Leonardo DiCaprio to help save Indian tiger


NEW DELHI -- Leonardo DiCaprio will lend his star power to raise awareness about India's efforts to save the tiger.

DiCaprio -- who is also an ambassador for the World Wildlife Fund -- recently met India's environment minister Jairam Ramesh in New York at a reception organized by the Coalition of Rainforest Nations, according to local media reports Saturday. Ramesh was quoted stating that the 35-year-old Hollywood star was “very interested in the cause of tiger conservation. Somebody like him could play an important role in sensitizing the global community to the cause of the Indian tiger.”

“Tigers are endangered and critical to some of the world's most important ecosystems,” DiCaprio had said in a public message released by WWF in May, adding, “Key conservation efforts can save the tiger species from extinction, protect some of the planet's last wild habitats and help sustain the local communities surrounding them. By protecting this iconic species, we can save so much more.”

India is home to an estimated 1,400 of the global tiger population of 3,200.

DiCaprio has also been invited to India, according to Coalition for Rainforest Nations executive director Kevin Conrad, who said, “Leonardo has now started traveling around the world looking at tigers, trying to assess the role of climate change on tiger habitats. We are inviting him to India. We want to get him to India and working with India on the issue of climate, forests and habitats.”

A keen environmentalist, DiCaprio is also involved with Papua New Guinea's campaign to raise awareness about the impact of climate change on that country's forests.

Meanwhile, top Indian celebrities are also associated with tiger conservation. Leading broadcaster New Delhi Television launched its Save The Tiger campaign last year supported by Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan.
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