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Leonardo DiCaprio recently met with India’s Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh at a reception in New York where the two discussed DiCaprio’s goal to raise global awareness about India’s dwindling number of tigers.

“The actor met the minister and has expressed his interest to play a crucial role in sensitizing the global community to the cause of the Indian tiger,” a senior environment ministry told AFP in New Delhi, “DiCaprio plans to come to India to be a part of the conservation efforts.”

Tiger hunting is illegal worldwide and the trade in tiger parts is banned under a treaty binding 167 countries, yet despite it being illegal, India’s endangered tiger population has plummeted to 1,350 — just over a third of the 3,700 estimated to be alive in 2002.

And despite the new measures, poachers killed 32 tigers in 2009 and three this year, according to the Wildlife Protection Society of India and the government has enlisted former soldiers to be part of a “tiger protection force” in state-run sanctuaries.

Earlier this year, Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan joined a campaign to protect the tiger.

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