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yao ming recently launched a public awareness campaign in china targeting the nation’s consumption of ivory and rhino horn, after having spent twelve days last august in kenya and south africa.

poaching kills more than 25,000 african elephants annually, while 668 rhinos were killed last year in south africa alone, meaning that if current trends are not abated, both species will be extinct within our lifetime.

according to shark fin traders and hong kong import statistics, yao’s previous campaign against the shark fin trade is credited with a 50-70% reduction in chinese consumption last year.

"no one who sees the results firsthand, as i did, would buy ivory or rhino horn," yao stated. "i believe when people in china know what’s happening they will do the right thing and say no to these products."

he continued, “we would be outraged if people were killing our pandas. we should be just as upset with what’s happening to rhinos and elephants in africa.”

photos (including a baby elephant orphaned by poachers) by kristian schmidt in kenya for WildAid. from yao ming’s blog.

#more elephant poaching photosets

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