Leonardo DiCaprio donates $3 million to benefit wild tigers

Leonardo DiCaprio is once again putting his money where his mouth is, donating $3 million through his Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation to help the World Wildlife Fund protect and nurture tigers in Nepal.

At the 2010 Global Tiger Summit, a goal was set the double the number of wild tigers by 2022, the next Chinese year of the tiger. The  donation will be used specifically in Nepal, which is one of 13 countries with a wild tiger population.

"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. "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."

With the money, park rangers at the 9,000-square-mile Terai Arc Landscape of  Nepal will be able to combine sophisticated monitoring tools with community policing to fight poaching. The entire TAL, which crosses borders, includes four preserves in Nepal and seven in India, according to the WWF. The grant will also be used to strengthen corridors between parks, allowing the tigers and other species more room to safely roam and grow their ranks.

"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."

Seven million people live in the area, the WWF said.

Three years ago almost to the day, as part of the Global Tiger Summit (which he attended after a little air-travel setback) DiCaprio donated $1 million toward wild tiger preservation. 



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