Rejected! Yao Ming says no to wildlife trafficking - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Rejected! Yao Ming says no to wildlife trafficking

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By BRADLEY KLAPPER
Associated Press

BEIJING (AP) - Yao Ming is putting on the full-court press against wildlife trafficking.

The former NBA star, a Chinese basketball icon, is working with top American and Chinese officials to stamp out global trade in endangered species and their parts.

Yao, who retired from basketball in 2011, has focused much of his efforts against shark fin consumption and elephant ivory use.

Yao says, "We are not the only creatures on Earth."

Joining him Wednesday was U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, in Beijing for this year's "Strategic and Economic Dialogue" with China. The U.S. and China are top destinations for wildlife trafficking.

Kerry praised Yao's work and called ivory "today's blood diamond" - a lucrative trade for international criminals with wide-ranging consequences for nature and local populations.

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