By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden, and the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA) have joined to present a public preview of the upcoming, PBS series, “Rare – Creatures of the Photo Ark.” The two local organizations have similar missions to provide life-enriching educational opportunities for Oklahomans.
The presentation will feature the leading-edge work of native Oklahoman and renowned National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore in the new documentary, “Rare: Creatures of the Photo Ark”.
Sponsored by the Oklahoma Zoological Society, this free “sneak peek” OKC Zoo event will be held on Saturday, July 15, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Zoo’s Education Center auditorium.
Sartore’s mission is to document every species at risk of extinction. Along with the screening, Sartore will take questions from attendees as well as from Facebook Live followers. Seating is limited.
The Zoo cares for approximately 50 endangered species and Sartore has photographed more than half of them, some of which are included in his one-of-a-kind, photographic collection, The Photo Ark.
His recently published book, “National Geographic The Photo Ark: One Man’s Quest to Document the World’s Animals” is available for purchase at the Zoo’s Safari Gift Shop, where
he will hold a book signing after the screening. Zoo admission is not included in this event.
“We are thrilled to partner with our conservation cheerleaders at OETA to bring the public a glimpse of this spectacular premiere, so every person can visually experience these animals on the verge of extinction,” said Greg Heanue, Zoo senior director of marketing and public relations/CMO.
The full, three-part series produced by WGBH Boston, will air on OETA Tuesdays, July 18 through August 1 at 8 p.m. The series explores Sartore’s Photo Ark initiative as he travels to photograph some of the most endangered and rarest creatures left in the wild, in zoos and in nature preserves around the world.
Throughout RARE, scientists and naturalists bring to the surface surprising and important information about why ensuring the future of these disappearing animals is so critical.
Sartore uses his books and this documentary to put a “face” to the names of these endangered animals. He hopes to bring awareness of and appreciation for their plight in the wild and to build a connection between these animals and the people who can help save them.
“Viewers will discover the beauty and value of these animals, large and small, whose lives are intertwined with ours,” said Daphne Dowdy, OETA Foundation president/CEO. “I dare you to watch this series and not fall in love.”
A Ponca City, Oklahoma native son, Sartore has photographed for National Geographic Managain for more than 20 years. Now eleven years into his estimated 25-year endeavor to photograph the world’s endangered animals, Sartore has to date traveled to nearly 40 countries and photographed approximately 6,500 different species, including 576 amphibians, 1,839 birds, 716 fish, 1,123 invertebrates, 896 mammals and 1,245 reptiles. In October 2014,
Sartore will visit the OKC Zoo in an effort to help reach his goal. The Zoo cares for approximately 50 endangered species and Sartore has photographed more than half of them, some of which are included in his one-of-a-kind, photographic collection, The Photo Ark, and his recently published book, which is available for purchase at the Zoo’s Safari Gift Shop.
Photo Ark fans can follow Sartore’s adventures at #RarePBS, join the conversation at #SaveTogether and learn more about getting involved with the project at NatGeoPhotoArk.org.
RARE: Creatures of the Photo Ark is a production of WGBH Boston and So World Media, LLC in association with National Geographic Channels. The documentary is made possible with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The Kendeda Fund, the Candis J. Stern Foundation and public television viewers.
OETA, Oklahoma’s statewide PBS network, is watched by more than two million viewers each week. Today, OETA is America’s most-watched statewide public broadcasting network and is licensed to the state of Oklahoma and operates as a public/private partnership.
The Zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. with exhibit buildings closing at 4:45 p.m. To learn more about these and other happenings, call 405-424-3344 or visit okczoo.org.