Leonardo DiCaprio: Russians urge star to help 'save' endangered Lake Baikal

Clémence Michallon

Russian social media users are urging Leonardo DiCaprio to help “save” an endangered Siberian lake.

Dozens of people have left comments on the movie star’s latest Instagram publication using the hashtag #saveBaikal – a reference to the Save Baikal campaign to preserve the lake against pollution.

Lake Baikal, dubbed the Pearl of Siberia, is located in Russia close to the Mongolian border.

It contains about 20 per cent of world’s fresh surface water, according to the World Wildlife Fund, and houses 2,000 plant and animal species.

The lake is currently threatened by “pollution, poaching and development”, per the WWF, which cited industrial pollution, mining activities, and agricultural runoff among the specific threats currently endangering Lake Baikal.

“Leo, please save Lake Baikal”, reads one of the many comments on the actor’s Instagram account.

“Dear Leo! We believe in you all over Russia! Don’t stay indifferent – help save Lake Baikal!” reads another message.

A view of Lake Baikal taken on 11 December, 2000 from the village of Listvyanka. (ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)

DiCaprio, a longtime environmental activist who created his foundation in 1998, appears to be a logical choice for people looking to bring the issue to a celebrity’s attention.

He dedicated part of his 2016 Oscar acceptance speech to climate change, telling the audience: “Climate change is real, it is happening right now.

“It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.”