NEW YORK and SAN FRANCISCO, March 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- WildAid and NBA Cares, the NBA's global social responsibility program, announced today another step in their partnership promoting wildlife conservation in the United States and aimed at reducing the illegal trade of wildlife products in China. To support this effort, a public service announcement featuring New York Knicks star center Tyson Chandler will premiere during the Oklahoma City Thunder - New York Knicks nationally televised game on March 7 on TNT and NBA TV (8:00 PM EST).
NBA Cares and WildAid have joined forces in the fight to reduce the consumption of wildlife products, including ivory and rhino horn, which are both currently driving a poaching epidemic of elephants and rhinos fueled by demand from markets in China and Vietnam. According to a 2011 survey conducted by IFAW, "Elephant poaching levels are the worst in a decade and recorded ivory seizures are at their highest levels since 1989." In 2011 alone, 25,000 elephants were killed. Two rhinos are killed each day in South Africa, as rhino populations have declined 95 percent worldwide over the past 40 years.
As a member of one of the NBA's most globally popular teams, Chandler's message will be prominently aired in the U.S. and in the Asian markets presently driving demand for illegal wildlife products. Chandler joins Los Angeles Lakers star Pau Gasol as a spokesman for this cause, helping to leverage the popularity of the NBA to support WildAid's mission.
"I am proud to team up with NBA Cares and WildAid to raise awareness about the illegal trade of wildlife products and wildlife conservation," said Chandler. "It is my hope that together we can encourage people to stop buying and ultimately stop poaching."
WildAid Executive Director Peter Knights said, "Increased affluence has led to rising demand for ivory in China and rhino horn in Vietnam, while the Chinese and Vietnamese publics are largely unaware of the crises. Given the NBA's popularity around the world, we hope our partnership with NBA Cares can help reduce demand."
WildAid is the only organization to focus on reducing the demand for endangered species products by specifically targeting consumers with a simple and effective message, "When the buying stops, the killing can too."
The campaign will run during the remainder of the 2012-13 NBA season and playoffs. To learn more, please visit www.wildaid.org/NBACares.
WildAid is the only organization to focus on reducing the demand for wildlife products with the strong and simple message: when the buying stops, the killing can too. WildAid works with Asian and Western celebrities and global business leaders to dissuade people from purchasing wildlife products via public service announcements and educational initiatives, reaching up to one billion people per week in China alone. For more information, please visit www.wildaid.org.
Footage and stills are available.
About NBA Cares:
NBA Cares is the league's global social responsibility program that builds on the NBA's mission of addressing important social issues in the United States and around the world. Through this program, the NBA, its teams and players have donated than $210 million to charity, completed more than 2.3 million hours of hands-on community service, and created more than 760 places where kids and families can live, learn, or play, in 24 countries and territories on five continents. NBA Cares works with internationally recognized youth-serving programs that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes, including: KaBOOM!, Special Olympics, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, UNICEF, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis.
SOURCE WildAid; NBA Cares