A new project brings once-extinct animals “back to life” in an augmented reality experience: “The Zoo of Extinct Animals” was created in an effort to raise awareness of how humans are impacting the planet and its species, with a focus on animals that have gone extinct within the last 20 years.
The project, designed by creative director Sebastian Koseda and released on Snapchat, allows for users to bring these extinct animals into their own homes. The first released lens is of the Baiji river dolphin, native to the Yangtze River in China and declared to be extinct in 2001. It can be seen swimming around your living room alongside a plastic bag, emphasizing the recent effects that humans have had on these species that are no longer with us.
Koseda and his team are currently working on releasing a lens for the West African black rhino. Their future plans include the Formosan clouded leopard and the Caribbean monk seal. In his own words, Koseda explained, “Because it’s out of sight, it’s kind of out of mind … that these animals are going extinct in places that we might not see, like in the Yangtze River. It’s still happening and it’s still due to human interaction, human disruption, [and] pollution.” It is Koseda’s hope that “The Zoo of Extinct Animals” will help raise awareness and initiate change — creating a more hopeful future for species all over the globe.