Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
This is a book that should be on everyone’s coffee tables and book shelves! I found it on the ‘new’ release shelf at my local library, being an animal lover I had to check it out. National Geographic the Photo ark is a lifelong project, already spanning 25 years, of photographer Joel Sartore. It is his goal to take portraits of the world’s animals, especially those that are endangered and put them at our fingertips. Joel has a powerful message sprawling through this fantastic book conveyed with humor, compassion and art. Joel hopes we will look into the eyes of these animals, to know these animals, in order to save them.
Sartore’s intends to photograph every animal in captivity around the world. He is visiting zoos and wildlife rescue centers to create studio portraits of 12,000 species, with an emphasis on those facing extinction. He has photographed more than 6,000 already and now, thanks to a multi-year partnership with National Geographic, he may reach his goal.
As I was going through the book, I happened upon an Albino North American Porcupine with the caption “This albino porcupine is named Halsey for the spot in Nebraska near where she was rescued after being hit on the highway. Today Halsey is thriving, despite a dental condition that prevents her from ever being returned to the wild.” This caught me off guard because I happen to live in Nebraska! Not only that, but as I kept reading I read more captions and descriptions of animals that were photographed at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium (Nebraska), Nebraska Wildlife Rehab in Louisville (Nebraska) and the Lincoln’s Children Zoo (Nebraska).
Then, after finishing the book, I read about the photographer and author Joel Sartore. He is a photographer, author, teacher, conservationist, National Geographic Fellow and a regular contributor to National Geographic magazine. He is the founder of this project, the Photo Ark, has contributed to Audubon magazine, Sports Illustrated, the New York Times, Smithsonian magazine and numerous book projects. Are you ready for the icing on the cake???? Joel is always happy to return from his travels around the world to his home in Lincoln, Nebraska, where his lives with is wife and their three children.
I cannot stress enough how amazing this book was, especially from the fact that this project is being conducted by a fellow Nebraskan. I look forward to seeing more of Joel Sartore’s work in the future!