The Duke of Cambridge, David Beckham, and Yao Ming are speaking out as fathers against illegal wildlife trade.
“As a father I want our children to know that rhinos are not just a picture in a book,” says The Duke of Cambridge.
The trio have joined forces with WildAid to protect elephants, rhinos, and sharks for future generations. In September of this year they met in London to film two messages that will air globally, with targeted outreach in China and Vietnam, beginning in January 2014 as part of WildAid’s demand reduction campaign and the Royal Foundation’s United for Wildlife Collaboration.
The first message was released to the media earlier today at a press conference in Shanghai featuring Yao Ming and WildAid Executive Director Peter Knights. A second message focusing on rhino horn will be released in February.
The Duke of Cambridge said, “We must stop the demand for illegally traded wildlife products within our lifetimes or these amazing animals will be forever wiped from the planet. As a father I want our children to know that rhinos are not just a picture in a book.”
Poaching is on the rise as demand increases with economic growth in Asia. South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs reported on November 27 that 891 rhinos were killed so far in 2013 compared to 2007’s total of 13.
“We can all do our part by sharing this message with buyers of illegal wildlife products,” said David Beckham. “If you do buy ivory, rhino horn, or shark fin I urge you to stop and help us bring these senseless killings to an end.”
Recent surveys indicate a large portion of China’s population is unaware of the death toll to create ivory and rhino horn products, yet a greater number of residents support government enforced bans. (Read the ivory and rhino horn surveys.)
“We must raise awareness and encourage action if we are going to stop the demand for these products,” said former NBA Star Yao Ming, an iconic figure in China. More....