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Penguin expert wins leading award in animal conservation

Pablo Borboroglu was named the 2023 Winner of the Indianapolis Prize, the world's leading award for animal conservation. Borboroglu was honored for his decades worth of conservation work with penguins in London on May 16, 2023. (Provided Photo/Indianapolis Zoo)

LONDON (WISH) — The Indianapolis Zoological Society Inc. announced in a release Tuesday they have chosen the winner of the 2023 Indianapolis Prize, the world’s leading award for animal conservation.

Pablo Borboroglu, who has a doctorate in biology, was announced as the prize winner in London Tuesday. He was also dubbed “Hero for Penguins and the Planet!”

Borboroglu, an expert on penguin ecology and land and sea conservation, has spent more than thirty years studying penguins and leading conservation efforts across four continents.

He is the founder and president of the Global Penguin Society, which has protected 32 million acres of penguin habitat since its founding in 2009. He is also co-founder and co-chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Penguin Specialist Group.

Rob Shumaker, president and chief executive officer of Indianapolis Zoological Society Inc., said this in a statement.

Dr. Pablo Borboroglu is responsible for major achievements in understanding penguin behavior and ecology. He has preserved millions of acres of critical penguin habitat, which is an
astonishing achievement. He is a powerful, optimistic, and expert voice for animal conservation
and is extremely deserving of this year’s Indianapolis Prize.

Rob Shumaker, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Zoological Society Inc.

Borboroglu says he is incredibly humbled and grateful to receive the award, and says he knows this award will be instrumental in protecting penguins and encouraging people to safeguard the environment.

“Needing both land and sea, penguins face unprecedented threats requiring large-scale change. It is only through our collective efforts that we can ensure our environment and its wildlife are able to thrive,” Borboroglu said in the release.

Borboroglu is the ninth winner of the prize and the first from South America. Along with the prize, he will receive $250,000, which is the largest monetary prize in the world that supports conservation work.

He and five other prize finalists, along with the inaugural Emerging Conservationist Award winner, will be celebrated at the Indianapolis Prize gala on Sept. 30.