In his next quest to protect the environment famous US actor Leonardo DiCaprio has decided to help Kyrgyzstan, a small Central Asian country north of China, to re-introduce the indigenous population of the Caspian Red Deer, the project’s manager in Kyrgyzstan, Gamal Soronkulov, told Sputnik.
Leonardo DiCaprio, one Hollywood's best actors, is also a vivid environmental activist. In 1998, the US actor founded his own organization, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF), aimed at protecting the world's last wild places.
With over 25 million followers, LDF has worked to protect some of the key animal species around the world — sharks off the coast of California, Asian tigers and elephants in Africa. DiCaprio's organization has also urged world leaders to address the issue of climate change.
The rapidly decreasing population of the Caspian Red Deer in Central Asia, also known as Maral or Noble Deer, has become another issue that LDF plans to tackle. The environmental foundation will work together with the government of Kyrgyzstan and try to re-introduce the Caspian Red Deer into the country, according to Soronkulov.
"The objective of the project is to return Marals to their native habitat [in Kyrgyzstan]," Soronkulov told Sputnik.
LDF has given $30,000 to support the project. Most of the money will be spent on transportation costs, according to the budget.
The project plans to move 10 deer — two males and eight females — from the Tian Shan Mountains into Kyrgyzstan's Naryn wild reserve in the Avletim Aksy district of the country, the head of the project said.
LDF will also help to set up a specially protected reserve in the Kyrgyz Ala-Too Mountain Range for the transported deer.
One of the key things is to protect the animals from poachers.
"The residents of the Aksy district are eager to protect the deer. The cases of poaching increased, but the local indigenous population now knows that you cannot shoot the animals," Soronkulov told Sputnik.
Currently, there are only 427 Caspian Red Deer left in Kyrgyzstan. Marals are one of the most easternmost subspecies of red deer native to the southern areas of the Black Sea, the Caucasus Mountains and parts of Central Asia, including Kyrgyzstan.
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