Asheboro, NC - Flying machine met jungle cat at the North Carolina Zoo when a remote-controlled craft called an “Octocopter” hovered above “Reilly,” the zoo’s male lion, while shooting high definition video for the zoo.

HeliCam Aerial Media Services of Randleman recently spent two days at the park taking aerial video of a variety of animal and exhibits to be used in the N.C. Zoo’s syndicated “Zoo FileZ” television series and other video projects. Shaped like a 3 ½- foot diameter wagon wheel, the Octocopter utilizes eight electric motors with eight-inch wooden propellers and GPS guidance to obtain unique aerial video perspectives. The craft’s small size and relatively low noise levels made it possible to hover above the animals and obtain footage available by few other means.

The first “Zoo FileZ” segment to utilize the aerial footage focuses on the N.C. Zoo Society’s “Adopt-An-Animal” program and can be seen on the zoo’s “You Tube” site at

The zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, John E. Skvarla, III, Secretary; Pat McCrory, Governor.