'Zookeepers' - opening segment & excerpts
Prime-time National Public Television special exploring the behind-the-scenes work, science — and fun — in caring for the animals at one of America's most visited and highly-accredited zoos.
Two dozen vignettes take viewers to places every zoo visitor would like to go — nonchalantly hand-feeding grapes to a gorilla, wading into the alligators' habitat, cautiously peering into the access hatch of a terrarium full of poisonous snakes, bottle-feeding a baby orangutan — and each captures the personalities and enthusiasm of the zookeepers who, in their own words, illuminate their interactions with living creatures from the far corners of the world.
Brief chats with the zoo's curators, veterinarian, and director offer additional insight into the mission and goals of the zoo, and though facilities and animal welfare techniques have evolved vastly in recently years, the film's studies of the caring relationships between the animals and the men and women who feed, watch over, and clean up after them haven’t. They steal the show.
As Rosalini's second nationally broadcast portrayal of an inner city haven for exotic animals and their all-ages admirers, 'Zookeepers' also served to strategically reinforce among the public, patrons and sponsors alike the well-regarded reputation of the program's presenting sponsor, Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo — one of the nation's finest, most widely-utilized educational and conservation organizations of its kind. Narrated by the late stage actor, Byrne Piven.
"A unique perspective…an enthralling production and an exceptional program." — Booklist, American Library Association
Emmy® award — 'Outstanding Achievement for a Special Event Program'
Blue Ribbon Award — American Film Festival (Educational Film Library Association)
Funding sponsor: Dr. Scholl Foundation
Viewing of the entire program available on request.