Hollywood star Leonardo Dicaprio last paid an incognito visit to Nepal in May, 2010 in association with World Wildlife
Foundation (WWF). In his three-day visit, he went to the Bardiya National Park in far-western Nepal to meet wildlife conservation officials and locals, with the paparazzi remaining lamentably unaware of the trip. He had initiated the campaign ‘Save Tigers Now’ to double the number of tigers worldwide. Now, after three years, the actor makes news once again regarding the very initiative. Dicaprio, who is currently a board member of WWF, has donated $3 m to save tigers in Nepal.
According to reports, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has awarded the grant to WWF to help Nepal double its wild tiger population by 2022. The grant will support WWF’s work with the government of Nepal and local communities in Nepal’s Terai Arc landscape to “strengthen anti-poaching patrols, protect core areas for tiger breeding, restore critical corridors for their dispersal and expansion and continuously monitor tiger populations.” The year 2022 was chosen because it’s the next Chinese Year of the Tiger.
So far, the foundation has helped increase the tiger population in the national park from 18 to 50.
“His foundation is all about delivering real results for conservation on the ground and empowering local communities; nowhere is that more evident than in Nepal,” said Carter Roberts, president of the WWF.
The DiCaprio Foundation aims to protect “Earth’s last wild places and foster a harmonious relationship between humanity and the natural world”.
Earlier this year, the foundation raised $38.8 (£23.9m) million through donations and an art auction at Christie’s in New York.
The tiger grant is the first from the proceeds of the auction, according to the WWF.