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Putin calls DiCaprio ‘a real man’

Published time: November 24, 2010 01:53
Edited time: November 24, 2010 15:08

Hollywood superstar Leonardo DiCaprio had a rather difficult journey to St. Petersburg to attend the four-day tiger summit.

His tortuous first trip to Russia involved a plane which caught fire, and another which almost ran out of fuel after being rocked by raging Atlantic storms.

His first flight to the country on November 21 had to turn back to New York, when the Delta Boeing 767’s engine shut down in flames.

Undeterred and determined, the star switched to a small Gulfstream private jet – but strong winds over the Atlantic meant the airplane used up too much fuel and had to land in Finland’s capital.

After refueling in Helsinki, the Hollywood hero eventually made it to St. Petersburg.

His arrival was eagerly anticipated at the Mikhailovsky Theater where the International Forum on Tiger Conservation, organized by WWF, was taking place. In fact, DiCaprio is not just a member of the WWF board, he also donates $1 million to the tiger preservation program.

His titanic effort to attend the Tiger Forum won him praise from none other than Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who was also present at the conference.

“Mr DiCaprio has not just come to us, but simply burst through the frontline. Excuse me if you may, but in our country people usually say – that's what we call a real man. And I think that if people with such character would be responsible for defending nature or a tiger in this particular case, we're destined for success.”

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