Yao Ming’s been in Africa lately, as part of his work on an anti-poaching documentary. Rhinos and elephants in Africa are commonly poached for their horns and ivory tusks, leading both to become increasingly endangered – and much of the ivory/horn supply heads to Yao’s homeland of China. Yao’s been an advocate for preserving wildlife for a while now, and now in retirement, he’s throwing himself fully into the cause.
While in Africa, Yao got an up-close look at the animals he’s trying to save. Luckily, there was a photographer there to document it, and the results were delightful. Well, mostly delightful – the giant piles of elephant tusks documented in a few of the pictures are sobering, and drive home just how many of these animals are being killed; indeed, what drove Yao to make this film in the first place. But the ones of him hanging out with rhinos and elephants? Tremendous. A few choice photos below – you can see many more at yaomingblog.com.
Photos by Kristian Schmidt, for WildAid.