2016 Indianapolis Prize

The Indianapolis Prize is the world’s largest individual monetary award given for animal conservation and is one of the ways the Indianapolis Zoological Society, Inc. empowers people and communities, both locally and globally, to advance animal conversation. With my love of animals, I was thrilled to be invited to this event. Mom warned me not to take any animals home and don’t even think about a job change. I grew up wanting to swim with Orca whales. My parents never fostered that idea and Mom continues to remind me of all the lovely things I have in my life because of what my job has afforded me. I get it. But I still want to swim with THEM! I’ll just have to charter my own boat!

We were welcomed by beautiful banners showcasing the finalists and their missions.

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This was my first visit to the main JW Marriott ballroom. I was intrigued to see how the show would be produced. Of course, Markey’s delivers with a light show on the ceiling!

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Bring on my entree!

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These awards are every 2 years which makes sense when you think about the dedication it takes to save an animal species. This year’s Jane Alexander Global Wildlife Ambassador was Sigourney Weaver. As they were announcing her name, I was expecting a video to pop up on the big screen. Nope. She was here. Really in person. Holy shit. That is cool!

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This year’s winner was Carl Jones. On the island of Mauritius, he brought the total population of the rarest bird on the planet, the kestrel, from only four individuals to nearly 400 over the course of a decade.

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It was a spectacular event and a wonderful reminder that we share this planet not just with humans but with animals. They deserve for us humans to do our best to make their home great too. I know this crew will do our part!

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