Triplet tiger cubs born at Indianapolis Zoo in late May May
Zoya, a 7-year-old Amur tiger, gave birth to triplet tiger cubs at the Indianapolis Zoo on May 27. The mother and babies are all doing well.
The Indianapolis Zoological Society has selected six finalists for the world’s leading animal conservation award.
The biennial Indianapolis Prize, which started in 2006, recognizes leading professionals around the world for their work in conserving a variety of animal species. The winner will receive $250,000 and the other five finalists will receive $50,000 each.
The prize committee has awarded more than $5.6 million to the eight winners since it began.
A nine-person committee whittled down the list of finalists from 51 nominees whose work covered everything from primates and reptiles to birds and sea creatures.
“The victories achieved by this diverse group of people are remarkable and deserve our attention,” Rob Shumaker, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Zoological Society, said in a statement. “They have dedicated decades of their lives to making an authentic difference for many animal species and demonstrate that one person has the power to make a difference.”
Finalists were chosen because of significant contributions to the conservation of an animal species or multiple species along with the outcomes of those efforts.
“This year’s finalists are impressive not only in their dedication to saving species, but also in their huge determination to achieve an impact despite the pandemic and global conflicts,” prize juror Amanda Vincent said in the statement. “Their commitment is both admirable and inspiring.”
Full list of 2023 nominees:Indianapolis Zoo announces nominees for worldwide wildlife conservation prize
Indianapolis Prize finalists for 2023
Christophe Boesch — Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology; Wild Chimpanzee Foundation, Germany
Primatologist dedicated to providing alternatives to bushmeat and applying new technology to great ape conservation, decreasing strain on wild chimpanzee populations. Boesch uncovered the effects of rapid deforestation across SubSaharan Africa and promoted new areas for protecting the remaining chimpanzee populations in Guinea. Finalist for the 2021 Indianapolis Prize.
Pablo Borboroglu — Global Penguin Society, Argentina
Protector of ocean and coastal habitats for penguins in several countries including Argentina. Borboroglu works to improve penguin colony management through the creation of large, protected areas, including 32 million acres of ocean and coastal habitat. He is the founder and leader of the Global Penguin Society, an international conservation coalition for the world’s penguin species.
Gerardo Ceballos — Institute of Ecology, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico
Champion for jaguars in Mexico, including conducting the first country-level jaguar census. Ceballos developed successful conservation strategies for endangered mammals in North America, including the black-footed ferret. He was a proponent of the passage of Mexico’s first Act for Endangered Species. Ceballos was a Finalist for 2010, 2014 and 2021 Indianapolis Prize.
Karen Eckert — Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network, WIDECAST, USA
Conservationist promoting recovery and sustainable management of sea turtle populations in more than 40 nations and territories. Eckert has helped protect six species of endangered sea turtles and mobilized community and government support in Caribbean nations to fully protect sea turtles. She serves as the executive director of WIDECAST, an organization that facilitates the recovery and sustainable management of sea turtle populations across the globe.
Biruté Mary Galdikas — Orangutan Foundation International, USA
Orangutan researcher who first documented the long orangutan birth interval and recorded more than 400 types of food consumed by orangutans. Galdikas contributed to the release of more than 500 rehabilitated orangutans back into the wild and provided unprecedented detail about orangutan ecology. She serves as president and is the co-founder of Orangutan Foundation International, an organization dedicated to protecting the conservation of wild orangutans in Borneo and their rain forest habitats.
Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka — Conservation Through Public Health, Uganda
Wildlife veterinary officer and protector of critically endangered mountain gorillas in East Africa. Kalema-Zikusoka promotes conservation by cultivating an understanding of how humans and wildlife can coexist in protected areas in Africa. She founded Conservation Through Public Health, an organization promoting biodiversity conservation through enabling the communities and wildlife to coexist by improving people’s health and livelihoods in and around Africa’s protected areas.
When will the prize be announced?
The prize committee will announce the winner of the 2023 Indianapolis Prize in May. The winner and finalists will be honored Sept. 30 during the Indianapolis Prize Gala.
The gala will be co-hosted by Anne Thompson, chief environmental affairs correspondent for NBC News, and Danni Washington, founder of Big Blue & You, a nonprofit focused on ocean conservation through art, science and media.
A new award:Indianapolis Zoo announces finalists for new Emerging Conservationist Award
“The vital work of this year’s finalists to save animal species is inspiring,” Washington said in a statement. “I’m thrilled that their efforts are being recognized by the Indianapolis Prize Committee. Their accomplishments serve as an inspiration for the next generation of conservationists and makes me hopeful for a better future for our world.”
Karl Schneider is an IndyStar environment reporter. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @karlstartswithk
IndyStar’s environmental reporting project is made possible through the generous support of the nonprofit Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust.
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