‹‹ Colorado Matters

Eye contact as a conservation tool

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9min 45sec
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Photographer Joel Sartore takes pictures of a Usambara bush viper at the Denver Zoo, part of his Photo Ark project to document species of all animals living on Earth. Sept. 5, 2023.

For his Photo Ark project, National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore takes portraits of the world's zoo animals. It's as if they're sitting for a school photo -- making eye contact with the camera. Sartore believes that is key to conserving these species, many of which are vulnerable. He spoke with Ryan Warner during his visit to the Denver Zoo.

Joel Sartore
A reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) at the Gladys Porter Zoo. This species is listed as vulnerable by IUCN.