You wouldn’t think that Ellen DeGeneres has anything to cry about. Even though she just turned 60 on January 26th, she still looks amazing. She’s also one of the most successful and well-grounded, stars in Hollywood. Nevertheless, her wife Portia de Rossi had her crying in front of millions of viewers.

No worries, though. Everything is fine in the DeGeneres – de Rossi household. It was Portia’s birthday gift to her wife of nine years that had the comedian and TV host tearing up.

On a special birthday episode of her show on Thursday, Portia stopped in to present her birthday gift. Portia introduces the gift by saying that she wanted to give Ellen something very special:

“It had to represent who you are and what you really care about.”

Portia noted on the show that Ellen had been saying for the last couple of years that she didn’t feel like she’d been doing enough to better the world. Therefore, In honor of one of her wife’s biggest heroes, Gorilla advocate Dian Fossey, Portia presented her with the new Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

Dian Fossey has been one of Ellen’s strongest influences, and Portia tells her:

“So for your birthday, Ellen, I am bringing you and your hero Dian together by building the Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

“Ellen, you will carry on Dian’s legacy by giving them a permanent home in Rwanda. Now, you will join Dian as a protector and champion of these amazing animals, the mountain gorillas. Happy birthday!”

Ellen was moved to tears, crying in front of everyone. She then told the audience how much she feels “understood” by her spouse. She added:

“That is the best gift that anybody could have given me.”

And that’s not all. Portia has also set up the Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund to continue the work after the campus is finished. Portia tells her it will give her a way to do whatever she likes in order to protect wildlife in the future. The campus for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund is just the first step.

You can watch the video below, but just remember: We’re not crying — you’re crying.

DeGeneres added a note of thanks when she posted the video to her Twitter account:

“I am proud, humbled, honored and deeply grateful to get to introduce you to my amazing new wildlife fund. ‘It’s good to be loved. It’s profound to be understood.’ Thank you, Portia.”

Then the Fossey Gorilla Fund added their thanks — gorilla style.

Ellen DeGeneres is a long-time advocate for animal rights, and even hosts a vegan website to encourage people to refrain from eating meat. She also hosts a section on her show promoting vegan cooking. She was named Woman of the Year in 2009 by PETA, the animal rights organization. Ellen has also served as an ambassador for the Adopt-A-Turkey campaign in 2010.

Dian Fossey is the well-known subject of the hit film Gorillas in the Mist, derived from her book of the same name. Unfortunately, Fossey was murdered in Rwanda in 1985, an act that many attribute to her strong stance for gorilla conservation and against poaching.

The Ellen DeGeneres Campus will be added to the Karisoke Research Center. Fossey founded the Rwanda center in 1967. Thanks to the efforts of the center and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, the population of Mountain Gorillas has risen from a low point in 1981 of only 242 individuals remaining. A 2010 census states that the numbers had nearly doubled to 480. Additionally, the Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund states that there are as many as 790 individuals, which is in thanks to the efforts of conservationists.


Featured Image via The Ellen Show YouTube Channel screenshot.

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