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WildAid in the News

The New York Times

A new Chinese television reality show where entertainers hug whale sharks, kiss lions, feed pandas and dress up baby chimpanzees has come under fire from wildlife conservationists who want it taken off the air, saying such activities are cruel and are dangerous for both the humans and animals.

The Guardian

The Duke of Cambridge has condemned the trade in illegal wildlife as a “vicious form of criminality” and said that China can be a global leader in the fight against it in a speech on the last day of his visit to China.

Speaking at the Xishuangbanna Elephant Sanctuary in Yunnan Province, Prince William said: “it is appalling that elephants - and many others - may be extinct in the wild in our lifetimes.”


Los Angeles Times

Last month, a southern white rhino named Thandi gave birth to a healthy calf in South Africa. It was a remarkable moment, the kind that gives conservationists a brief reprieve from big-picture gloom.

That's because in 2012, much of Thandi's face had been hacked off by poachers who sought her horn, which is worth thousands of dollars in some cultures where it is believed that consuming it will cure cancer and remedy hangovers. A record 1,215 of South Africa's 22,000 rhinos were killed last year, and we're seeing no slowdown in 2015.

The New York Times

In China, when Yao Ming speaks, people listen. Trading on this former basketball superstar’s towering stature in his home country, WildAid has named Mr. Yao a spokesman on behalf of Africa’s severely threatened elephant and rhino populations to help curb China’s multi-billion-dollar lust for illegal wildlife products.

Mother Nature Network

Last year, 33,000 African elephants were slaughtered for their ivory tusks. In Kenya, the black rhino population that was once 23,000 strong now numbers 600. In South Africa, two rhinos die every day at the hand of poachers. There are laws in place to protect the animals, but local governments have proved powerless to enforce them, and rangers on the ground are outfoxed and outgunned by black marketers — and many rangers have died on the job. The situation is dire. If nothing changes, these species will become extinct.


But just because it’s difficult to stem Chinese demand for a high-end animal product doesn’t mean it's impossible. Consider ongoing campaigns against eating shark fins. Ten years ago, shark-fin soup was almost obligatorily served at Chinese wedding banquets, official dinners and other high-status events. Demand was huge: Seafood markets across Asia were packed with shark fins.

KCRW - To The Point

Every year, 33,000 African elephants die at the hands of poachers, feeding a Chinese market for ivory that’s worth billions of dollars. Now NBA superstar Yao Ming is part of the effort to stop what could lead to the extinction of elephants in just six years. Peter Knights is executive director for Wild Aid, an NGO devoted to stopping what’s called “Blood Ivory.” He partnered with Yao Ming on a documentary called The End of the Wild, released this month in China.

The Houston Chronicle

Former Houston Rockets star Yao Ming is starring in a film designed to persuade people to stop buying ivory and end the slaughter of elephants as poaching for ivory reaches its highest levels since the initial ivory ban in 1989.

In recent years, the value of the scarce material has skyrocketed from $5 a pound in 1990 to $1,500 in 2014, according to animal welfare campaigners.  Estimates say 33,000 elephants are killed each year for their precious tusks.

The New York Times

The Chinese basketball legend Yao Ming has for years lent his renown to wildlife conservation. In 2006 he took up the campaign against killing sharks for their fins, considered a delicacy in China. More recently, he has taken up the cause of elephants and rhinos, which are hunted for their ivory and horns.

In August 2012, he traveled to the African savanna for the first time to witness the destruction wrought by poaching, and returned last year to Kenya. Now he is ready to share what he saw with his compatriots, in a documentary film, “The End of the Wild,” and a companion book.

NBC News

BEIJING – Former NBA all-star center Yao Ming is now dishing out assists to much wilder targets.

After retiring from the Houston Rockets in 2011, Yao returned to China and set out to end his homeland's traditional appetite for endangered and threatened animal products.