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NEW YORK (AP) -- Leonardo DiCaprio wants to help the tiger population of Nepal.

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His Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has awarded $3 million in grants to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to work with the Nepal government on protecting the animals.

In a statement Wednesday, the actor and activist said he's "hopeful" the money will help "exceed the goal" of doubling the tiger population that exists in Nepal now.

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The money will help build up anti-poaching patrols and protect and restore areas for them to breed and expand.

The hope is to increase the number of tigers in Nepal by 2022, which is the Chinese Year of the Tiger.

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Thirty-nine-year-old DiCaprio is a WWF board member.