The mission of the Indianapolis Zoo is to empower people and communities, both locally and globally, to advance animal conservation.

​​​​​​​​​​"We're not a zoo doing conservation; we're a global conservation organization that is a  zoo," says Indianapolis Zoo President and CEO, Mike Crowther.

The Indianapolis Zoo is also committed to sustainability — the ability of humans to provide responsible stewardship of the Earth's limited and precious resources. The entire Zoo staff is involved with efforts to lead the way by making the Zoo itself as green as possible.

A sampling of our connections to worldwide conservation include:

Indianapolis Prize

The biennial Indianapolis Prize, is a program of the Indianapolis Zoo and recognized as the world's leading award for animal conservation. The Indianapolis Prize is awarded to an individual who has made significant strides in animal conservation. In addition to a $250,000 cash award, the Winner — selected from among six Finalists — receives the Lilly Medal and each of the other five Finalists receives $10,000. The 2016 Indianapolis Prize Winner, Dr. Carl Jones, was announced in May, and on Oct. 15, 2016, he and the Finalists were celebrated at a black-tie gala in downtown Indianapolis presented by Cummins Inc. Visit for complete information, or follow the Prize on Facebook and Twitter. 

Hix Institute for Research and Conservation

Creating the guiding principles that help the Indianapolis Zoo fulfill its mission comes under the auspices of the Hix Institute for Research and Conservation. The Institute approaches conservation with multiple strategic objectives that are carried out through a variety of programs that build awareness of conservation issues; promote sustainable behavior; protect wildlife and wild places; and advance conservation knowledge.​​