New local wildlife show dives into the underwater world of the Two Oceans Aquarium

Marine life at the Two Oceans Aquarium, Cape Town. (Photo: Channel24)
Marine life at the Two Oceans Aquarium, Cape Town. (Photo: Channel24)

Cape Town – The Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town aims to showcase the incredible diversity of marine life found in the Indian and Atlantic Oceans.

But what goes on behind-the-scenes, or in this case, on the other side of the glass tank?

In the five-episode instalment of the new wildlife show, produced by Homebrew Films and screened on M-Net called The Wild Ones, cameras take viewers behind-the-scenes of what has become a home away from home to marine life.

Channel24 was treated to an exclusive screening of the first episode of Aquarium: An Aquatic Life.

Filmed over four months, each episode deals with a variety of aspects pertaining to the operations of the aquarium, behind-the-scenes activities, the animals in the aquarium, and the people who play a pivotal role in maintaining the aquarium’s high standards.


In a Q&A session aquarium curator Maryke Musson and communications and media executive Renée Leeuwner answered questions about the thrilling documentary series.


"It was very exciting to produce this work with Homebrew, and for us it was 100 percent normal. What we do in the show is what we do every day. We do extraordinary things and have extraordinary stories and it’s just so nice to share with people," says Musson.

"We put in a huge amount of effort and time and passion and love to prepare these exhibits that the visitors get to see, but the exhibits are literally the tip of the iceberg. And when you go below the surface, literally, you get to see these beautiful stories that are inspiring, heart-warming and sometimes sad."


Allowing cameras to film you while you’re working is not always easy, especially when it’s in a small area and concerns living beings, but according to Leeuwner having the Homebrew crew onboard couldn’t have been easier.

"It worked out very well. The first day was rough but the crew got into such a beautiful routine that after a while I didn’t even know they were here. And about two months after we were done we even started missing them."


While the animals are the most important part of the aquarium, the staff who do everything they can to take care of them are pretty important, too.

80 staff members work day in and day out to not only take care of the animals first hand but also to make sure that the aquarium is a well-run business.

"We have finance people, marketing people, we have admin, HR and we have an education team that’s really big. I mean we see about 70 000 school kids in a year and we have two outreach teams who go to schools that can’t come to the aquarium," says Leeuwner.

She adds that on top of all that they have their curatorial team who take care of the animals as well as a workshop team who take care of all the handy work.

"We also have a curatorial team who look after the animals, and we have a workshop team - which you don’t generally have in a business – so, everything you see in the aquarium is generated within the staff of the aquarium, we do it all ourselves."

To find out more interesting fun facts and to have your heart melted by the weird and wonderful creatures the Two Oceans Aquarium takes care of go behind the scenes with Aquarium: An Aquatic Life.

Watch The Wild Ones Sundays on M-Net (DStv 101) at 16:00.