Mumbai : Sanctuary Asia’s 16th Sanctuary Wildlife Awards, supported by DSP BlackRock, Deutsche Bank and Wilderness Partner Taj Safaris, were declared on Thursday. The awards, instituted in the year 2000, recognise the contribution of people towards protecting the wilderness.

Thomas Rajan, for his stunning image titled ‘Jungle Blur’ epitomising the grace and speed of wild cats, became the Sanctuary’s Wildlife Photographer of the year, and was chosen from 3,000 entries. The Lifetime Service Award was won by the Alvares, a husband-wife duo from Goa Foundation, the Green teacher Award was won by Lucknow-based Anurag Kumar, and Sanctuary Legend Award was won by Ashok Kumar — a pioneer of fightback against wildlife crime in India.

The Young Naturalists Awards were won by Viral Joshi, a 22-year-old lecturer on bird studies from Gujarat; Sailaja Nayak, a 25-year-old working to protect tigers in northwest India; and Vijender Singh Panwa who works as a nature guide with Jabarkhet Nature Reserve. The awards will be presented today at the National Centre for the Performing Arts.

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