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Leonardo DiCaprio gets Mexican President to Commit to Saving Rare Porpoise

Published on May 14th, 2017 | Updated on May 14th, 2017 | By FanFest

Leonardo DiCaprio is going to save the planet, one endangered species at a time!  The Academy Award-winning actor is a huge advocate for protecting the environment and has made statements on many issues impacting the world today including climate change, oil drilling in addition to making public pleas for the protection of endangered species.

Last week, DiCaprio set his sights on saving the most endangered marine mammal in the world, the vaquita.  The vaquita is on the critically endangered species list and there is believed to be less than 30 of the species left in the world.  According to the World Wildlife Fund website, vaquita are often caught and drowned in gillnets used by illegal fishing operations in marine protected areas within Mexico’s Gulf of California. Though discovered in g1958, the population has dropped drastically in the last few years.

DiCaprio made a plea via twitter, asking for his following to join him as well as the WWF to help protect the animal on the brink of extinction by signing a petition and sending a letter to the Mexican president asking for his help in doing so.

On Thursday, Enrique Peña Nieto responded to DiCaprio saying,  “all its efforts to prevent the extinction of the species.”  Peña Nieto’s reply represents one of the most high profile pledges to save the animal, which has seen population numbers plummet from about 60 to just 30 in the past year.

The vaquita often fall victim to illegal fishing operations by finding themselves caught in nets meant to catch another critically endangered species called the totoaba.  The swim bladder is considered a delicacy in parts of Asia, where it’s known as “aquatic cocaine” that can sell for as much as $10,000 a kilogram.

The Mexican government has shown support to scientist efforts to save the species before which even led to halting fisheries and putting an emergency two-year ban on the use of gill nets in the area however, that ban has expired as of April.  There was even a proposal to capture and breed several vaquita in an effort to repopulate their numbers however, no one has ever caught one alive.

Peña Nieto noted on Twitter that the government has more than “300 marines, 15 boats and unmanned aircraft systems” watching over the vaquita’s habitat, and protection zones have expanded to “three times larger than the original.”

Peña Nieto’s response to DiCaprio’s tweet is one of the most high profile pledges to save the animal ever!  Great job, Leo!  We applaud your efforts to help persevere our planet and, to us, you truly are the king of the world!

 

Source: Huffington Post

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