Outdoor Exhibition Showcases Photographer Joel Sartore’s Work to Document Every Species in Zoos and Wildlife Sanctuaries

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Nov. 14, 2019) — The "National Geographic Photo Ark” exhibition will open Sunday at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. Featuring the work of National Geographic photographer and Fellow Joel Sartore, the exhibition will be on display until March 1, 2020 and is included with General Admission. This exhibition was provided through the generosity of Jennifer and Joseph Duke and Joseph and Renate Hixon and is organized by the National Geographic Society and Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.

The National Geographic Photo Ark is an ambitious project committed to documenting every species living in the world’s zoos and wildlife sanctuaries before it is too late—inspiring people not just to care, but also to help protect these animals for future generations. In addition to creating an archival record, this project is a hopeful platform for conservation and shines a light on individuals and organizations working to preserve species around the world.

Sartore estimates the completed National Geographic Photo Ark will include portraits of over 15,000 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 15,000 species in captivity, 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 and St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

The “National Geographic Photo Ark” exhibition will highlight 56 of Sartore's compelling images and provide visitors with the unique opportunity to come face to face with animals from the National Geographic Photo Ark. Sartore has worked in more than 250 zoos, aquariums and animal rescue centers around the world. Visitors will learn about the project, its mission and conservation efforts by the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. The exhibition will also engage audiences of all ages through free educational materials and activities.

“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, 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.”

“We are honored to align our conservation efforts here at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens with the work of Joel Sartore and the National Geographic Photo Ark,” said Executive Director Tony Vecchio. “These photographs are truly stunning, and we hope our guests will be inspired to support the work to save species from extinction after seeing these pieces in person.”

During this opening weekend of the “National Geographic Photo Ark” Sartore will be the Guest Speaker at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ Toast to Conservation on Saturday, offering guests a first look at the exhibition. Sunday will open the exhibition to the public, who are also invited to listen to Sartore speak that night at the University of North Florida. Tickets are $20 and include General Admission to the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.

More information about the exhibition at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens and tickets to the speaking event at UNF can be found at PhotoArk.JacksonvilleZoo.org. National Geographic Photo Ark fans are invited to help save wildlife and their habitats by taking the #SaveTogether Pledge, and visit NatGeoPhotoArk.org to learn more about the project.



About Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

For over 100 years, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has aimed to inspire the discovery and appreciation of wildlife through innovative experiences in a caring environment. Starting in 1914 with an animal collection of one red deer fawn, the Zoo now has more than 2,000 rare and exotic animals and 1,000 species of plants, boasting the largest botanical garden in Northeast Florida. The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is a nonprofit organization and a portion of every ticket sold goes to the over 45 conservation initiatives Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens supports around the world, and here in NE Florida. JZG is proud to be an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. For more information, visit www.jacksonvillezoo.org.

About the National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of the world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 14,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content. To learn more, visit www.nationalgeographic.org or follow us on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.