Ian Somerhalder rides elephant, sparks controversy

Ian Somerhalder rides elephant, sparks controversy

Ian Somerhalder is known as a huge animal activist and even has his own foundation called The Ian Somerhalder Foundation (ISF) to fight for animals and global and environmental issues.

But in a latest controversy issue, the Vampire Diaries actor has been criticized for riding an elephant.

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Ian recently shared a picture of him riding an African elephant in the hope to bring to light the illegal ivory trade. But instead, he has received flak for riding the elephant, reports Wonderwall.

The picture shows Ian sitting atop the elephant with his hands on the back of the beautiful animal.

Organisations like PETA and The Humane Society have now slammed Ian’s elephant-riding activity. According to PETA and The Humane Society riding the animal is dangerous to their health. It hurts the animal’s spine and feet. Most importantly, riding the animal shows support to the tourism industry which is known to hurt the elephants. The elephants have to suffer the abusive training methods in the name of tourism.

The photo for which Ian has been receiving flak was in fact taken in 2013 in Zimbabwe. And judging by Ian’s love for animals, it can surmised that the picture wasn’t taken with any wrong intention. Ian raises four dogs, three cats and two horses with wife, Nikki Reed.

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Ian Somerhalder is already a global icon who has used his popularity to fight for animal cause. He has partnered with WildAid for its Year of the Elephant campaign. As part of its campaign, he has already advocated against the use of ivory and asked to stop poaching.

Ian was recently in the news after reports emerged that he is set to leave The Vampire Diaries. According to reports, Ian would follow Nina’s suit and quit the show after season 7. The hit CW show has been renewed for another season and Ian has confirmed that he will be playing the character of Damon Salvatore for another season.

Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Ian Somerhalder