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DiCaprio praises Thai wildlife sanctuary for tiger numbers ‘roaring back’

Jul 30. 2019
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By The Nation

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Famous Hollywood actor and film producer Leonardo DiCaprio has thanked officials at the Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary for their forest protection efforts which contributed to a more than 60-per -cent increase in tiger numbers in the sanctuary.

Thailand’s wild tiger population now stands at 250.

In a post to his personal Instagram account to mark Global Tiger Day on July 29, DiCaprio sent kudos to the sanctuary.

"In Thailand’s Huai Kha Khaeng (HKK) Wildlife Sanctuary, tigers are roaring back thanks to a major long-term effort by the government of Thailand ... As a result, tiger numbers in the sanctuary have risen dramatically, from 41 in 2010-11 to 66 today – a more than 60 per cent increase. In addition, tigers moving beyond boundaries of the sanctuary are providing a foundation for a recovering population across the entire Western Forest Complex of Thailand, with benefits even spilling over across the border into the Taninthayi region of Myanmar. #GlobalTigerDay," DiCaprio wrote to his 33 million followers.

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, on the third anniversary of the historic Global Tiger Summit in 2013, awarded a $3 million grant to the organisation for a bold initiative to help Nepal double its wild tiger numbers by 2022 – the next Chinese Year of the Tiger.

The actor also joined the WWF campaign on "Save Tigers Now" (http://www.savetigersnow.org/) to raise awareness for the protection of wild tigers. Previous support from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation also showed major results, growing the number of tigers in Terai’s Bardia National Park from an estimated 18 tigers to 50 as of 2013, according to the WWF.

According to well-known tiger researcher Saksit Simcharoen, Thailand can boast significant success in conserving wild tigers, resulting in 250 tigers roaming the 10 forest complexes across 31 sanctuaries nationwide. He singled out Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary.

The global tiger population is estimated at 3,500 over 13 countries including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Vietnam and Thailand.

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