A red carpet and celebrity glitz greeted our chief scientist, Dr. Steve Amstrup, at the recent Bambi Awards 2012 in Düsseldorf, Germany—a world away from the frigid cold and blizzard conditions of the Arctic where he has spent most of his career.
Amstrup was there to receive the Our Earth Bambi Award in recognition of his conservation work with polar bears and climate change. Famous German wildlife filmmaker and adventurer Andreas Kieling, who has created remarkable films about polar bears and many other species all over the world, introduced Amstrup at the star-studded ceremony. Kieling and Amstrup met twice before in Churchill during the polar bear migration. Amstrup said he was very excited to have someone as accomplished as Andreas—and someone he knows—introduce him.
The Bambi Awards are the biggest media event in Germany each year, put on by Hubert Burda Media to recognise excellence in international media and television. The award consists of a gold Bambi statuette in the shape of the fawn immortalized in the tale Bambi, A Life in the Woods.
"I am incredibly honored to have received a Bambi," Amstrup said. "Most of these are awarded to entertainers of various kinds. But each year, the Herburt Burda media group and the Award Jury also select a few people who have made significant humanitarian contributions, major physical achievements, or important strides in conservation. The fact that Dr. Burda and the Jury felt my work was worthy of this incredible recognition is a truly awe-inspiring and humbling experience. "
Over two million people across Europe watched the event, providing a large audience for Amstrup's conservation message. Among other awards that night were those to Canadian superstar Celine Dion in the entertainment category, to actress Salma Hayek for film,and to Dr. Ruth Pfau for humanitarian efforts in Pakistan.
Earlier this year, Amstrup was awarded the 2012 Indianapolis Prize, the world's leading award for animal conservation.