Former Houston Rocket Yao Ming recently joined staff and volunteers at the non-profit Sea Turtles 911 to release rescued green sea turtles back to the ocean. The public event, co-sponsored by China’s Hainan Normal University, was held on the beach at the Ritz Carlton Sanya.
Organizers praised Yao for his “gentle” touch in releasing the turtles. In photos and video, Yao’s four-year-old daughter watches her dad’s conservation efforts.
In a release, Sea Turtles 911 calls Yao “a leading voice in China to end the market for illegal wildlife products. Raising awareness for sea turtle conservation is just one way Yao continues to combat wildlife trafficking, as he has also dedicated extensive time campaigning for the ban of elephant ivory, rhino horn, and shark fin soup with his renowned public message: ‘When the buying stops, the killing can too.’ His participation in the turtle rescue effort is significant, as China remains the top consumer of endangered turtles worldwide.”
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