WildAid and NBA Cares, the National Basketball Association's (NBA) global social responsibility program, have announced another step in their partnership promoting wildlife conservation in the United States and aimed at reducing the illegal trade of wildlife products in China.
To support this effort, a public service announcement featuring New York Knicks star center, Tyson Chandler, will premiere during the Oklahoma City Thunder - New York Knicks nationally televised game on March 7th, 2013 on TNT and NBA TV (8:00 PM EST).
NBA Cares and WildAid have joined forces in the fight to reduce the consumption of wildlife products, including ivory and rhino horn, which are both currently driving a poaching epidemic of elephants and rhinos fueled by demand from markets in China and Vietnam. According to a 2011 survey conducted by IFAW, “Elephant poaching levels are the worst in a decade and recorded ivory seizures are at their highest levels since 1989.”
25,000 elephants were killed in 2011 alone.
In South Africa, two rhinos are being killed every day, as rhino populations have declined 95 percent worldwide over the past 40 years.
As a member of one of the NBA’s most globally popular teams, Chandler’s message will be prominently aired in the U.S. and in the Asian markets presently driving demand for illegal wildlife products. Chandler joins Los Angeles Lakers star Pau Gasol as a spokesman for this cause, helping to leverage the popularity of the NBA to support WildAid’s mission.
WildAid Executive Director Peter Knights said, “Increased affluence has led to rising demand for ivory in China and rhino horn in Vietnam, while the Chinese and Vietnamese publics are largely unaware of the crises. Given the NBA’s popularity around the world, we hope our partnership with NBA Cares can help reduce demand.”
Basketball is a global sport, immensly popular in China. This partnership allows WildAid to reach an entirely new audience to help educate them about the threats to our world's endangered species. The campaign is set to run throughout the remainder of the 2013 NBA season and playoffs.