Sonia Perry may have been born in Queens, but her heart belongs in South Africa.
Growing up, the New York native fell in love with animals while watching the late Steve Irwin on TV. Now she’s hoping to spread their shared passion for wildlife conservation through her stunning photography.
Sonia’s fondest childhood memories are the times she and her father went to the Queens County Farm, where she spent hours interacting with wildlife.
“I began to notice as I got older that there were more animals held in captivity instead of them wandering freely,” she told InspireMore. “I knew I had a calling to raise awareness to people all over the world on how crucial wildlife are.”
So one day, she “hopped on a plane to chase this wild African dream.”
That dream took her to a South African conservation, where she spent her days with critically endangered animals — and captured their beauty on camera.
“I wanted to give people a glimpse into their rich emotional lives and unique personalities,” she said. “I was interacting with lions, cheetahs, hyenas, zebras, and African wild dogs to name a few, every day.”
From feeding big cats that weigh up to 552 pounds, to cleaning up after them inside their enclosures. I had spent hours working alongside caregivers who sacrificed their lives just to protect endangered animals. I grew fond of their passion, then I realized this is where my heart belongs.
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She hopes her photography will inspire the world to protect, not fear, the creatures she adores so much.
“There’s remarkable beauty in the animal kingdom,” she explained. “If animals become extinct there won’t be anything left to show.”
Irwin would be so proud of you, Sonia! Thank you for giving us a peek into the beautiful world of African wildlife, and keep up the amazing work!
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