Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio made a secret visit to Mount Leuser National Park in southeast Aceh on Sunday (27/3).
Along with fellow actors Adrien Brody and Fisher Stevens, the budding environmental activist visited the park’s research facility in Ketambe, where the trio had close encounters with Sumatran orangutans and elephants.
DiCaprio has taken a personal interest in conserving the forests of the Bukit Tiga Puluh National Park through his Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. The national park faces constant threats from deforestation, mainly driven by palm oil field expansion.
“We need local, national and international involvement to protect Mount Leuser National Park. The park is one of the oldest national parks in Indonesia and was declared a Biosphere Reserve by Unesco in 1981,” said Andi Basrul, who runs Mount Leuser National Park.
The national park is also Unesco World Heritage Site and a natural habitat for some critically endangered species, including the Sumatran orangutans, Sumatran tigers, Sumatran elephants and Sumatran rhinoceros.
DiCaprio recently spread the message through his Twitter account, urging participation to boost the conservation efforts.
Sumatra’s unique ecosystem and biodiversity have attracted many activists and award-winning celebrities. As part of an environmental documentary made three years ago, actor Harrison Ford conducted a hard-hitting interview with Indonesia’s forestry minister, urging him to take action on illegal logging activities in Sumatra and to adopt more sustainable forestry practices.