Sustainable Travel Finalist
MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH THE SUPPORT OF
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photo contest slideshow
Rich farmland in the Palouse region
Baskets of Light
Persistent wildflower soaking up the Georgia summer
A roseate spoonbill at the Smithsonian National Zoo
Tommy Hilfeather
United States Capital
skateboard trick
Sunset, Beach, Pacific
God-King
twilight in the mountains
Conquering Plantation Monteverde, Costa Rica
Big Life Foundation Dog Security Team Bloodhound Bone
Smoky mountain sunrise
Color and Movement at the National Horse Show
Thai lady in her garden
Young girl shooting balloone at Patenga beach, Chittagong
Lincoln Memorial statue at night
A Moreton Bay Fig Tree on the island of Kauai
Good morning smoky mountains 1
Saguaro cactus in Arizona desert
Gale of November
Red Rocks of Sedona at Sunset
END OF THE DAY
14th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
Big Life Foundation Dog Security Team Bloodhound Bone

Each year I volunteer photography services to a grassroots organization that addresses issues we face as a human race. This year I partnered with Big Life Foundation to assist in bringing awareness to their mission. Big Life Foundation's primary focus is to protect wildlife from poachers. They accomplish this by employing hundreds of Maasai community rangers who utilize 40 permanent outposts and tent-based field units as well as aerial surveillance to protect two million acres of wilderness in the Amboseli-Tsavo-Kilimanjaro ecosystem of East Africa. Often times when we think about sustainable travel we think about the importance of preserving the natural environment. While this is important, I believe it is equally important to think about how our travel can aid in the current and future needs of the local communities we are visiting.

By working as a volunteer photographer for Big Life Foundation I was able to work closely with the local community, learning about the Maasai culture and supporting a local school and village health center. It is important to me that the people I’m visiting feel supported by my volunteer efforts. I believe grassroots organizations like Big Life Foundation deserve more attention and volunteer support so they may continue to achieve high levels of success in assisting community-oriented initiatives.

This picture of Bonnie and her handler, Mutinda, on a morning walk captures the actions behind Big Life Foundation's mission of saving and preserving wildlife. Bonnie is one of three security dogs that assist the rangers in tracking poachers. In 2016, one of the dogs in the anti-poaching dog unit played a key role in the arrest of a suspected poacher by following the poacher's scent to his village where rangers uncovered ivory in his home.

This photo is a finalist in the Sustainable Travel category of our 14th Annual Photo Contest. See all 70 finalists here.

TAGS: Kenya

photographer avatar
North Andover, Massachusetts, United States of America
Member since 2016
Awards
Photo of the Day: 03.15.17 Editors' Pick Finalist
Photo Information
Copyright:
© Matilde Simas.
All rights reserved.
Image Source: digital
Date Taken: 10.2016
Total Views: 8624
Filed Under: Sustainable Travel
Camera Information
Date Uploaded: Nov. 23, 2016, 10:19 a.m.
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