Ex-NBA star Yao in Kenya for poaching awareness

(Sayyid Azim/The Associated Press)
Retired basketball player Yao Ming of China, center, looks at a cheetah...
Story by The Associated Press
August 17, 2012
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NAIROBI, Kenya — Former NBA star Yao Ming is in Kenya to raise awareness for anti-poaching efforts in order to help prevent the killings of elephants and rhinos.

Poaching deaths of elephants and rhinos are increasing, animal experts say, because of increased demand in Asia for rhino horns and elephant ivory.

Yao, the former Houston Rockets player from China, said Thursday he thinks increased public awareness about where ivory comes from is needed.

Julius K. Kipng’etich, the director of the Kenya Wildlife Service, gave Yao a tour of one of the organization’s rooms filled with ivory from poached elephants. Kip, as the director is known, said Thursday that he hopes Yao takes back the message to China to say that when Chinese people buy ivory, they are helping lead elephants to extinction.

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