Dr. George Schaller, an icon in conservation, won the prestigious Indianapolis Prize in 2008 and has been a great friend of the Indianapolis Zoo ever since. Now well into his 70s, George shows no signs for slowing down his lifelong mission to try and save the endangered animals on the planet. George's wife Kay just sent us a holiday update on George's activities in recent months, and we wanted to share the news with all the folks who admire the work Dr. Schaller continues to do on behalf of animal conservation around the world. Here's the latest news!
"George has, as usual, been peripatetic on behalf of Panthera and the Wildlife Conservation Society.
He spent most of March to August on the Tibetan Plateau to continue studies of wildlife, particularly Tibetan brown bear and snow leopard, and to mentor graduate students from Peking University on their projects.
To promote conservatio,n the team also works with Tibetan communities and monasteries in training individuals to monitor wildlife and care for the environment.
His book Tibet Wild
has just been published by Island Press
In July, he was honored by the Murie Center in Jackson Hole with their Spirit of Conservation Award
; he was a member of the 1956 Murie Expedition to Alaska’s Brooks Range.
As a result of this biological survey the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
was established in 1960.
Late August he was in Argentina to survey capybara, marsh deer, and other species in a large wetland—one he had visited first in 1975—for which there are plans to reintroduce jaguar.
Late October, the night before Sandy hit [the Schallers live in New York State], he left for India to a conference and then to visit several tiger reserves with Indian colleagues.
With only about 3,500 tigers remaining in the wild, half in India, there is much concern for the future of this magnificent cat.
We fondly remember our year with tigers at Kanha Park in Central India half a century ago when our (sons) were still toddlers."
George Schaller is an amazing person and a magnificent scientist who sets the example for all of us.
Dr. Schaller (right) shares insights with Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton, 2010 recipient of the Indianapolis Prize, in the photo above by Banayote Photography.