‘National Geographic Photo Ark’ Exhibition to Open May 19 at the Cincinnati Zoo

Posted April 5, 2017

Outdoor exhibition features stunning animal photos by National Geographic Photographer Joel Sartore

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden visitors will see more animals than ever this summer, some through the eyes of National Geographic photographer and Fellow Joel Sartore. Sartore’s photos featuring species from zoos and aquariums around the world will be displayed throughout the Cincinnati Zoo from May 19 to August 20. Cincinnati Zoo is thrilled to be one of only three locations hosting the traveling “National Geographic Photo Ark” exhibition for its debut tour. This exhibition is organized by the National Geographic Society and Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.

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Many of the photos in the exhibition, and even more in the broader National Geographic Photo Ark collection, which now includes more than 6,500 species, were taken at the Cincinnati Zoo.

© Photo by Joel Satore/National Geographic Photo Ark A critically endangered, six-week-old female baby gorilla, Gorilla gorilla gorilla.

“Joel’s work is phenomenal. He has an open invitation to photograph animals here,” said Cincinnati Zoo director Thane Maynard. “His photos send the message that it is not too late to save some of the world’s most endangered species. This project has the power to inspire people to care.”

The exhibition will highlight more than 50 of Sartore’s most compelling images and provide visitors with the unique opportunity to come face to face with animals from the National Geographic Photo Ark. Free educational materials and activities will be available to enhance the viewing experience.

Sartore will be a Barrows Conservation Lecture Series featured speaker at the Cincinnati Zoo on May 31. Tickets to hear him speak are available now.

© Photo by Joel Satore/National Geographic Photo Ark A critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros, Dicerorhinus sumatrensis.

Sartore estimates the completed National Geographic Photo Ark will include portraits of more than 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 these 12,000 species in the world’s zoos and other protected areas. 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.

“Zoos are the true Arks now,” said Sartore. “At a time when so many people live in areas without access to animals, zoos keep the public engaged in the natural world while also funding habitat restoration and other critical breeding programs.”

The exhibition will also be on display at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and the Dallas Zoo this summer. Additional zoo venues for the outdoor exhibition may be announced soon. The exhibitions accompany a new National Geographic book, The Photo Ark (National Geographic Books; $35.00), and a children’s book, Animal Ark (National Geographic Kids Books; $15.99). A documentary series on Sartore’s work, RARE – Creatures of the Photo Ark, will also premiere on PBS in July. Learn more at NatGeoPhotoArk.org and join the conversation on social media with #SaveTogether.

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About the National Geographic Society
The National Geographic Society is a leading nonprofit that invests in bold people and transformative ideas in the fields of exploration, scientific research, storytelling and education. We support educators to ensure that the next generation is armed with geographic knowledge and global understanding. We aspire to create a community of change, advancing key insights about our planet and probing some of the most pressing scientific questions of our time. Our goal is measurable impact: furthering exploration and educating people around the world to inspire solutions for the greater good. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.org.


About the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

The world famous Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is committed to inspiring visitors to care about wildlife and wild places.  It has been rated the #1 attraction locally and one of the top zoos in the nation by Zagat Survey.  It has also received rave reviews from Child Magazine, Parents Magazine, USA Today and TripAdvisor.  Over 1.5 million people visit the Zoo’s award-winning exhibits, and more than 500 animal and 3000 plant species annually. The Zoo, an accredited member of the Association of  Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), is internationally known for its success in the protection and propagation of endangered animals and plants and engages in research and conservation projects worldwide. Known as the #GreenestZooInAmerica, the Zoo is doing its part to conserve natural resources that are critical to saving wildlife and its habitats and is committed to greening its daily operations and reducing its impact on the environment through the use of rain gardens, recycled building materials, solar panels and more. The Cincinnati Zoo is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.