At the OKC Zoo, Go Wild!

Media Contacts

Candice Rennels | (405) 425-0298 | crennels@okczoo.org
Chase Harvick | (405) 425-0608 | charvick@okczoo.org


OKC Zoo News Releases

OKC ZOO TO HOST EXHIBITION FEATURING PHOTOS FROM NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC’S JOEL SARTORE

National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore has spent much of his career racing the clock, attempting to document every species living in the world’s zoos and wildlife sanctuaries before it’s too late. Since 2006, Sartore has photographed 8,485 species, with another 4,000 remaining to complete his Photo Ark. National Geographic is showcasing this important project through multiple platforms, including a traveling exhibition, “National Geographic Photo Ark,” that opens at the Patricia and Byron J. Gambulos ZooZeum at the Oklahoma City Zoo on Wednesday, September 12. The National Geographic Photo Ark is an ambitious project committed to inspiring people not just to care, but also to protect these animals for future generations. Organized by the National Geographic Society and Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, the exhibition will be on display until Sunday, December 16, and is free with Zoo admission. ZooZeum hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.

Complementing the 38-piece Photo Ark exhibit and adding a local component to the showcase is another collection of images captured by Sartore at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Called “Uncertain Futures”, this exhibit of 14 photographs of OKC Zoo animals was captured in October 2014 by Sartore. There will be a total of 52 pieces on display at the ZooZeum as part of the combined exhibit. Guests will be able to purchase copies of Sartore’s book “The Photo Ark: One Man’s Quest to Document the World’s Animals” at the Safari Gift Shop in the OKC Zoo entry plaza (limited quantity available). The exhibition will also engage audiences of all ages through free educational materials and activities.

“Using Joel’s beautiful photographs to inspire, we want to channel that motivation into action by educating guests about conservation issues and how they can make an impact,” said Rebecca Snyder, OKC Zoo curator of conservation and science. “Protecting wildlife and wild places is central to our mission.”

In addition to creating an archival record for generations to come, this project is a hopeful platform for conservation and shines a light on individuals and organizations working to preserve species around the world. 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, 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 Sartore's most compelling images and provide OKC Zoo 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.

 “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.”

National Geographic Photo Ark fans are also invited to join the conversation on social media with #SaveTogether and learn more about how to get involved with the project at NatGeoPhotoArk.org. 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.

Learn how you can help save animals with uncertain futures. Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the Zoo is a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Alliance of Museums, Oklahoma City’s Adventure District and an Adventure Road partner. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Regular admission is $11 for adults and $8 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free. Stay up-to-date with the Zoo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and by visiting Our Stories. Zoo fans can support the OKC Zoo by becoming Oklahoma Zoological Society members at ZOOfriends.org or in-person at the Zoo! To learn more about these and other happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit okczoo.org.

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