Animal Planet Renews ‘The Zoo: San Diego’ for Season 2 – and There’s a Baby Hippo! (Exclusive)

And, oh my, a koala joey and a pair of rescued mountain lion cubs

The Zoo San Diego
Courtesy of San Diego Zoo Global

Animal Planet has renewed “The Zoo: San Diego” for a second season, TheWrap has learned. And this one is gonna be cuuuuuute, featuring a new baby hippo, two rescued mountain lion cubs and a koala joey.

“The Zoo: San Diego” offers a behind-the-scenes look at San Diego Zoo Global, whose mission is to save species worldwide while inspiring passion for wildlife and wild places. Featuring two parks, the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, as well as the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, San Diego Zoo Global is home to more than 700 species and 6,500 animals.

Last season, “The Zoo: San Diego” introduced viewers to all sorts of incredible wildlife including pandas, giraffes, Galápagos tortoises, koalas, elephants, mountain lions, and even a flock of ostriches known as the “Spice Girls.” We also met two baby cheetahs who learned how to be “ambassadors” for their species, as well as a set of California condors who were brought back from the brink of extinction.

The Zoo: San Diego
Animal Planet

Season 2, which is currently in production, will feature even more animal stories, including the arrival of a new visitor favorite: a baby hippo who was named Amahle by the public (pictured above); the introduction of two rescued mountain lion cubs to Koya, the resident adult female; and koalas Thara and Hunter have successfully produced a joey, according to the cable channel. Additionally, a partnership between San Diego Zoo and Reteti Elephant Sanctuary in Kenya brings representatives from the elephant sanctuary to the zoo to train and develop care plans and create an infant formula for baby elephants. Later in the season, viewers will get to follow San Diego Zoo representatives as they visit the sanctuary in Kenya to provide further assistance. 

“The Zoo: San Diego” got off to a hot start, TV ratings-wise, premiering on Aug. 10, 2019 to 973,000 total viewers, according to Nielsen. That tally made the freshman Animal Planet’s most-watched new series of the calendar year.

“The Zoo: San Diego” is produced for Animal Planet by Left/Right, a Red Arrow Studios company, and Copper Pot Pictures. Banks Tarver, Ken Druckerman, Anneka Jones, Jessie Findlay and Michael LaHaie are the executive producers for Left/Right. David LaMattina and Chad Walker are the executive producers for Copper Pot Pictures. For Animal Planet, Lisa Lucas is executive producer and Patrick Keegan is supervising producer.

Season 2 of “The Zoo: San Diego” is scheduled for a Summer 2020 premiere.

U.S audiences can stream all episodes of “The Zoo: San Diego” Season 1 in their entirety on the Animal Planet GO app.