Animal Planet, Yao Ming and ‘Saving Africa’s Giants’

Yao Ming with an Orphaned Baby Elephant (Kirstian Schmidt/WildAid)
Yao Ming with an Orphaned Baby Elephant (Kirstian Schmidt/WildAid)

I grew up as an animal lover, although in Oklahoma my exposure to wild animals was limited to the field or woods beyond my backyard and my time at the Oklahoma City Zoo as a junior curator. However, a few years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Africa and experience the most real and impactful animal encounters of my life on safari in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve in South Africa.

As an animal lover and someone who has had the awesome experience of being feet from a towering elephant in the wild, Animal Planet‘s Saving Africa’s Giants with Yao Ming is must-see programming (even without working at Discovery Communications). Premiering in the U.S. tomorrow night (Tuesday, November 18) at 10pm ET/PT, Saving Africa’s Giants follows the basketball superstar to Kenya as he gets up close and personal with the impact of poaching (last year an uncomprehensible 25,000 African elephants were murdered by ivory poachers).

The one-hour documentary, narrated by actor Edward Norton (another favorite), also features elephant expert Iain Douglas-Hamilton and an important message for Yao’s countrymen and global citizens about the multibillion-dollar black market that has been built on the backs of 4.5 million elephants who have been killed in the last 60 years.

Watch a preview of the Animal Planet special below, tune in on Tuesday night, join WildAid’s Ivory-Free Pledge and help us spread the word and save these majestic creatures!