‘True Blood’s’ Kristin Bauer Leverages Cast’s Star Power for Endangered South African Animals Doc

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Kristin Bauer on shooting their emotional scene.
While you may have to dig deep to find Pam’s compassion on HBO’s True Blood, the actress who plays her isn’t as steely – especially when it comes to her years of work on behalf of animals. This summer, Kristin Bauer van Straten will embark on a new project to create awareness of South Africa’s endangered rhinos and elephants.

“I’m working on a documentary on elephant ivory poaching and rhino poaching,” Bauer van Straten, 38, tells Celebuzz. “So, I’m going to Africa and we’re going to fly around the country interviewing people who are on the ground working and risking their lives every day and see what we can do to help them.”

How bad is the problem? The star calls it “massive.”

“Two species of rhino have gone extinct in the last six months and the numbers are staggering and I’ve heard the number was 100 elephants a day,” she explains. “So if we want to have elephants in the wild, I figured I’ll try and help out and do something.”

Even just talking about the documentary project nearly brings the actress to tears. That’s understandable with her record for fighting on behalf of animals alone, but she also has a very personal connection to the growing problem.

Her husband, musician Abri van Straten, 41, is South African and his late grandfather was the first person to figure out how to tranquilize large animals – a method still used today by conservationists.

“His family has been in Kenya trying to work on conservation for a hundred years,” she tells us. “So, we are going to go back with his mother, who now lives in South Africa, and we are going to meet with people in the embassy and see what we can do about it. It’s very personal to my in-laws.”

For now, the actress is focusing on funding for the project. “I kickstart the campaign soon, because its ridiculously expensive,” she says. And she has no reservations about tapping into the star power of her True Blood castmates.

“What’s amazing is this cast is so ridiculously giving and talented,” she beams. “I’ll have signed EW covers and signed scripts and DVDs. And now I’m pressuring Joe Manganiello to sign a sock, which is basically his wardrobe. I think it’s going to be great.”

For more information on her South African endangered animals project, visit Bauer van Straten’s website.

True Blood airs Sundays at 9 PM on HBO.