Today Leonardo DiCaprio did the unthinkable and managed to get the word “tiger” into headlines without “golf” or “hookers” appearing anywhere near it. The Oscar-nominated actor has partnered up with the World Wildlife Foundation to create “Save Tigers Now,” an awareness campaign that aims to do just that. With less than 3,200 tigers left in the wild, the endangered species is teetering on the brink of extinction.
In recognition of 2010 being the Chinese Year of the Tiger, the organization seeks not only to raise $20 million for the protection of the feline, but also to double their population by the next Year of the Tiger in 2022.
“Tigers are endangered and critical to some of the world’s most important ecosystems,” said DiCaprio to the Daily Express, “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.”
Leo is currently in Asia doing first-hand research on the animal and their natural habitats. While there he also plans to participate in anti-poaching patrols and meet with guards assigned to protect tigers from international traffickers. This is the latest in a long line of environmental projects he has undertaken, including “The 11th Hour” documentary in 2007, and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.
Cool stuff. But then again, he is the King of the World.