After Hollywood actor and climate activist Leonardo DiCaprio showered praise on the Assam government's efforts to end poaching of one-horned rhinos in the Kaziranga National Park, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday invited the Oscar-winning Hollywood star to visit the state.
In an Instagram post on Thursday, the actor said: "In 2021, the government of the Indian state of Assam set out to end the poaching of the Endangered Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros in Kaziranga National Park following the killing of around 190 animals for their horns between 2000 and 2021. In 2022, they met their goal and no rhinos were poached in the area for the first time since 1977.
"Kaziranga National Park is home to 2,200 greater one-horned rhinos, which is about two-thirds of the world's population. This triumph in India also comes with more good news, as WWF also reports that the world population of the rare rhino soared to around 3,700 from about 200 at the turn of the 20th century."
Taking to Twitter on Friday in response, the Chief Minister said: "Preserving wildlife is integral to our cultural identity. We are dedicated to persevering and safeguarding our rich cultural heritage.
"Thank you for your kind words, @LeoDiCaprio, and I extend a warm invitation to you to visit Kaziranga and Assam."
The Kaziranga National Park witnessed only one case of rhino poaching in the year 2021 -- the lowest figure in 21 years.
From 2000 to 2015, a total of 153 poaching cases were registered.
Assam houses the highest population of one-horned rhinos in India.
Out of 2,657 rhinos, 2,413 live in Kaziranga National Park.