The Indianapolis Zoo named Steven Amstrup, chief scientist with Bozeman-based Polar Bears International, winner of the 2012 Indianapolis Prize — the world’s leading award for animal conservation.
“Steve Amstrup is widely regarded as the most important and influential scientist working on polar bear conservation today,” said Michael Crowther, president of the Indianapolis Zoo, in a prepared statement. “By bringing greater awareness to the polar bears’ plight and plausible solutions, he has created a lifeline for the entire species.”
Amstrup, speaking from Washington, D.C., Wednesday amid a flurry of events surrounding the announcement, said he was humbled by the biennial award.
Previous recipients include elephant advocate Iain Douglas-Hamilton, who brought global attention to the issue of blood ivory; George Archibald, who saved cranes from the brink of extinction; and George Schaller, former director of Wildlife Conservation International.