Polar bear champion Steven Amstrup honored with prestigious Indianapolis Award
Scientist credited with saving polar bears
Last Updated: 233 days ago
INDIANAPOLIS - A scientist credited with helping save polar bears from extinction will receive the prestigious Indianapolis Award in the Circle City this weekend.
Steven Amstrup, the lead scientist with Polar Bears International, will become the fourth recipient of the internationally renowned award for animal conservation, which is given every two years and is sponsored by the Indianapolis Zoo.
Saba Douglas-Hamilton, a Kenyan wildlife conservationist who will co-host Saturday night's gala, called Amstrup's research a crucial part of saving the polar bear from extinction.
"He's probably one of the most outstanding and influential scientists in polar bear conservation," she said. "The first thing he found out about Alaskan polar bears was this great mystery of where they went to den, and he discovered that they denned on the pack ice. That's, of course, where they raise their cubs, which makes them very vulnerable to rising temperatures."
The Indianapolis Prize comes with $100,000 and the Lilly Medal.
Organizers hope the event not only recognizes the contributions of animal conservations but also raises public awareness and inspires young people to get involved.
"When you meet (the researchers) face-to-face, you can actually see the passion that drives them to do this difficult, arduous, sometimes even dangerous work," Douglas-Hamilton said. "It's extremely inspiring."
Amstrup will attend the zoo's Meet a Hero, Be a Hero event Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. It's free with zoo admission.
More than 1,000 people are expected to attend the Indianapolis Award gala at the JW Marriott downtown Saturday night.
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