Ian Somerhalder is well-known for his advocacy work supporting the environment. He recently visited the International Bird Rescue (IBR) in San Pedro, California for a press conference and bird release mission.
Somerhalder’s visit was to bring attention to the hard work and dedication of the volunteers that work to help nurse injured birds back to health. Many of the injured birds received their injuries through human intervention, including becoming entangled in debris and oil spills.
“The gulf oil spill was the tipping point for me,” Somerhalder said. “I lost it, as I could hear the pelicans crying. I knew it was time to use my platform to create immediate change. Animal and environmental protection is no joke. It’s a priority of mine, not just a passion. I encourage everyone to watch these ‘We All Love Wildlife’ videos, and to share your stories at #HowDoYouLoveWildlife.”
In addition to advocating for other organizations, Somerhalder has also launched his own foundation, the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, in 2010 to work on environmental issues through raising awareness and funds. The foundation is represented in 170 countries around the world.
The press conference was presented in part by Dawn Dish Soap, which is the brand of soap that wildlife experts use to clean animals covered by oil after spills. The company is currently marketing dish soap with that information printed on the bottles.
“We depend on volunteers to help us achieve our mission to save wildlife and keep it secure and thriving,” Barbara Callahan, the Executive Director at International Bird Rescue, said. “When an oil spill occurs, birds and marine mammals are often injured by oil that pollutes their habitat. Without human intervention, many distressed animals have no chance of survival. Our volunteers do everything from hands-on patient care to prepping food, cleaning the facility, and releasing the rehabilitated animals.”
Callahan said that Somerhalder began his relationship with IBR after he made a cash donation to help Pink, a rescued pelican that had been injured through human action, get nursed back to health and eventually released back into the wild.
The event ended with Somerhalder and the media, staff, and volunteers going outdoors where Somerhalder participated in the release of two California Brown Pelicans and one Western Gull back into their natural habitat.
The IBR was founded in 1971, and is a non-profit wildlife organization committed to caring for birds affected by both natural and man-made disasters, such as oil spills and marine debris. Each year, IBR’s two world-class centers in California care for over 5,000 birds – including pelicans, herons, albatrosses, and other aquatic species. Their spill response teams have led rescue efforts in over 200 incidents across six continents. Released birds are tagged so that the organization can monitor and track their progress, and can also collect data to be used for improving services in the future, according to the site.
Share your own wildlife stories with the new Dawn Saves Wildlife Hashtag Campaign #HowDoYouLoveWildlife.
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