Vladimir Putin hails DiCaprio as a ‘real man`

Last Updated: Nov 24, 2010, 12:40 PM IST

New York: Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio has donated 1 million dollars to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for tiger conservation.

The actor, a member of WWF``s board, made the generous donation ahead of a endangered tiger summit held by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg, Russia.

He made the donation just two days after the Moscow-bound plane on which he had departed New York City’s JFK airport was forced to turn around and make an emergency landing after experiencing engine trouble.

“I don``t think anyone would want to continue their trip, but Mr. DiCaprio isn``t one of them. That``s what we call a real man,” the New York Post quoted Putin as telling a foreign news agency.

The Russian leader also praised the star both for his gift and the dedication he showed in making it to the summit.

In the statement, DiCaprio said, “If we don``t take action now, one of the most iconic animals on our planet could be gone in just a few decades. By saving tigers, we can also protect some of our last remaining ancient forests and improve the lives of indigenous communities.”

DiCaprio, 36, was joined by officials from the 13 countries in which tigers still exist at the summit, which aims to double the number of wild tigers by the year 2022.

ANI