GRIFFITH PARK — Visitors to the Los Angeles Zoo can view selections from the National Geographic Photo Ark, an ambitious project committed to documenting every species living in the world’s zoos and other wildlife sanctuaries.
The exhibit is intended to inspire people to help protect these animals for future generations, a zoo spokesperson said.
Featuring the work of National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore, the National Geographic Photo Ark is a project that aims to photograph species before it is too late. In addition to creating an archival record for generations to come, the project is a platform for conservation and shines a light on individuals and organizations working to preserve species around the world.
The traveling National Geographic exhibition is organized by the National Geographic Society and Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.
Sartore estimates the completed National Geographic Photo Ark will include portraits of over 12,000 species representing several animal classes, including birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates.
In what will be the largest single archive of studio-quality photographs of biodiversity ever, the National Geographic Photo Ark continues to move toward its goal of documenting the 12,000 species in human care, thanks in part to Sartore’s enduring relationships with many of the world’s zoos and aquariums.
These iconic portraits have captured the imagination of people around the world and have even been projected on the Empire State Building in New York and St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
The exhibition at the Los Angeles Zoo highlights more than 50 of Sartore’s most compelling photos. Sartore has worked in more than 250 zoos, aquariums and animal rescue centers around the world.
Many of the images featured were taken at the Los Angeles Zoo. Visitors will learn about the project, its mission and conservation efforts by the Los Angeles Zoo.
“The National Geographic Photo Ark has already inspired millions around the world with the message that it is not too late to save some of the world’s most endangered species,” said Kathryn Keane, vice president of exhibitions for the National Geographic Society. “Joel Sartore has demonstrated what one man can do using the power of photography — and now National Geographic wants to inspire people all over the country to contribute to this global challenge.”
“Saving animal species requires everyone to be engaged and make use of every tool available,” said John R. Lewis, director of the Los Angeles Zoo. “It has often been said that we will only preserve what we love and Joel’s beautiful portraits inspire compassion, awe and appreciation for each individual animal included.
“It is my belief that the National Geographic Photo Ark will galvanize people to save animals by supporting individuals and institutions involved in species conservation.”
Lewis also expressed his appreciation by saying, “The Los Angeles Zoo is actively involved in saving species from extinction, so we are proud and humbled to not only have some of our resident species included in Joel’s exhibition, but also given the opportunity to share the portraits with the people of the greater Los Angeles area.”
The National Geographic Photo Ark exhibitions are traveling to zoos across the United States in 2017, and are currently on exhibit at the Dallas Zoo and the Los Angeles Zoo. The exhibitions accompany a new National Geographic book, “The Photo Ark,” and a children’s book, “Animal Ark” both available at the L.A. Zoo gift shop. National Geographic Photo Ark fans may join the conversation on social media with #SaveTogether and learn more about how to get involved with the project at NatGeoPhotoArk.org.
Admission to the Los Angeles Zoo is $21 for general admission (ages 13 to 61); $18 for seniors (ages 62 and older), and $16 for children (ages 2 to 12). No ticket is required for children under 2.
Admission for Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association members is free.
The Los Angeles Zoo is located at 5333 Zoo Drive in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. Free parking is available.
For general information about the Zoo, call (323) 644-4200 or visit lazoo.org.