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Leonardo DiCaprio and the International Fund for Animal Welfare ask for African lion protection from huntersLeonardo DiCaprio and the International Fund for Animal Welfare ask for African lion protection from hunters

Protect African Lions from Hunters with DiCaprio and IFAW

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When Leonardo DiCaprio said he was taking a break from acting to focus on the environment, he wasn’t joking. On Facebook today, the actor asked fans to help protect African lions from hunters.

“African lions, like other big cats, are in trouble. The population of African lions in their natural habitat has dropped by nearly 50 percent over the past three decades. Even worse, the U.S. is the world’s largest importer of African lion trophies and parts. Please help protect lions by getting them listed as an endangered species,” he posted.

The “Django Unchained” actor is speaking out on behalf of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). The animal protection organization is hoping to get African lions placed on the Endangered Species list.

“It is critical that the U.S. government receives hundreds of thousands of notes during the public comment period urging it to protect lions,” the site says. “Lions have disappeared from over 80 percent of their historic range, and their population declined by nearly 50 percent  from just 1980 to 2002. The threats facing African lions today are numerous and reinforcing: habitat destruction and fragmentation, loss of traditional prey species, disease, and inevitable conflict with humans.”

IFAW and DiCaprio ask anyone willing to please sign a personal note to U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar, which asks him to take action now to save these precious animals.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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