HOLLYWOOD – Today, Academy Award winner Leonardo DiCaprio announced that he would like to dedicate his win “to the plight of lions, tigers and bears… worldwide.”

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio“I have always had a great affinity to animals,” DiCaprio explained during the hastily prepared press conference today.  “This goes beyond that.  I want to raise awareness, particularly among our fellow animal performers, without who the likes of ‘We Bought a Zoo,’ and ‘Kung Fu Panda’ would be meaningless.”

When a reporter corrected DiCaprio, noting “Kung Fu Panda” was an animated film, the actor abruptly ended the interview.

DiCaprio, who became the public face of the “anti-prairie oyster” movement in 2014, has long shown an interest in the well-being of animal performers working in the Hollywood system.   Starting with his friendship with the animal wrangler on 2002’s “Gangs of New York,” DiCaprio began speaking publically shortly afterward about the “horrible, long hours” spent by animals involved in a major film production.

“The lights are hot and the hours long and tedious,” DiCaprio said in a 2003 interview with “Amazing Animalist” magazine.  “They literally get paid peanuts and it’s a terrible lens through which to see our industry, one that has since its inception been dedicated to speaking out against injustice and advocating for fairness.  Well at least sort of recently anyway.”

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