The National Geographic publishes images of animals all the time, but the ones photographed for their Photo Ark project are a little different. Led by Nat Geo photographer Joel Sartore, Photo Ark aims to document every living species currently living in zoos and wildlife sanctuaries around the world. As well as acting as an archive of biodiversity, Photo Ark is also a travelling exhibition — and it will be coming to Melbourne Zoo for three months from July 1.
It’s a huge project, and one that Sartore has been working on for a decade now. So far the photographer has visited 250 institutions in 40 countries and captured images of over 6000 species. Many of the animals photographed — including the orange-bellied parrot above — live at Melbourne Zoo or Healesville Sanctuary, which is the reason why this exhibition is coming to our shores. Having travelled around zoos in the US, this will be the first time the works will be seen in the southern hemisphere.
Many of the animals featured are critically threatened or endangered, and Photo Ark aims to bring attention to these species and urge humans to help protect these animals for future generations. While Melbourne Zoo is the only confirmed Australian stop for the exhibition, additional venues may be announced at a later date.
Image: Orange-bellied parrot shot at Healesville Sanctuary by Joel Sartore.