Wild Animal Unique Personality Award

Our annual award celebrates wild animals' strong, unique and lovable personalities at high-welfare venues that contribute to ending their commercial exploitation. 

Wild animals deserve to be celebrated as individuals

World Animal Protection's Wild Animal Unique Personality Award raises awareness that wild animals are sentient beings with individual personalities and should never be objectified as commodities. 

What will the award be looking for?

The award will be granted to a wild animal with specific behaviour or character traits that highlight their personality, intelligence, or emotions in engaging and unique ways, while reinforcing their wild nature. These traits might be considered goofy, clever, ingenious, manipulative, opportunistic, resourceful, protective, impulsive, helpful, or caring, among others.

The power of personality

Animals have unique natural behaviours and character traits that highlight their personality, intelligence and complex emotional lives. Understanding animal sentience is essential in compelling society to change how it treats animals.

When we stop to regard animals' feelings, we cannot overlook the pain caused to wild animals through commercial exploitation. Animals don't deserve just a life of survival but an enriching life.

Audrey Mealia's Legacy

The Wild Animal Unique Personality Award runs in honour of Audrey Mealia, a loved and respected member of World Animal Protection's wildlife team, and her conviction to protect animals from commercial exploitation and promote what makes each of us unique.


Celebrating the venues that foster their natural behaviours

The award platforms the incredible venues that, in recognising unique animal behaviours, provide wild animals with the best possible care. 

By introducing these venues' work to our global audiences, we can elevate their public understanding of high-level animal welfare and set a standard that will push other facilities to improve their care.

The Prize

There will be a one-off prize of 10,000 USD to the winner, which is to be used to provide care and protection to the wild animals at the facility

Venue Eligibility Criteria

The award has strict eligibility criteria to ensure submissions are from high welfare sanctuaries and rescue centres; requirements include:

  • that the behaviours and traits of the animal did not develop through training or reflect negative impact through captivity,
  • the venue meets responsible tourism requirements, such as no direct contact with wild animals, selfies, or animal entertainment,
  • enclosures are appropriate for their species and their individual physiological and behavioural needs.

If you are a venue and would like to know more about applying in the future, please contact: AudreyAward@worldanimalprotection.org