The project is a multiyear effort with National Geographic and photographer Joel Sartore to photograph all captive species to inspire people to save the animals before they go extinct.
“For many of Earth’s creatures, time is running out,” said National Geographic regarding the project.
Joel Sartore looks to photograph as many animal species as he can before they disappear. After photographing a naked mole rat at a zoo in Nebraska, Sartore decided to embark on a planet-wide mission to encourage people to care about the fate of these animals.
“I get most excited when I do little critters like this,” Sartore said regarding the mole rat, “because nobody’s ever going to give them the time of day.”
National Geographic will publish 10 different covers for its April 2016 issue, celebrating the Photo Ark project by Sartore.
About 10% of people in a survey of 3,000 admitted that photographs were “gone in 60 seconds“; Sartore, however, looks to have his photos last forever.
“I want the pictures to go to work,” he said, “long after I’m dead.”
Kathy Sartore, Joel’s wife who has battled breast cancer since 2005 and is often his photo editor, spoke about Photo Ark and its effectiveness. “The thing that draws people is the human element,” she said.
With the help of National Geographic, the Sartores hope to show the importance of all animal species with their photographs, exhibits, and the upcoming National Geographic issues.
The Photo Ark Exhibit is currently being held at the National Geographic Museum and has over 5,000 photographs from Sartore’s work. The exhibit will remain on display until April 10.
“The polar bear is no more important than a mouse,” Sartore said, “a tiger and a tiger beetle are exactly the same.”
Animal conservation may be a national issue, but even in central New York it’s a big deal.
Over Easter weekend, animals at Syracuse’s Rosamond Gifford Zoo received egg-themed enrichments, or activities to keep the animals occupied. Patrons got to watch animals play with papier-mache eggs and break them open to find treats.
Last week also saw the birth of another baby penguin at the Syracuse zoo. The zoo has asked local residents to help name the penguin chick, whose gender hasn’t yet been announced.
One of the more recent penguin births at the zoo was a tense one. Elmer, who was born in February, almost didn’t make it due to a crack in his egg. Zoo workers named him for the brand of glue that helped fix the egg.