Heroes

These super-rare animals are getting one last photo shoot. And they look gorgeous.

They're cute, they're cuddly ... and might soon be gone forever.

These super-rare animals are getting one last photo shoot. And they look gorgeous.

This is a snow leopard. Gorgeous, huh?

GIF via the Oceanic Preservation Society.


Here's a (slightly camera-shy) San Clemente Island fox.

GIF via the Oceanic Preservation Society.

And this is a common Mexican tree frog. Just chillin'.

GIF via the Oceanic Preservation Society.

They're just three of many species in Joel Sartore's series "Photo Ark." The featured creatures are furry, fierce ... and sadly, disappearing.

Sartore set a huge goal for himself in 2006. Camera in hand, he set out to photograph a member of every captive species on the planet.

Every. Last. One.

He's already photographed about 4,700 rare animals, and he has zero plans to slow down.

It's an enormous task inspired by a simple goal: "To get the public to care and save [the animals] while there's still time to do so."

His work was featured in a video for the Oceanic Preservation Society, and it explores one huge problem: There have been five big mass extinctions throughout earth's history, and we're on the brink of a sixth.


In the grand scheme of things, humans have done a downright awful job at co-existing with animals.

This means that if something dramatic doesn't change things for the better, a crazy-high number of beautiful species are about to be gone. Forever.

GIF from "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets."

Humans may have done a poor job at protecting our furry friends thus far, but it doesn't have to be this way.

Spread the word on films like "Racing Extinction" and series like "Photo Ark" to help raise awareness. Learn about which animals are endangered in your region of the world. Support organizations that are fighting the good fight.

Who knows? You might just be able to help a species survive.

Need a mood boost to help you sail through the weekend? Here are 10 moments that brought joy to our hearts and a smile to our faces this week. Enjoy!

1. How much does this sweet little boy adore his baby sister? So darn much.

Oh, to be loved with this much enthusiasm! The sheer adoration on his face. What a lucky little sister.

2. Teens raise thousands for their senior trip, then donate it to their community instead.

When it came time for Islesboro Central School's Class of 2021 to pick the destination for their senior class trip, the students began eyeing a trip to Greece or maybe even South Korea. But in the end, they decided to donate $5,000 they'd raised for the trip to help out their community members struggling in the wake of the pandemic instead.

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