On Ellen DeGeneres' 60th birthday, the talk show host had a handful of unexpected guests show up on The Ellen Show. One of them was DeGeneres' wife, Portia de Rossi, who came to announce a birthday gift that would bring her to tears.
"It's your 60th birthday, and this gift had to be really special, and it had to represent who you are and what you really care about. Not just now, but what you've always cared about," de Rossi tells DeGeneres.
She then reveals that her wife has always wanted to interview Dian Fossey, a woman who dedicated herself to protecting gorillas. She established the Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda and the "Digit Fund to raise money for her 'active conservation' and anti-poaching initiatives," after poachers killed a gorilla she befriended. "The Digit Fund would later be renamed the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (Fossey Fund)," the fund's website explains. Fossey also went on to write the book Gorillas in the Mist, "an account of her years in the rainforest with the mountain gorillas. Most importantly, it underscores the need for concerted conservation efforts."
"The Fossey Fund exists to ensure the survival and thriving of wild gorillas in close partnership with the government of Rwanda," de Rossi adds in a video she created to announce Ellen's gift. "But unfortunately, today there are only 880 mountain gorillas alive on earth ... So for your birthday, Ellen, I'm bringing you and your hero Dian together by building The Ellen DeGeneres Center for The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund" so that Ellen can carry out her hero's legacy and continue protecting mountain gorillas.
With that, both DeGeneres and de Rossi are in tears.
But that's not all: de Rossi also explains that she's set up The Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund for added support.
"It's the best gift," DeGeneres says, overcome with emotion. "I've always said, when we got married, Portia's line was, 'it's good to be loved, it's profound to be understood.' And she understands me because that is the best gift that anybody could have given me. So, I love you."
Check it out below: