NBA star Yao Ming pledged Wednesday to give up eating shark's fin soup, a Chinese delicacy, as he joined a campaign to promote wildlife protection. "Endangered species are our friends," Yao said at a news conference organized by the London-based conservation group WildAid.
The group said China is the world's biggest importer of shark's fins, which conservationists say are cut from sharks that are thrown back into the ocean to die.
Today, leading Chinese stars - Yao Ming, Li Ning and Liu Huan jointly launched WildAid's public awareness campaign to protect endangered species and in particular sharks from high levels of consumption, which threaten them with extinction.
Washington, April 21: WildAid Board member and Actress Bo Derek, who has been very active in promoting Veteran's Afffairs and horse protection in the US, was appointed U.S. special envoy of the Secretary of State for Wildlife Trafficking Issues in a ceremony at the State Department. Derek said she was honored to accept such a "daunting" role and to do her part to help raise awareness of wildlife issues. WildAid Director Peter Knights also spoke at the ceremony and presented WildAid public service announcements to the gathered audience.
Chinese police have seized hundreds of bear paws and dead pangolins smuggled into China where they are prized as an expensive culinary delicacy with uses in traditional medicine.
Police made 20 arrests in a smuggling ring in the south-western province of Yunnan, seizing 278 bear paws and 416 pangolins which had been brought in by lorry or train from Yunnan to three neighbouring provinces between December and January this year, according to a report in the Yunnan Daily.
The pangolins, which resemble armadillos, had been injected with tranquillisers to keep them quiet.
With his fierce reputation in the ring, Cambodia's most famous kickboxer, Ei Puthang, may seem an unlikely choice as the new ambassador for environmental NGO WildAid. But there is a strong and long-standing connection between kickboxing and the pillaging of wildlife, says the head of the organization, Suwanna Gauntlett.