Minneapolis Saint Paul Minnesota Dog & Pet Photographer | Studio Pet Photography | Commercial | Joy Sessions » Distinctive, beautiful dog and cat pictures in studio and on location. Voted Best Pet Photographer in the Twin Cities 2010 and 2011.

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I was super excited to feature the MN Zoo as a Rescue of the Month this year, and the timing worked out great with their acquisition of 5 Hawaiian Monk Seals! 

This Memorial Day weekend, you can visit the zoo for the grand opening celebration of the newly-renovated Discovery Bay, and the public premiere of these critically endangered animals. 

There are only 1,100 Hawaiian Monk Seals left in existence, and their numbers are declining by 4% every year. Having them here in Minnesota is very special: it’s the only place outside of Hawaii where we can view Monk Seals in human care. Monk Seals can live to be 25-30 years old, and the individuals at our zoo are around 19 years old.

The MN Zoo is offering a sanctuary for these non-releasable animals, and are committed to providing them with the highest possible quality of life. The girls are non-releasable, because they have vision impairments that would prevent them from being able to care for themselves in the wild. Ola (the first image below) is the only one with good vision, but there’s no guarantee she won’t develop issues later on. She’s quite vocal, and in addition to her (very) loud bellows, she often makes low, rhythmic thumping noises that radiate out into the water. Very cool to watch.

Going “behind the scenes” with these beautiful creatures was an amazing experience. A very big Thank You to the MN Zoo for this unique opportunity!
MN Zoo 355 Monk Seals at the MN Zoo :: Rescue of the Month

We watched while the seals had feeding time, and practiced some behaviors.
MN Zoo 295 Monk Seals at the MN Zoo :: Rescue of the Month

seals5 Monk Seals at the MN Zoo :: Rescue of the Month
MN Zoo 229 Monk Seals at the MN Zoo :: Rescue of the Month

seals1 Monk Seals at the MN Zoo :: Rescue of the Month
seals2 Monk Seals at the MN Zoo :: Rescue of the Month
seals4 Monk Seals at the MN Zoo :: Rescue of the Month
seals3 Monk Seals at the MN Zoo :: Rescue of the Month

MN Zoo 379 Monk Seals at the MN Zoo :: Rescue of the Month

MN Zoo 583 Monk Seals at the MN Zoo :: Rescue of the Month

Also new to the zoo, are these Moon Jellies. Very difficult to photograph :)
jellies Monk Seals at the MN Zoo :: Rescue of the Month
MN Zoo 033 Monk Seals at the MN Zoo :: Rescue of the Month
MN Zoo 053 Monk Seals at the MN Zoo :: Rescue of the Month
MN Zoo 064 Monk Seals at the MN Zoo :: Rescue of the Month
MN Zoo 087 Monk Seals at the MN Zoo :: Rescue of the Month
MN Zoo 120 Monk Seals at the MN Zoo :: Rescue of the Month

After finishing up at Discovery Bay, we got to visit some of the other animals who live at the zoo:
MN Zoo 624 Monk Seals at the MN Zoo :: Rescue of the Month
MN Zoo 652 Monk Seals at the MN Zoo :: Rescue of the Month
MN Zoo 678 Monk Seals at the MN Zoo :: Rescue of the Month
MN Zoo 708 Monk Seals at the MN Zoo :: Rescue of the Month
MN Zoo 458 Monk Seals at the MN Zoo :: Rescue of the Month
MN Zoo 534 Monk Seals at the MN Zoo :: Rescue of the Month

If you’d like to get involved with the zoo and their conservation efforts, check out their website for information about the different options they have available.

Minnesota Pocket Pet Rescue was our featured organization for April – and as things tend to go – I’m sharing it with you in May :)

Three friends started this rescue last year, filling an underrepresented niche in the rescue world. There was previously no organization dedicated strictly to “pocket pets,” a general category of small (non-dog / non-cat), furry creatures that many people have and love. When I learned about the group, I knew I had to include them in our Giving Back program.

Some fun facts about MN Pocket Pet Rescue:

Their gorgeous website was created by Ash, one of the founding members.

You can help them out by purchasing supplies from their Amazon wish list, and those items will be shipped directly to the rescue.

Their foster families are lovingly referred to as “pocket protectors.” They can always use more pocket protectors, so they can continue to take in and re-home even more small pets. If you’d like to volunteer but can’t foster, they have some other fun ways you can contribute.

Here’s some of the adorable adoptables we photographed last week:

021 Popcorn MN Pocket Pet :: Rescue of the Month

012 Popcorn MN Pocket Pet :: Rescue of the Month

049 PocketPet MN Pocket Pet :: Rescue of the Month
065 PocketPet MN Pocket Pet :: Rescue of the Month

187 PocketPet MN Pocket Pet :: Rescue of the Month
155 PocketPet MN Pocket Pet :: Rescue of the Month

028 PocketPet MN Pocket Pet :: Rescue of the Month
014 PocketPet MN Pocket Pet :: Rescue of the Month

In July last year, MN Original visited the studio to film and interview me for segment on their show. It’s a huge honor to have been recognized and featured on this highly-regarded series about the arts in Minnesota! The episode aired last weekend, and I’m pretty proud of it, so I wanted to share it here on the blog:

Ayla had a studio session this weekend, and since I’m a sucker for a wiry, scrappy terrier mix, and I just had to share her gorgeous mug  :)

Ayla terrier2 Ayla the Terrier