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Olympic champions send wildlife-protecting messages for WildAid

Former table tennis star player Kong Linghui led a contingent of Chinese Olympic champions to feature in a set of public service messages on environmental and wildlife protection for the WildAid.

These high-impact videos, which were released on Thursday by the WildAid in Beijing, will be aimed at reducing demand for endangered wildlife and have included many Chinese Olympic champions, like Kong, Lou Yun, Zhang Yining, Zhan Xugang and Li Ting.

"When the buying stops, the killing can too," said Kong, now a coach in Chinese team. "It is our responsibility to raise the awareness of wildlife protection, and start from everyday life, refusing to eat those rare species."

Lou, a former gymnast and now the vice secretary-general of the China Youth Concern Committee Education Development Center, vowed to make efforts in his work to inspire more youngsters into the noble campaign.

"We will feel sorry to hand in a world without any other species except for mankind to next generation, and our children must be taught to cherish the wildlife before it is too late," said Lou, who was the first Chinese Olympian to retain the title of Olympic champion.

"When we come together, we can do anything."

It has been estimated that around 27,000 species are lost each year, --74 each day and 3 every hour, many before science has been able to document them fully.

WildAid is an international environmental organization working to provide direct support for wildlife and habitat conservation.

"In this new move with Olympic champions such as Kong Linghui and Lou Yun, WildAid has committed to producing more public service announcements on wildlife protection so that we can build support and action for wildlife conservation here in China and across the world," said WildAid president Steve Trent on Thursday.

"The Olympic champions are the national heroes, they can make a even bigger impact on children, and we hope that they could encourage society with their leadership and actions to support wildlife conservation."