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Herd of nominees up for $250K animal conservation prize

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Thirty-nine protectors of pronghorn antelope, sea turtles, jaguars, ibis, puffin and other endangered species were named Wednesday morning as nominees for the $250,000 Indianapolis Prize for animal conservation.

The Indianapolis Zoo, which created and administers the biennial prize, announced the nominees at 10:30 a.m. Their names, affiliations and projects can be found here.

The cash award for the next winner marks an increase of $150,000 over 2012’s award of $100,000. Five runners-up in 2014 will receive $10,000. The prize money is covered by a grant from the Eli Lilly and Co. Foundation and the operating budget of the Zoo.

“The whole premise is, ‘Let’s find people who succeed and then give them more resources to succeed more,'” said Zoo President and CEO Michael Crowther. “It’s about identifying winners and giving the higher stakes to play with.”

In a year-long evaluation process, the herd of nominees will be thinned to six in the spring, with the winner not revealed until mid-2014. A ceremony will take place at the JW Marriott on Sept. 27, 2014.

As important as the dollar amount, Crowther said, is the lack of restrictions on how the money is spent. For example, a past winner involved with elephant conservation wanted to build a health clinic—for humans—with part of the funds.

“A traditional grant would not have allowed that,” Crowther said. “But with the Indianapolis Prize, nobody tells him what to do. And he now has an easier sphere to work in. He’s winning the hearts and minds.”

In addition to the obvious value of the award to the winner and to the species he or she is protecting, the prize also serves to increase the visibility of the Indianapolis Zoo around the world. And, for Crowther, that's central to the Zoo’s mission.

“This is hard for a lot of people to understand,” Crowther said, “but our purpose is not to operate a zoo. Our mission is to empower people and communities both locally and globally to advance animal conservation. The zoo here in Indy is just one of the vehicles.”
 

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  1. In reality, Lilly is maintaining profit by cutting costs such as Indiana/US citizen IT workers by a significant amount with their Tata Indian consulting connection, increasing Indian H1B's at Lillys Indiana locations significantly and offshoring to India high paying Indiana jobs to cut costs and increase profit at the expense of U.S. workers.

  2. I think perhaps there is legal precedence here in that the laws were intended for family farms, not pig processing plants on a huge scale. There has to be a way to squash this judges judgment and overrule her dumb judgement. Perhaps she should be required to live in one of those neighbors houses for a month next to the farm to see how she likes it. She is there to protect the people, not the corporations.

  3. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/03-111.htm Corporate farms are not farms, they are indeed factories on a huge scale. The amount of waste and unhealthy smells are environmentally unsafe. If they want to do this, they should be forced to buy a boundary around their farm at a premium price to the homeowners and landowners that have to eat, sleep, and live in a cesspool of pig smells. Imagine living in a house that smells like a restroom all the time. Does the state really believe they should take the side of these corporate farms and not protect Indiana citizens. Perhaps justifiable they should force all the management of the farms to live on the farm itself and not live probably far away from there. Would be interesting to investigate the housing locations of those working at and managing the corporate farms.

  4. downtown in the same area as O'malia's. 350 E New York. Not sure that another one could survive. I agree a Target is needed d'town. Downtown Philly even had a 3 story Kmart for its downtown residents.

  5. Indy-area residents... most of you have no idea how AMAZING Aurelio's is. South of Chicago was a cool pizza place... but it pales in comparison to the heavenly thin crust Aurelio's pizza. Their deep dish is pretty good too. My waistline is expanding just thinking about this!

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