Leonardo DiCaprio donates USD 3 million to save Nepal`s tigers

PTI| Updated: Nov 22, 2013, 20:05 PM IST

Los Angeles: Actor Leonardo DiCaprio through his foundation has awarded USD 3 million to World Wildlife Fund to support Nepal`s attempt to protect and nurture tigers in the country.

"Time is running out for the world`s remaining 3,200 tigers, largely the result of habitat destruction and escalating illegal poaching," WWF board member DiCaprio said in a statement, reported Aceshowbiz.

"WWF, the government of Nepal and local communities are on the front lines of this battle, and I am hopeful this grant will help them exceed the goal of doubling the number of these noble creatures in the wild," he further said.

The donation will be used to help achieve the goal to double the number of wild tigers by 2022, the next Chinese year of the tiger. With the money, park rangers at the 9,000-square-mile Terai Arc Landscape of Nepal will be able to "strengthen anti-poaching patrols, protect core areas for tiger breeding, restore critical corridors for their dispersal and expansion and continuously monitor tiger populations."

"Protecting a top predator like the tiger helps keep forests and grasslands intact, and ensures that other species like rhinos and elephants can thrive," said Justin Winters, executive director of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, in a statement.

"The most impressive part of this project - and the key to its success so far - is the true collaboration between WWF, the Nepal government and the local communities. Finding solutions that protect tigers and benefit local people is the only way to ensure long-term success."

In May, DiCaprio raised USD 38.8 million through donations and an art auction at Christie`s in New York.