Life at the Zoo
is a series that takes viewers for a behind-the-scenes look at everything that happens at the zoo that they normally do not get to see. The series was created to clear up misconceptions people have about the institution and to show the role that zoos play in animal rescue, conservation, research, and breeding programs.
When I first worked with a zoo for a travel shoot in 2015, I discovered how many concerns people have about how zoos operate and what benefits zoos offer. These images feature medical care-giving, training, and hand-raising rescued baby animals. I answer questions such as: Why do we need zoos in the first place? Where do zoo babies come from? How do you train a vicious carnivore to visit the doctor?
Life at the Zoo was originally published as a children's picture book with Barnes & Noble in 2018.
Michael George is a photographer, writer, and people lover based out of Brooklyn. In his work, he strives to tell stories of our common humanity through travel, culture, and the underrepresented.
Michael’s first travel narrative documented a 4,000-mile cycling trip across the United States, where he biked alongside a group of 31 riders to raise over $135,000 for affordable housing organizations. A few years later, Michael produced Portrait of a Pilgrim, a multimedia project that documents the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile pilgrimage across northern Spain and other parts of Europe. Over two years, Michael walked over 1,000 miles with a 48-pound pack, interviewing fellow pilgrims along the way.
Since then, he has photographed and written on subjects ranging from the rehabilitation of Californian birds of prey, the life of a New York City ballerina, and a Québécois dog-sledding team comprised of rescued huskies.
Michael's stories have been published by National Geographic, The New York Times, WIRED, and dozens of other publications. He has been a guest lecturer at Yale and New York University and taught workshops in locations that vary from the glaciers of Patagonia to onboard a cross-country Amtrak train. In the past year, he has photographed stories from Iceland to Arizona to Japan and published his first book: Life at the Zoo. You can follow along with his adventures on Instagram @MichaelGeorge. If you meet him, he will inevitably take your portrait!