Ian Somerhalder Appears Before Congress in Support of Wildlife Preservation

The Vampire Diaries hottie headed to Captiol Hill to lobby in the name of his budding environmental foundation

Gorgeous and a do-gooder!

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

"Environmental conservation has not just always been a passion of mine, but a priority (of mine)," he said as he made a plea to Congress to pass the bill H.R. 50, the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Reauthorization Act of 2011. 

During his speech, the impassioned actor -- who started the foundation in December, as a birthday present to himself -- rattled off numerous statistics and facts about endangered tigers, rhinos, African and Asian elephants, marine turtles and apes.

"Species conservation 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."

Somerhalder managed to capture our hearts with his portrayal on the vampire series, but to know he is a compassionate human being in real life makes our crush that much sweeter.


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