Dylan McDermott, Yao Ming & Maggie Q. [All photos: Kristian Schmidt]
Wildlife conservationists, advocates and international celebrities including Yao Ming, Kathryn Bigelow, Maggie Q, Dylan McDermott and Bo Derek gathered at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco to support local San Francisco nonprofit WildAid and their innovative work to reduce consumer demand for wildlife products.
Actress and WildAid Board Member Bo Derek addresses crowd at the 2014 WildAid Gala in San Fransisco.
The gala event took place only days prior to the broadcast of WildAid’s new documentary “Saving Africa’s Giants with Yao Ming” on Animal Planet which premiered on Animal Planet in the U.S. on November 18th and in the U.K. on November 21st.
San Fransisco Ballet Principal Dancer YuanYuan Tan and Maggie Q, star of CBS television series Stalker.
Academy Award winning Director, Kathryn Bigelow. At the event she screened her short film "Last Days."
Yao Ming with Elizabeth Pang Fullerton of the Fullerton Family Foundation.
The illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be worth over $10 billion annually and each year 33,000 elephants are killed for their ivory, rhinoceros are on the verge of extinction, and 73 million sharks are killed every year for shark fin soup. Killed for trophies, ornaments, food and medicine, these animals are pushed to the brink of extinction as a result of consumer demand.
WildAid’s mission is to end the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetimes by reducing demand through public awareness campaigns. We have a strong and simple message: “When the buying stops, the killing can too.”
Just as corporations employ celebrities to promote their products, WildAid enlists popular Asian and Western stars such as Yao Ming, David Beckham, the Duke of Cambridge, Edward Norton, Li Bing Bing and Maggie Q to dissuade people from purchasing wildlife products.