Where the Wild Things Are

Cummings School photo contest brings to life creatures great and small from all over the world

A lioness braves a river crossing to stalk impala in Botswana. Orphaned baby birds open wide to eat at the New England Wildlife Center. Bees enjoy a respite from drought at a water faucet in western Mexico. A marine iguana stands watch on the Galapagos Islands.

These are some of the more than 130 images submitted by students, faculty and staff at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine for the second annual photo contest sponsored by the student organization WAZE (Wildlife, Aquatics, Zoo, Exotics). The photos capture an array of mammals, birds, reptiles, insects and fish in places near and far.

Three professional photographers, including two who have shot for National Geographic magazine, independently reviewed and rated the photographs. The top picks have been framed and will be auctioned on March 2 to benefit WAZE.

“I love the intimacy of the photo and the vulnerability,” says Melanie Glass, V15, of her close-up image of a blue-footed booby, taken on North Seymour Island in the Galapagos. “The blue-footed booby is vulnerable in the sense that he let me get quite close to him, but also in the conservation sense, because the Galapagos, like many other ecosystems, is threatened by human encroachment,” she says. “This represents an intimate look at what could be lost without greater preservation measures.”

Last year’s photo contest proved the most successful fundraiser ever for the student organization, according to WAZE copresident Benjamin Hantler, V14. Proceeds helped fund events such as lunchtime lectures and the group’s annual symposium. This year’s symposium, “Alone in the Wild: Ingenuity and Advances in Wildlife Medicine and Research,” which is open to the public, takes place on April 28 on the Grafton campus.

Genevieve Rajewski can be reached at genevieve.rajewski@tufts.edu.

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