Bonobo female sharing food with infants, native to Congo (DRC)

While the poaching onslaught against elephants and rhinos is devastating their populations across Africa and Asia, there is one organization that has become very effective in educating consumers around the world about the crisis–and inspiring action on a different order of magnitude.  WildAid is focused on ending the illegal wildlife trade by reducing the demand for wildlife parts and products, with the simple, yet powerful message:  “When the buying stops, the killing can too.”  By enlisting celebrity ambassadors like basketball superstar Yao Ming, soccer legend David Beckham, H.R.H. Prince William and Sir Richard Branson, in addition to film stars including Jackie Chan, Edward Norton, Maggie Q, Harrison Ford, Leonardo DiCaprio, Li Bing Bing–and many others–WildAid is creating powerful messages aided by state-of-the-art media PSAs that are reaching many millions of consumers, and it’s beginning to make a significant difference. I’m honored to serve WildAid on their International Board, and last Saturday night, Chris Eckstrom and I participated in WildAid’s Gala Fundraiser in San Francisco, “An Evening in China.”  We donated several mural-sized prints of my iconic image, “Twilight of the Giants,” showing a gathering of elephant bulls around a waterhole in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. The evening was a huge success for WildAid, I’m delighted to say.  Please consider supporting their valuable and unparalleled work:

It was an honor, too, for both Chris and me, to meet Yao Ming at the WildAid Gala, and I encourage you to tune in to Animal Planet on Tuesday November 18 to watch the potent new documentary, “Saving Africa’s Giants with Yao Ming.”  In his journey across Africa to highlight the poaching crisis, Yao sees firsthand that the real war is in the marketplace, not Africa.  A cultural icon in both the USA and his native China, Yao is not just a basketball icon, he is a dedicated wildlife advocate.  I encourage you to check out the show: