6 Animals from the National Geographic Photo Ark Project

by Jim Hinch

For nearly three decades, photographer Joel Sartore has traveled the globe for National Geographic magazine. His toughest assignment, however, wasn’t in the wild. In 2005, Joel’s wife, Kathy, was diagnosed with breast cancer. He stopped working for a year to take care of her and their three kids. Once Kathy recovered, Joel embarked on a new project: The National Geographic Photo Ark, a photographic archive of 12,000-plus animal species currently in human care. So far, he has captured images of 9,000 species, mostly in zoos and wildlife sanctuaries. The purpose, Joel says, is to raise awareness of the beauty, diversity and value of animal life, especially the lives of endangered species.

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