Building the Photo Ark
- Joel Sartore, Photographer
Photographer Joel Sartore believes in the power of a portrait to change the world. He leads the National Geographic Photo Ark project—a multiyear initiative to document every living species in the world’s zoos and wildlife sanctuaries before it’s too late. By giving us the opportunity to look these animals in the eye, he hopes to inspire action through education and help save at risk species from extinction while there’s still time.
To date, Sartore has photographed more than 9,500 of an estimated 12,000 species of birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates—from the massive African elephant to the tiniest bumblebee. Once completed, the Photo Ark will serve as an important record of each animal’s existence and a powerful testament to the importance of saving them. Hear about the inspiration, comical mishaps and endearing encounters behind his mission to change the world, one photo—and one species—at a time.
Several years ago Sartore set out to create the first-ever compendium of all of the Earth's endangered animals - he is more than halfway there with his beloved Photo Ark project.
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