Yao Ming shoots anti-poaching documentary in Kenya

Retired NBA basketball player Yao Ming is visiting Kenya to film a crucial documentary aimed at highlighting the dwindling populations of rhinos and elephants in the country, occasioned by poaching.

 

Yao’s first ever visit to Kenya is a meaningful one, as it will enlist his support in taking the anti-poaching message to his Chinese homeland, where Ivory is a prized commodity.

 

According to a statement from the Ol Pejeta conservancy, which houses four of the world’s remaining seven northern white rhino, the documentary will be titled “The End of the Wild”.

Yao arrived in Kenya on Friday, August 10, and has so far visited Ol Pejeta in addition to having talks with scientists and conservationists, including Daphne Sheldrick of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, who are actively involved in protecting the endangered species.

 

The former sportsman, who has a foundation that supports various ventures, will visit the Ivory Room in the company of Kenya Wildlife Service Director Julius Kipngetich, to see the damage caused to the elephant and rhino population in the country over several years.

 

China is the world’s most prominent destination for rhino horn and ivory, with projections suggesting there will be an added 250 million middle class consumers over the next 10-15 years – making this campaign all the more crucial to preserve wildlife. It is not Yao’s first attempt to protect elephants.

The massive consumption in China of the illegal wildlife parts and products meanwhile has been blamed on a combination of ‘old customs and traditions with new money’, among other things.

 

Increasing populations of rhino and elephant between 1989 and 2007 have started dwindling dramatically due to an escalation of poaching activities.

 

Yao’s feature-length documentary hopes to underscore the beauty and economic importance of wildlife tourism, and highlight the extant of the poaching crisis.

 

Yao Ming is an ambassador for charity organization Wild Aid, which has teamed up with Save The Elephants and Ol Pejeta, to craft this documentary.

 

The Chinese national has blogged about his trip, expressing his excitement at seeing warthogs and reliving a warning to stay in the vehicle at Ol Pejeta because he is in ‘lion country’.

(Pics on Yao Ming’s blog)

  • N Munyao

    Nice concept and lyrical content but the graphics and sound effects guy needs to pull up his socks

  • S

    Good for you YAO! you are a special person making the world better

  • ranger1 Lithgow Australia.

    You’re a great man, helping to save elephants and rhinos so that your children ana my grandchildren may have a chance to see these magnificent creatures. You’re a HERO!

  • Cave man

    Well done lad!

  • http://www.facebook.com/peter.hack.14 Peter Hack

    This is really important.

  • Julz1982

    Yes!!!! A Chinese person standing up for wildlife in times where his culture is causing such devastation for the sake of fashion and bonkers belief’s is a major step forward. This is crucial. If we can get an Asian sports star to front an international conservation campaign, maybe his nation’s leader will put an an end to this horrific practice of poaching irreplaceable wildlife and fight to protect it for generations to come.

  • Julz1982

    We need more celebrities from Asian countries to join this movement to protect our earth and it’s wildlife. Money is replaceable, life isn’t. There are more honest ways to feed one’s family than to poach animals that are just as intelligent as us.

  • Julz1982

    In fact we all need to speak out against this. Politicians and world leaders must listen and find ways to help communities work in harmony with wildlife, paying local people to protect their environment for tourism and sightseeing. Animals should only be shot with a camera, not a gun.

  • Jake Bishop

    Until the message gets across to Asia that these animals are not there to enhance their libido, make them live longer, have better luck or have trophies to show off wealth, it’s not going to change. A trickle will hopefully become a flood – well done Yao Ming, make sure you are herd and understood back in Asia and get others to help spread the word.

  • Jackie Hutchison

    I wish Yao Ming good luck with his talks. I hope the relevant people will listen to him and put a stop to this meaningless slaughter of these wonderful creatures. My admiration to Yao Ming and to all the people at Sheldrick Wildlife for their love and care of the orphans, what a wonderful job they are doing. Thank you.

Switch to our mobile site