Inside the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium's groundbreaking work in conservation

From drawing blood from a giraffe to raising a cheetah with Labradors, the zoo that stars in National Geographic's hit show "Secrets of the Zoo" takes "Nightline" behind the scenes.
6:20 | 06/13/19

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Transcript for Inside the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium's groundbreaking work in conservation
Hi, baby, hi. Reporter: These tiny cheetah cubs are among some of the most vulnerable species on the planet. These babies are helpless, and they need us. So we're going to bring them here to the Columbus zoo and Here you are, baby, welcome to your new home. Reporter: Just a few days old, they were orphaned and in need of immediate care. They look content. I'm always nervous. You hope that they're fine and we won't hit any snags, but you never know. Reporter: Fighting the odds, these caretakers are doing everything they can, placing Debbie, Francis and Bob into a unique program. Come on in, boys. Lookie here. Reporter: Where they're paired with young labs. What is that? Reporter: Who quickly become their loveable best friends. Dramatically increasing their chances at survival. The guide dog program was pie neared by the vice president for animal programs at the zoo. They will provide them with the confidence they don't naturally have. Reporter: Here they Columbus zoo and the wild, conservation is one of the cornerstones of their operation. They're saving endangered species and helping animals in need. Those efforts highlighted in the nat geowild show. And as we saw when we met Emmett, the guide dog program is working. What do you think people should know about the cheetah? I think they should know it's the most magnificent animal in the world. There's less than 7,000 of them. It's most endangered big cat in Africa, and I don't know that a lot of people realize that. This cat's in trouble. We need to do everything we can to keep these animals around. Reporter: Without his mom around. Emmett needed some extra and very adorable help. Go get your brothers. Reporter: It's amazing to see a yellow lab and the cheetah side by side. Who would have thought? It's this bond that Suzy says represents the heart of the show. Secrets are nothing more than compassion, hard work and the love of what we do. Reporter: Hi. That compassion was evident everywhere we went, from otters to manatees. While at manatee coast. Gosh, it's wonderful to meet you! A special visit, TV personality jack Hannah. You do so much all over the world, yet this zoo is in Ohio. How does what you're working on in Ohio help the greater plan set in It does. People come here. You see these people might never be able to get to Florida to see a manatee. They might not get to go to Africa to see a lion. Reporter: They take the mission very seriously. The doctor is one of the zoo's veterinarians. She's also some of the life-saving procedures that they do every day. The blood drawn from Lance the giraffe will be placed into the giraffe plasma bank to help others in need. They're beautiful. They're charismatic. They're incredibly smart. Reporter: Look how playful they are. It's hard not to fall in love with them. That's what we want. Reporter: They want to say hi. And that's what you want. Reporter: Welcome to the Columbus zoo, everybody. These gentle giants are also vulnerable to extinction. What has the reaction been like to see you and the giraffes on the show? To me, it has a very emotional impact. Because look how much they're doing. You know, we love these individual animals, and to see that has such a bigger purpose to animals in other zoos, animals in the wild. Reporter: We head to the wild, the zoo's conservation park in southeast Ohio where we go on a safari with the doctor. Reporter: Where are we heading off to? We're going to the pastures of the Wilds. Reporter: This vast landscape forms one of the largest conservation centers in north America. Here wildlife is able to graze and live freely. And some of the giants even come up to say hello. How does it feel to be so famous are most of the animals endangered? Threatened, endangered or critically endangered. Reporter: And as part of the survival plan, they've even brought animals back from the brink of extinction. There's a baby right there. Reporter: Oh, yeah. Right behind her. The scimitar horned animals went extinct but continue to be bred in captivity. To some it's just some antelope, but their story is incredible. Reporter: They were no longer in existence, but you were able to bring them back. In 2016, a group were returned to the wild, released in the country of Chad. Animals born here in southeastern Ohio are now wild in Chad. That's really what we're about. That is full circle. It actually brings a tear to my eye when I think about it. Reporter: And it's that care that's seen in every episode. In this season, a pregnant cheetah undergoes a harrowing and the doctor is there every step of the way. It is moving. It is nursing. Yes, yes, yes, yes! She's never looked back. We were thrilled. This was her last shot at being a mom. We so pleased. Look at her. Reporter: Since the filming, she has continued to raise her cubs, and they're now a year old. What's point of conservation? For most of us, we really want to inspire people. We can really change the world by small behavior change. Reporter: For "Nightline," Maggie Rulli in Cumberland, Ohio.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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