By Andrew C. Revkin
Yao Ming, the 7-foot-6-inch N.B.A. veteran, is on the road again pressing the case for curbing the ivory trade and the relentless poaching of elephants. With the help of the conservation group WildAid, he paid a fresh visit to the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage abutting Nairobi National Park in Kenya. On his blog (translated to English) he describes how a particularly tiny elephant that he walked with in 2012 had died:
[S\adly she was just too small and traumatized to survive without her mother and passed away shortly after my last trip. I learned that it is all too common for the very young to lose their will to live after their mother and sometimes whole herd have been brutally taken from them. The caretakers have to sleep in the small elephants’ enclosures at night so they feel safe.
Here’s his closing message:
As we leave the orphanage I am happy to have seen Julius again but troubled that the flow of baby orphans has not slowed. The Yao Ming Foundation, WildAid, and our partners Save the Elephants and African Wildlife Foundation will redouble our efforts to get the word out in China. Jiang Wen, Li Bing Bing, and some of China’s top CEOs are involved, too. In the US we have partnered with NBA Cares and Tyson Chandler has recorded a message as well as actorEdward Norton. He helps wildlife through the Maasai Wildlife Conservation Trust, too. And in England, Prince William and David Beckham.
We hope you can join us all and together we can help to ensure an end to the illegal ivory trade and that the only orphans here are from natural causes.
Read the rest here.