Filming begins this week on BLUE ZOO, ABC3's first 13-part marine wildlife adventure documentary series.
Produced by Air Pig Productions, David Atkins Enterprises, ABC3 and RTÉ Young Peoples Programmes, Ireland, the series brings together eight teenagers (four from Ireland and four from Australia) to work and train as marine experts in Australia’s coastal town of Coffs Harbour,
New South Wales.
Each with a commitment to marine conservation, the eight teenagers – Aurea Kenny, Sophie O'Loughlin-Kennedy, Tallann Maguire and Darragh Joyce from Ireland and Dana Ubiparipovic, Ivy Nehl, Bailey Hendy and Jaymin Hyland-Taylor from Australia – will be based for the next six weeks at a local marine park training with dolphins, seals and turtles which have been rescued and rehabilitated, or born into human care.
Mentored by dolphin and seal trainers, a marine vet and local marine rescue agencies, the teenagers will learn how to train and care for dolphins and seals, help with marine rescues in nearby Solitary Islands Marine Reserve and design their own marine wildlife show.
Plus, the real stars of the series – the animals – shine during the series as viewers discover their distinctive personalities, and learn amazing facts about the dolphin team, the turtle rehabilitation, program and the seal training regime.
Sally Browning, Air Pig Productions producer, said: "The eight rookie marine enthusiasts will take over key roles in the marine park. The work is serious but they will also get to have the adventure of a lifetime. The series will follow these gutsy teenagers who will hone their communication, science, creative and team-building skills under the supervision and guidance of marine experts.”
"We are excited to be working with Air Pig Productions, David Atkins Enterprises and RTÉ Young Peoples Programmes to add this innovative wildlife series to ABC3’s repertoire of quality programming. ABC3 viewers will enjoy watching the journey these teenagers embark on while being amazed at the wildlife they encounter," said Barbara Uecker, Acting ABC TV Controller of Children's Television.
Pauline MacNamara, RTÉ Young Peoples Programmes, said: "BLUE ZOO is a fantastic opportunity for TRTÉ viewers to be part of an exciting marine conservation project literally on the other side of the world. Not just that, these four young Irish teens will experience the Australian lifestyle, work alongside Australian teens and have the adventure of a lifetime."
BLUE ZOO will screen on ABC3 in 2014.