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Photographer Helps Endangered Species

April 1, 2013

Renowned Wildlife Photographer Tells Stories with his Camera to Help Endangered Species

Acclaimed National Geographic photojournalist Joel Sartore delivers a passionate message about ways each one of us – one step, one action at a time – can help the environment.

Yukon the Canada Lynx. Sushi the fishing cat. Mariah the gyrfalcon. Granite the gopher snake.

Zephyr the golden eagle, Serena the barn owl, millipedes, ferocious water bugs, mallard ducks, Myotis bat, banana slugs, Pacific giant salamander, Roosevelt elk, woodland and barren ground caribou - and a house mouse.

All are Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park animals that will represent their species – and live on for years to come – in the pictures of noted photographer Joel Sartore.

Some will share space in his Photo Ark catalog of species; others will find niches in different Sartore projects.

Joel Sartore woodland caribouThe acclaimed National Geographic photojournalist spent much of Friday afternoon, March 22, and Saturday morning, March 23, at the two Metro Parks Tacoma zoological parks, speaking with staff and photographing rare and endangered species – and a few more common animals.

Sartore was in the Puget Sound area to speak at a benefit for Northwest Trek Wildlife Park.

The event was sponsored by the Northwest Trek Foundation.

Some 500 people attended the event at Puyallup High School the evening of March 23.

Sartore used humor, humility and a deep love of animals and the environment to talk about the world’s imperiled species and deliver a message about ways each one of us – one step, one action at a time – can help the environment.

He travels the world photographing rare and endangered species because he wants to ensure there’s a record of their existence should they go extinct, he said.

He also hopes the stories he tells through his camera lens will inspire the kinds of action that preserve the habitat of endangered big cats in Africa and Southeast Asia, koala bears in Australia, polar bears in the Arctic regions and thousands of other creatures around the globe.

Before he arrived for his weekend of photography and speaking engagement, Sartore had this to say about the fundraising event for programs and conservation efforts at Northwest Trek.

“Northwest Trek Wildlife Park not only engages thousands of guests each year but works to instill a conservation message that desperately needs to be heard these days; how we perceive and treat all creatures, great and small,” he said. “When we save other species, we’re actually saving ourselves.

As he left, he thanked staff members of Northwest Trek and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium for their help and vowed to return to take more photographs of the precious animals for which they care.

To make donations to endangered species and conservation programs at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, contact Diane Tilstra at 360-832-7182 or 253-651-8384 or email

Northwest Trek is now open daily for the spring season:

  • Mon-Fri: 9:30am-4pm
  • Sat & Sun: 9:30am-5pm