Ian Somerhalder Testifies Before Congress for Wildlife Preservation

Celebrity News Jul. 28, 2011 AT 8:02PM
Ian Somerhalder Testifies Before Congress for Wildlife Preservation Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage

He's wild at heart!

Ian Somerhalder testified before Congress Thursday for wildlife conversation. The Vampire Diaries actor, 32, is head of the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, which aims to empower, educate and collaborate with people to help them positively impact the planet and its creatures.

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"Wildlife and environmental conservation has always been not just a passion, but a priority of mine," he said. His foundation "focuses its work around three themes: habitat conservation, species protection and clean energy initiatives."

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In an attempt to get congress to consider H.R. 50, a multinational special conservation funds reauthorization act, the actor touted statistics about endangered tigers, rhinos, African and Asian elephants, marine turtles and apes.

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"Species conversation is beyond a doubt an issue that truly matters to the American public," he said. "We're lucky in this case, because many of our most beloved wildlife species are clinging to survival by a thread."

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