updated: 8/14/2012 12:14:32 PM
Actor Josh Duhamel and prominent animal conservationist Saba Douglas-Hamilton will co-host the Indianapolis Prize Gala next month. The event will honor 2012 winner Steven Amstrup as well as five other finalists for this year's prize.
August 13, 2012
Indianapolis, Ind. -- The Indianapolis Prize is pleased to announce that well known actor and conservation supporter Josh Duhamel will join forces with one of the world’s most unique voices for animal conservation, television presenter Saba Douglas-Hamilton, to co-host the Indianapolis Prize Gala presented by Cummins Inc. on Sept. 29, 2012 at the JW Marriott Hotel downtown. Duhamel and Douglas-Hamilton will preside over a very special evening when the winner of the 2012 Indianapolis Prize, Dr. Steven Amstrup, will be honored, along with the other five finalists for the Prize. Dr. Amstrup, senior scientist of Polar Bears International, will receive $100,000 and the Lilly Medal in recognition of his priceless contributions to saving the polar bear from extinction.
The Gala will not only include these two dynamic co-hosts, but also feature outstanding video presentations on all six Prize finalists shot on location in high definition all over the world. Additional entertainment at the Gala will feature one of the world’s great singing voices plus several surprises.
Josh Duhamel got his first taste of the worldwide cause of animal conservation in 2008, when he traveled to Churchill, Manitoba, to meet polar bear scientist and the future winner of the Indianapolis Prize, Dr. Steven Amstrup, along with other scientists from Polar Bears International (PBI), and learn more about the efforts of PBI to save these magnificent animals. After touring Cape Churchill via Tundra Buggy and helicopter, he met with the Manitoba Minister of Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, as well as Churchill locals during a celebratory event. He then pledged to share simple steps with the world to make people aware of our global impact on the bears and their habitat, and recorded a public service announcement for PBI while on the Canadian tundra.
When presented with the opportunity to emcee this celebration of Dr. Amstrup and his contributions to polar bear conservation, Duhamel welcomed the chance to praise one of his true heroes. An animal lover to the core, Josh recently signed up as the spokesperson for PetSmart Charities’ “High-Five for Pet Adoption” campaign celebrating the five million pets’ lives that have been saved through PetSmart Charities’ Adoption Centers.
A dynamic and versatile actor and leading man, he won an Emmy for his outstanding work on “All My Children,” and he co-starred with James Caan for five seasons on the TV show “Las Vegas.” Josh Duhamel is no stranger to Indianapolis, either. He was a recent celebrity driver of the Indianapolis 500 Pace Car.
Saba Douglas-Hamilton was equally enthusiastic in accepting this assignment. Well known throughout the world as both an active conservationist and a television presenter, Douglas-Hamilton brings the message of protecting threatened and endangered animals to millions of viewers through such programs as Big Cat Diary and The Secret Life of Elephants.
Born in the Great Rift Valley, Kenya, Saba was introduced to her first elephant when she was just six weeks old. Along with the pet mongoose, genet cat, vulture, and her little sister, Saba spent her early years in the back of an open Land Rover while her zoologist parents (2010 Indianapolis Prize winner Iain Douglas-Hamilton and wife Oria) studied the social behavior of elephants. Growing up in the African bush she has survived plane crashes and a highly toxic snakebite, as well as being hunted on foot by a man-eating lioness. These close encounters with nature only served to enflame her passion for all wild creatures and catapult her into a career of wildlife film making with the BBC and Animal Planet. Since 2002, she has been flung out to the furthest corners of the earth in pursuit of penguins, chimps, tigers and polar bears to report from the frontline on the nuances of their behavior. She has hosted many wildlife documentaries and eight TV series for the BBC, and produced two award winning films for Animal Planet documenting previously unknown behavior: Heart of a Lioness and Rhino Nights.
Saba Douglas-Hamilton is passionately dedicated to the wilderness of Africa, its people and wildlife and lives in Kenya with her husband, maritime correspondent and author Frank Pope, and three children. Saba Douglas-Hamilton serves on the board of Save the Elephants, Iain Douglas-Hamilton’s charitable organization based in Kenya, and as a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
Tickets for the Indianapolis Prize Gala presented by Cummins Inc. are still available and can be purchased online at indianapolisprize.org/The Gala.
The Indianapolis Prize was initiated by the Indianapolis Zoo as a significant component of its mission to empower people and communities, both locally and globally, to advance animal conservation. This biennial award brings the world’s attention to the cause of animal conservation and the brave, talented and dedicated men and women who spend their lives saving the Earth’s endangered animal species. The Indianapolis Prize has received support from the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation since its inception in 2006.
Source: Indianapolis Prize