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article imageLeonardo DiCaprio to help save India's tigers

By Subir Ghosh     Sep 26, 2010 in Environment
New Delhi - Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio will visit India soon to see tigers in the wild and promote global awareness about their dwindling numbers.
The Titanic star, who is an ambassador of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), met India's minister for environment and forests Jairam Ramesh in New York on Friday to discuss ways to get involved in tiger conservation, the Press Trust of India news agency has reported. In fact, DiCaprio teamed up with the WWF in May to launch a campaign called Save Tigers Now.
Incidentally, September 26 is observed as World tiger Day.
“He (Di Caprio) is very keen to work on tiger conservation. He wants to take on a more visible role. Somebody like him could play an important role in sensitising the global community to the cause of the Indian tiger,” Ramesh said. No date has been set yet for DiCaprio's visit but it is expected to be in the next couple of months. "Right now it is celebrity and a cause, let's take it from there," said Ramesh.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in  Inception
Leonardo DiCaprio and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 'Inception'
Warner Bros
Earlier this year, DiCaprio travelled to Nepal to see first-hand conservation programs aimed at increasing the estimated 3,200 tigers left in the wild worldwide. “Tigers are endangered and critical to some of the world’s most important ecosystems,” he said back in May. “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's endangered tiger population has plummeted to 1,411 ― just over a third of the 3,700 estimated to be alive in 2002. WWF India already has a massive campaign under way called Save Our Tigers.
In the past 100 years wild tiger numbers have declined 97 per cent. There may be as few as 3 200 wil...
In the past 100 years wild tiger numbers have declined 97 per cent. There may be as few as 3,200 wild tigers left in existence, the lowest number ever recorded. In India, only 1,411 are left according to an official estimate.
Paul Mannix
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