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The WWF announced today that Jared Leto has joined their organization as a Global Ambassador, tackling the world's most pressing environmental issues.The WWF announced today that Jared Leto has joined their organization as a Global Ambassador, tackling the world's most pressing environmental issues.

Jared Leto Joins WWF As Global Ambassador

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The WWF announced today that Oscar winner Jared Leto has joined their organization as a Global Ambassador, tackling the world’s most pressing environmental issues.

The “30 Seconds to Mars” musician recently returned from a trip with the WWF to South Africa where he witnessed firsthand the atrocities of the rhino poaching crisis.

While in South Africa, Leto was able to tag and collar three southern white rhinos as part of a translocation program in which they, plus 100 others, will be moved from high poaching areas to undisclosed locations to help with breeding efforts.

Leto’s involvement with the cause couldn’t come at a better time. Despite efforts from global conservation organizations, like the WWF, a total of 1,215 rhinos were illegally killed in South Africa in 2014, a 21 percent increase from 1,004 killed in 2013.

In a statement, Leto said: “My latest adventure in South Africa was as mind-blowing as always. Being that close to majestic creatures like rhinos and elephants reminds me of the deep connection and important responsibility we have to protect and shepherd these fragile species and their habitats. I’m committed and passionate about doing all I can to help ensure that these endangered animals survive, and will continue to encourage others to get into action as well.”

Leto’s dedication to animal causes is well-known. Last year, PETA crowned the long-haired star as its Sexiest Vegetarian of 2014 and he’s been a huge animal advocate for many years.

“We must join together and protect these powerful yet extremely vulnerable animals from all the senseless slaughter and double our efforts to restore their populations across Africa and Asia,” said Leto. “It can and—with a focused global effort—will be done. I’m honored to join with WWF and the global conservation community and do my part. I hope you will too.”

Leto’s announcement comes at the one-year anniversary of President Obama‘s National Strategy for Combatting Wildlife Trafficking, a three-pronged plan that includes toughening domestic and global enforcement, reducing demand for illegally traded wildlife at home and abroad and strengthening international partnerships to combat wildlife poaching.

We congratulate Jared on his new role, and wish him, and the rhinos, much success.

Watch Jared, here:

Photo: WWF

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