True Blood Star’s Deadly Serious Mission to Save Elephants

©IFAW
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Cape Town, South Africa

American actress Kristin Bauer van Straten plays a lethal vampire on television, but is even more deadly serious in her mission as an animal activist intent on saving elephants.

True Blood star Bauer, a celebrity ambassador for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW – www.ifaw.org) arrived in Kenya last night on a mission to help save elephants from being killed for their tusks, and to raise awareness of the deadly ivory trade.

“I have a burning passion to stop the genocide of elephants, a loving, sentient species. I want to know there are, and will always be, elephants in the wild. That is why I have come to Kenya, with IFAW, to make a documentary that will send a powerful message that we need to stop the killing of elephants for their ivory,” says Bauer.

In 2011 more than 24 tons of illegal ivory was seized around the world, representing around 3,000 dead elephants. In Cameroon, in early 2012, about 650 elephants were killed for their ivory in a scant eight week period.

“I was so moved after meeting James Isiche, IFAW’s East Africa Director in Los Angeles last year that I said to my husband: ‘What the hell can I do about elephants and rhinos dying in Africa’.

“That’s when I began shamelessly working the magic words True Blood and to make it possible to come to Kenya to meet some real modern day superheroes who work to save elephants, and who need help,” said Kristin.

Bauer’s visit to make a documentary on elephants and the ivory trade, as well as the killing of rhinoceros for their horns, will include two of Kenya’s most famous national parks Amboseli and Tsavo East. IFAW support has been instrumental in reducing human-elephant conflict and saving the lives of elephants in both parks.

Kristin Bauer plays the character of Pam, in the HBO smash hit series True Blood which is currently airing its fifth season world wide.

She is accompanied to Kenya by husband, singer Abri van Straten and mother-in-law Cicely Luck van Straten, a Kenyan now resident in South Africa.

Bauer began her trip today with a visit to the IFAW supported David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, a centre dedicated to the care of elephants orphaned due to the death of their mothers due to poaching or other causes.

About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare)

Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Experts

Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
IFAW Elephant Expert
IFAW Elephant Expert
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
James Isiche, Regional Director, East Africa
Regional Director, East Africa
Jason Bell, Program Director, Elephants Regional Director, South Africa
Program Director, Elephants, Regional Director, South Africa
Peter Pueschel, Director, International Environmental Agreements
Director, International Environmental Agreements
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Regional Director, South Asia