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Friday, November 21, 2014

Discovery Channel Presents "Saving Africa’s Giants with Yao Ming" Premieres November 21


Wazzup Pilipinas!

A special documentary narrated by American actor Edward Norton and starrred by world-famous basketball star Yao Ming, presented by WildAid and Discovery Channel expose the African poaching epidemic, which fuels a multi-billion-dollar global black market.

The one-hour feature documentary premieres on Friday, November 21 at 9:00 p.m., exclusively on Discovery Channel.

Background on the crisis and the demand that fuels it

Each year, the death toll rises with 25,000 African elephants murdered last year alone, and 4.5 million killed in the last 60 years. These magnificent creatures are victims of ivory poaching, perpetrated by one of the most organized, widespread wildlife trafficking networks in history. The growing demand in China and Southeast Asia is driving sharp increases in poaching.

In China, ivory is prized as a status symbol by the nation’s growing affluent and middle classes, and the country’s legal market perpetuates demand and provides a laundering mechanism for illegal, poached ivory from Africa. Rhino horn is highly sought after for purported health benefits. In Vietnam, rhino horn has a reputation as a cancer treatment and a hangover cure regardless of the fact that the horn is composed of keratin – the same substance as human hair and fingernails.




Fortunately, Africa's giants have their defenders. Basketball legend and wildlife advocate Yao Ming travels to Africa in SAVING AFRICA'S GIANTS WITH YAO MING to uncover the brutal secrets of this multi-million-dollar underground trade, and spotlights Yao's mission to educate and inspire his countrymen and the world alike, in the effort to stop the killings and save these innocent creatures from the very real possibility of extinction. Yao’s combination of strength, vision and voice serves as a megaphone to help spread awareness about the cruelty of poaching.

"Yao Ming represents the next generation of conservationists. Having him as an ambassador is probably the best thing that could happen to wildlife," says Peter Knights, executive director of WildAid, the world's only organization focused on reducing the demand for poached products. On his journey, Yao sees for himself the evidence of a losing battle, where Africa's giants are senselessly slain every day for their tusks. Yao, who is a cultural icon in both his native China and across the globe, quickly realizes the real war is not in Africa but in the marketplace.


In the program, Yao travels to Kenya, home to the ancient Samburu people and a natural habitat of African elephants. Elephants are part of the Samburu heritage and are critical to their livelihood. Poaching not only destroys the wild species but also the tribal villagers who depend on them. Yao meets with Sir Iain Douglas-Hamilton, renowned elephant expert who echoes WildAid's dire conservation message, which he urges Yao to bring home and disseminate globally: it is a race against time for these elephants – when the buying stops, the killing will too.

"The huge price motivates poachers to persist," says Yao. "And if we buy ivory, it makes all of us killers as well."



Unfortunately, elephants are not the only victims to poaching. Rhinos are poached for their horns at a record rate as two rhinos a day are slain in South Africa alone. Yao travels to the Kariega Game Reserve, located at South Africa's East Cape, to experience the struggle and pain of orphaned rhinos, whose parents have been killed.

"When our message is spread by those who see this documentary, people can join us and hopefully wipe out this black market," says Yao.

To play a part in saving elephants and rhinos from possible extinction, make a donation or sign the pledge against purchasing or consuming products made from endangered species at www.DiscoveryChannelAsia.com.

SAVING AFRICA’S GIANTS WITH YAO MING encores on Saturday, November 22 at 6:00 p.m., Sunday, November 23 at 10:00 p.m. and Monday, November 24 at 2:00 p.m.

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3 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Discovery Channel did a great job in raising awareness as to what is currently happening to the animals in Africa. A very informative documentary plus Yao Ming is starred in it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yao Ming is a basketball superstar that was known worldly. His height is a great characteristic that was used by the discovery channel as a good advertisement in saving the giants. I hopefully wish that their advocacy will succeed. :)

    ReplyDelete

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