More than a century ago, as many animal species were hunted to extinction at the imperial hunting ground near Beijing, the rare Pere David's deer were saved because the Chinese royal court sent a few to Europe.
Today, the large, ruddy-colored deer, with antlers that look as though they have been placed on backward, are thriving in special reserves in central and northern China, thanks to a local conservation group that reintroduced the rare animal from a British sanctuary.
Denver Nuggets star and one of the hottest young NBA players, Carmelo Anthony gives endangered animals a voice by starring in a new WildAid public service announcement to raise awareness of the illegal demand for endangered species parts and products. The illegal wildlife trade, now estimated by Interpol to be worth $10 to 20 billion a year, has drastically reduced numerous wildlife populations and has some teetering on the brink of extinction – all because of growing consumer demand.
WildAid, the international wildlife conservation organization that conducted a dramatic rescue last year of the animals at the Baghdad Zoo during the chaos of war, will launch its first U.S.-based public information campaign starring gold medal-winning Olympic athletes including Maurice Greene (100m gold medalist), Allen Johnson (110m Hurdles) Cathy Freeman (400m), Dwight Philips (Athens gold medal long jump), Hailie Gebreselassie (mid distance) and featuring a resonant message: “When we all come together, we can do anything.”
Sixty feet under the blue Pacific, a glistening silver rocket snaked towards me and, even though I knew it would not harm me, a shiver ran down my spine. Richard, my dive buddy, had warned me, "Hold your breath or your bubbles will scare them away." But when faced with a Galapagos shark in the open sea at eye level for the first time, I felt a pressing need to breathe rapidly. It cruised to within a few feet as I tried to make myself inconspicuous among the rocks. Finally it glided away.
Two years ago, diver Michael Aw was monitoring the health of local coral some 1,000 miles south of Bombay. Because this major tourist site in the Republic of Maldives is protected from most fishing, "what I least expected to see was a dying, finned shark," he says. Someone had hauled in the 6-foot gray reef shark, sliced off all its fins, and then tossed it overboard. To cover up the act, the plunderer had tied a 15-pound piece of coral to what remained of the tail to ensure the carcass would sink.