their species—healthy. These critters and their keepers are the characters of The Zoo: San Diego, a new Animal Planet TV series debuting with a two-hour episode airing on Aug. 10 at 8 p.m. (Subsequent one-hour episodes air at 9 p.m. on Saturdays).
The show features the "Spice Girls" (a flock of ostriches), Galápagos tortoises, pandas, giraffes, elephants, and other animals. The real subject of the show is something bigger, however: conservation. At a time when many people question the role of zoos and aquariums, the show makes certain to focus on the efforts of the San Diego Zoo, its Safari Park, and the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, to save individual animals and, sometimes, as in the case of the California condor, bring their species back from the brink of extinction. Along the way, viewers travel into restricted areas of the zoo for a behind-the-scenes look at the 102-year-old institution.
Watch a trailer for the series here.