Both Ricky Gervais and Leonardo DiCaprio have been honoured for their humanitarian work with the Genesis Award for Social Media, awarded by The Humane Society of the United States following their tireless promotions for animal rights across their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais

Taking to his Twitter account to break the news, Ricky said: "I am touched and honoured to have won a 2015 #GenesisAward for my online animal campaigning... Thanks @HumaneSociety (sic)".

Leonardo's work as executive producer of the documentary Virunga - raising awareness of the threat to mountain gorillas in the Congo - was one of the big reasons as to why he was also given recognition from the society.

Speaking to guests at a gala event last year where he raised $25 million for animal rights, Leonardo said at the time: "The wild species that depend on us to protect their habitat, like tigers whose numbers have plummeted to under 3,200 left in the wild, or African elephants, who are being slaughtered at a rate of over 30,000 a year for their ivory tusks - they have no voice.

"We must be their ambassadors. We must be their protectors. We must stop their slaughter. We must now make an effort to protect the rich biodiversity that could allow nature to eventually recover. The good news is there are solutions to these massive problems. Efforts like tonight will start addressing them."

Meanwhile, The Daily Show's departed host Jon Stewart was given The Sid Caesar Comedy Award and commended for addressing issues such as elephant slaughter on his show. Director Morgan Spurlock was also recognised and given the Reality Series gong for his investigation into why so many pets are being made homeless.


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