In the clip, de Rossi tells DeGeneres that she wanted to make her birthday superspecial, considering it is her big 6-0. The 45-year-old goes on to play a video explaining that DeGeneres was always inspired by Dian Fossey, a National Geographic primatologist and conservationist known for her work with mountain gorillas.
De Rossi says, “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!”
But wait, there’s more. The Scandal actress also reveals that she set up a foundation in the host’s name, The Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund. She adds, “So, this is the first initiative for the fund that you can take this and do whatever you want with it. You’ve done amazing work for elephants and you can just continue and support whatever you want to do.”
Best. Birthday. Ever.