Say "No" to Rhino Horns!

Yao Ming meets white rhino and director Rick Barongi at the Houston Zoo
Yao Ming meets white rhino and director Rick Barongi at the Houston Zoo

Say “No” to Rhino Horns!
That’s the message that retired Chinese basketball superstar Yao Ming has for his fans back home, many of whom believe that rhino horn has powerful tonic or curative properties. Unfortunately, these traditional, but mistaken, beliefs have fueled an increasing international trade in rhino horn that ultimately threatens the survival of the world’s five remaining rhino species. Yao visited Kenya last year to observe the desperate situation firsthand. He is working closely with the organizations Wild Aid and the African Wildlife Foundation to stop rhino and elephant poaching by creating public awareness of the slaughter involved in bringing illegal horn and ivory to market. Billboards at airports across China and graphic online videos tell the gruesome story and present stark statistics to would-be consumers. The campaign slogan – When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too!
In Houston to attend the 2013 NBA All-Star Game, Yao stopped in for a visit to the Houston Zoo, where he met one of the resident white rhinos and zoo director Rick Barongi. Rick is also a board member of the International Rhino Foundation and serves as vice president for African programs.

10 thoughts on “Say "No" to Rhino Horns!

  1. Thank you for your tremendous work to help save the Rhinos from poaching.
    Do you do any work for the terrible crisis in the Elephant world?
    Houston, Texas

    Rhino and elephant sanctuary faces closure leaving animals vulnerable!
    Initiated by the SanWild Wildlife Trust, South Africa’s only dedicated rhino and elephant sanctuary under the control of an animal welfare organization is facing closure unless urgent funding can be secured.
    For the past fourteen years the SanWild Wildlife Trust and its handful of donors and supporters have poured their hearts and souls into establishing a protected refuge for injured, orphaned and traumatized wild animals where they can live free and raise their young in South Africa’s Limpopo Province.
    The SanWild Wildlife Trust, a registered non-profit animal welfare organization was formed and registered in 2000 and has accumulated over 15 000 acres of Bushveldt with diverse habitat for the benefit or rescued wild animals. The trust provides protection for both the animals and the land and the only beneficiaries of the land are the animals themselves.
    SanWild is actively involved in rescue operations both locally and abroad. They are also one of the few organizations that set up sting operations to catch illegal wildlife traders and save highly endangered species such as pangolins, leopards, cheetah, African wild dogs and rhinos.
    Today, a large number of endangered species depend on the SanWild Wildlife Sanctuary for their survival. Many of these animals face a serious threat from poaching, but the dedication at SanWild has seen these animals flourish under the trust’s protection.
    With the exponential growth of illegal rhino poaching SanWild had to redirect a lot of their funding into a specialized counter poaching and K-9 units to protect rhinos and elephants at the sanctuary.
    While they had initially believed that they had secured sufficient funding for the increased costs of their operations through a new benefactor, he has defaulted leaving the small charity out of pocket and with huge financial debts.
    The financial blow to the SanWild Wildlife Trust has been enormous and now has them backed up against a wall fighting for their survival. Unless a new benefactor or sufficient donations are secured in the next couple of weeks SanWild’s animals risk losing the only safe home they have.
    A special crowd funding appeal
    has been setup to raise the $500 000 US needed to ensure that the project can continue.
    Contact details: Louise Joubert, SanWild Wildlife Trust +27 (0) 15-3839959 or +27 (0) 83 310 3882, email Website:
    — at Sanwild Wildlife Reserve.

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