Yao Ming in Kenya to help raise poaching awareness
Yao Ming views elephant carcass
Yao Ming, China’s top basketball star, viewing a dead elephant from poaching in Samburu, northern Kenya during his visit there Thursday, Aug.16, 2012. Ming is visiting Kenya on his first-ever visit to Africa to film a documentary aimed at reducing poaching attacks against elephants and rhinos. The two animals are coming under increasing attacks by poachers who sell rhino horns and elephant tusks to buyers in Asia who acquire the animal products as a sign of affluence. Ming has spent nearly a week in Kenya, visiting wildlife parks where he has seen elephant carcasses killed by poachers. (AP Photo)
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Yao Ming has just concluded a week long tour through Kenya where he was on a visit to help raise awareness about the effects of poaching. He also got to mingle with the local individuals.
The trip was to help show China’s middle-class population the effects of the ivory-pendant trade that they are so deeply enamored with. When viewing an elephant’s carcass he declined to say too much, stating that he saw ‘evil’ in the killing. Yao previously worked with WildAid to raise awareness about shark fin soup and its effect on the sharks.
According to several conservation groups, there has been an increased amount of poaching in the areas where the Chinese have been brought in to build road, and work on the oil and mineral industries.
Yao called his time in Kenya — his first trip to Africa — “wonderful.”
“Living in a wild place is not as comfortable as a hotel room or a home, but it’s a totally different experience,” said the towering athlete. “My best moments here was at 6 a.m. with the sunrise and the wild animals.”