Leonardo DiCaprio launches campaign to save rhinos and elephants

New York: Leonardo DiCaprio helped World Wildlife Fund (WWF) launch a new animal rights campaign, the “Hands Off My Parts” initiative, on Monday.

The initiative is aiming to bring awareness to the rhinos, tigers and elephants that are being killed for their skins, bones, tusks, horns and other body parts.

The 38-year-old actor sent a personal e-mail to urge the public to join the initiative, which includes spreading the word and signing a global petition calling on Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to ban all ivory trade in Thailand, the New York Post reported.

DiCaprio wrote in his letter that illegal wildlife trade is the most urgent threat facing species like tigers, rhinos and elephants, who are being killed every day to feed an escalating demand for their body parts.

He said that whole populations were at risk of being wiped out if immediate action wasn’t taken to shut down the illegal trade.

He added that as a key step he was joining WWF and others, who are calling on Thailand’s government to show leadership on elephant conservation by shutting down their ivory market before the country hosts a meeting of 177 nations on wildlife trade in March 2013.

DiCaprio and other celebrity animal rights activists like Emily VanCamp, Josh Bowman, Stacy Keibler, Alyssa Milano, Ian Somerhalder and Ethan Suplee have banded together to urge immediate action on illegal wildlife trade.