India has been selected as the next stop in Leonardo DiCaprio’s campaign with the World Wildlife Fund to draw awareness to the plight of tigers. The “Inception” star met with Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh to discuss potential ways for him to get involved in the cause of the Indian tiger.
“He (DiCaprio) 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 sensitizing the global community to the cause of the Indian tiger,” Ramesh said in an interview.
Earlier this year, before “Inception” became his second highest-grossing movie ever, DiCaprio traveled 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.”
By working with the WWF on their “Save Tigers Now” campaign, the 35-year-old hopes to help raise more than $20 million to double the tiger population by 2022. But Leo says it’s more than just tigers were saving — it’s also habitat.
“The Indonesian rain forests and jungles throughout all of Asia are being decimated, cut down and not protected,” he said earlier in July. “The animals are being poached so the idea is to take this one species, bring a lot of funding behind it, get the local communities involved to protect the animal, get more anti-poachers in place and you can save their habitat.” No date has been set, but expect DiCaprio to travel to India sometime in the coming months.