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Jo Ann Ziegler

While growing up in Iowa, Jo Ann shared her father’s adventures as an avid sportsman in the great outdoors.  From these inspiring experiences, she fell in love with nature and its wildlife.  Her father taught her an enduring patience and an eye for wildlife’s delightful moments.  Jo Ann, however, didn’t hone these skills until later in her life.


After obtaining a masters degree in Psychology, Jo Ann focused on a thirty-five year career as a care provider, serving as a mental health therapist.  It wasn’t until 1988 that she made her first attempt at photography while on a wildlife tour in Kenya and Tanzania, Africa.  Since then, Jo Ann has made several trips to South Africa and Kenya to photograph the magnificent and powerful cats and the beautiful and gentle browsers and grazers.


In 1995, Jo Ann participated in her first tour to the western shore of the Hudson’s Bay to view polar bears.  The next year, she returned with a camera in hand and a new-found passion for bears bears and more bears. For the past several years, Jo Ann had traveled to this area during February to photograph devoted polar bear mothers and their precious cubs as they first come out of their dens. In 2020, Jo Ann made her 25th to photograph polar bears in the Wapusk National Park near Churchill, Manitoba Canada. 

 In 2003, Jo Ann participated in her first of several trips to Katmai National Park in Alaska to photograph coastal brown bears.  Since these bears reside in a natural and undisturbed environment, they provided her with an opportunity to capture incredibility natural and unique behaviors of these charismatic creatures.  In September of 2018, Jo Ann photographed interior brown bears while in the remote Chilcotin, Cariboo region of British Columbia. She photographed brown bears from a small vessel on a wide shallow river during the salmon run.  The majority of the bears were mother bears with spring cubs, sometimes triplets.  What a thrill to capture the delightful moments of these little ones as well as their moms fishing in the river!!!   


 Jo Ann hasn’t any list of accomplishments, awards or publications for her photography; however, she has received innumerable rewards from the bears she has interacted with through her camera.


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