03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Leonardo DiCaprio: Actor And Animal Advocate

Leonardo Dicaprio has been interested in animals since he was a kid. Before his acting career, one of his dreams was to travel the world and see all of its disappearing species. Now, as an adult, he's using his star power to help fight to save those species he read about as a child.

Working with IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare), Leonardo has committed himself to protecting animals all around the world. On October 4, 2009, IFAW and Leonardo announced a program that will protect animals and their habitats around around the globe.

One example of their efforts is the work they are currently beginning in Kenya. Leonardo highlights their efforts there on a video on IFAW's web site. He explains that Kenya's Meru National Park was mostly destroyed by poachers in the 1970's and 1980's. IFAW has pledged $1 million dollars over the next five years to restore the park to its original state.

As an IFAW Honorary Board Member, Leonardo feels strongly about the plight animals face in today's world: "It's our responsibility not just to protect our planet but also its animals." DiCaprio has always been an outspoken supporter of the environment, and now he's bringing his support to animals too. "Animals are an integral part of human existence and we must always remember that. Unfortunately, that face more threats than ever before. These are threats that, if we all work together, we can begin to alleviate."

The animals are always lucky to have a friend, and a famous ally like Leonardo DiCaprio is a friend indeed. Through his example and commitment, more people will hopefully become aware of the struggles animals face in today's world and begin doing their part to help.