Portia de Rossi starts a movement in Ellen’s honor


Isabel Johnson, Broadcast Editor

Ah, Ellen DeGeneres. The one who holds my heart. Well, mine and millions of others. Over the years she has exhibited grace, humor and above all, compassion. DeGeneres has shown a love and a fever for helping endangered animals, which did not go unnoticed by a special someone in her life.

On Jan. 26th, as she celebrated her 60th birthday, celebrities from all over the globe made videos to celebrate and thank DeGeneres for just being her. One person really nailed it in the gift giving section, her wife Portia de Rossi, gifted her something she would cherish for the rest of her life.

DeGeneres had always loved helping animals who could not help themselves. De Rossi presented DeGeneres with the Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. The camp is going to be used as a conservation and research center.

This also will give home to the researchers trying to battle with diseases and breeding, and the protectors of the gorillas, stand guard to make sure poachers don’t make it a step onto gorilla territory.

That wasn’t the only thing. De Rossi also set up the ellendegenereswildlifefund.org, which people can donate to, to help in the construction, research and housing.

“When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future.” Dian Fossey said.

Fossey was a primatologist and conservationist who did a rigorous, hands on, feet on the ground study about mountain gorillas in Rwanda. She pitched two tents in Rwanda, between Mount Karisimbi and Mount Visoke, and set about earning the passive and shy beasts, her trust.

In the 1960’s, society had deemed that gorillas were shoot-on-site monsters. But she was determined to prove that they were gentle giants who deserved a chance to not only survive, but thrive.

Fossey wrote a book called Gorillas in the Mist, detailing her discoveries and the way the animals interacted with each other and her. This was said to be the starting point for DeGeneres’s love for her.

Fossey said, in her book Gorillas in the Mist, “Little did I know then that by setting up two small tents in the wilderness of the Virungas I had launched the beginnings of what was to become an internationally renowned research station eventually to be utilized by students and scientists from many countries.”

She set up the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (F

ossey Fund), which DeGeneres continually donates to. By teaming up with Ellen DeGeneres and the wildlife fund, the gorillas are under the utmost protection, and the fight to save them grows. It is important to know that there are roughly only 800 mountain gorillas left.

The possible extinction of the mountain gorillas is mainly due to poachers now. But back in the day, it was due to humans thinking they were just beasts with a thirst for blood. This is why many big names are now donating to the fund. Because of humans being misinformed, a gentle, bashful species is in danger.

Seeing that DeGeneres also has done work to help elephants, the fund will allow her to give money to both animals. Or to whatever animal her heart desires. She has always had a passion for the knowledge, work, and life of Fossey, so to be able to carry on her legacy and give it a permanent home seemed to really move her.

Donating to the wildlife fund could save the life of a mountain gorilla or elephant or another exotic animal. So, if you have a desire to save gorillas, or contribute to endangered animals, easy donating can be done at ellendegenereswildlifefund.org.