Leonardo DiCaprio: Actor praises Chester Zoo's conservation work

Leonardo Di Caprio
Leonardo DiCaprio has praised Chester Zoo for bringing back the golden skiffia fish from the dead

A Hollywood star has praised a British zoo for helping to bring a "rare fish species back from the dead".

Leonardo DiCaprio told his Instagram followers Chester Zoo had worked with conservationists in Mexico to release a school of golden skiffia fish back into the Teuchitlán river.

He applauded the "resurrection" of the 1,200 fish into their "native range".

"The freshwater fish had not been documented since the late 1990s," he added.

DiCaprio highlighted it had coincided with the country's traditional Day of the Dead celebrations, when the deceased are believed to return for one night.

https://www.instagram.com/p/ClSAW7dv3li/

After 30 years, a group of golden skiffia had been successfully bred by conservationists, preventing the fish from becoming globally extinct.

Chester Zoo worked with conservationists from the Michoacan University of Mexico and global experts from North and Latin America.

Two golden skiffia fish
Chester Zoo and international specialists worked on the conservation project in Mexico

Chester Zoo's regional programme manager for Latin America, Paul Bamford, said the project was a "great example" of how zoos could contribute to conservation in the field.

"Through conservation breeding and research, utilising the skills and experience that have been developed in zoos to help strengthen existing and new wild populations," he said.

Professor Omar Domínguez-Domínguez, from the Michoacan University of Mexico said releasing the fish during the Day of the Dead celebrations was a "metaphor for how the species has come back from the dead to return to its home".

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