Target: Yao Ming
Goal: Thank former NBA star for preserving rhinos and elephants
The former star of the NBA, Yao Ming, has turned his efforts towards saving rhinos and elephants from illegal poaching. The illegal wildlife trade is responsible for the deaths of thousands of rhinos, elephants, tigers, sharks, and other animals simply because animal parts fetch such massive sums of money. The demand for ivory could result in the extinction of rhinos and elephants, but countries and important figures are stepping up and doing all they can to stop the demand. Yao Ming should be praised and thanked for his efforts to stop the slaughter of rhinos and elephants in China.
In 2011, Yao Ming returned to China to stop citizens from eating shark fin soup. The demand for this delicacy is fierce, and has led to the decline of the shark population. Fishermen who hunt sharks oftentimes cut off the fins of the animal and allow the sharks to die in the waters. Ming started the “I’m Finished with Fins” campaign, where other celebrities such as Jackie Chan, David Beckham, and NBA player Jeremy Lin, urged Chinese citizens to stop eating shark fin soup–and the campaign was a huge success. Their efforts have lowered the slaughter of shark by a whopping 50% every year.
Now Mao is placing his conservation efforts in Africa’s savannas, where rhinos and elephants are being killed for their horns and tusks. He hopes to educate the Chinese people about the whereabouts of ivory, since many citizens believe that elephant tusks fall out of the elephant’s mouth and grow back naturally. Citizens don’t understand that there is a massive trade centered around ivory and both elephants and rhinos are killed for their tusks. A documentary titled, “The End of the Wild” will examine the illegal wildlife trade, and how this trade has decimated both the elephant and rhino population. Ming has also petitioned the Chinese government to place a ban on ivory in China, and while he has not heard back about this issue, he is confident that the Chinese people are aware of this problem.
This former NBA star should be thanked for his efforts, as the only way to stop the killing of elephants and rhinos is to promote awareness and provide the animals with protection.
Dear Yao Ming,
Since the success of your campaign in 2011, thousands of sharks are saved each year in China. I understand you are trying to replicate your success in Africa, where the demand for ivory has led to the loss of elephants and rhinos in the wild. Because the demand for ivory comes from Asian countries such as China, you are spreading awareness about this plight and asking the Chinese government to place a ban on the ivory trade.
I am writing this letter to thank you for your well meaning efforts. For elephants and rhinos to survive and thrive, we need people to champion their cause. Because you are able to speak directly to the people in China, I hope your efforts will convince the people to stop demanding ivory. I wish you the best of luck, and I hope you will continue with your conservation efforts.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Brian Snelson via Wikimedia Commons