LIONS AND CHEETAHS AND DOGS, OH MY

On the way to meet one of the world’s most endangered animals – the white rhino – I come across some other interesting characters.

Yao Ming Sets Out to Meet the Northern White Rhinos

Photo by Kristian Schmidt / WildAid

First, there is a pack of African wild dogs – which, I’m told are quite hard to find – on the open plain chasing after jackals. They are the size of a small dog, but when they work as a pack they can take down a zebra or wildebeest.

Then, we see a beautiful cheetah and an 8-month old baby – another lucky find.

Yao Ming and Crew Encounter a Cheetah at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Photo by Kristian Schmidt / WildAid

The baby even attempts to chase our vehicle. An endearing sight I will not soon forget.

A Cheetah in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Photo by Kristian Schmidt / WildAid

Next, we track down a collared lion using a radio signal. I’m happy to act as the radar tower until a storm brews and lightning beckons and I realize that holding up a metal antenna might not be such a good idea! The animals are tracked to learn more about their behavior, I learn from Simba Zhuo, a Chinese conservationist working in Kenya’s Maasai Mara.

Yao Ming Explores the Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Photo by Kristian Schmidt / WildAid

Lions are now endangered – falling from a population of 200,000 a hundred years ago to only 20,000 today.  This is because of habitat loss, largely to agriculture uses, and conflict with livestock.  On top of that, their bones are now targeted for Asian medicinal use, because tiger numbers have been so depleted.

And then, I meet Najin and Suni.

Yao Ming Meets Two Endangered Northern White Rhinos

Photo by Kristian Schmidt / WildAid

 More on that soon.

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9 responses

  1. Charles Koskey

    nice pic with the white rhinos, looking forward to more of Najin and Suni

    August 14, 2012 at 9:32 am

  2. Thank you for using your fame to protect wildlife in kenya and the world as a whole.

    August 14, 2012 at 11:41 am

  3. Pingback: The Crazy Characters You Meet On Safari | One Trailing Spouse

  4. Keith

    Great pictures Yao. Thank you for helping protect the wildlife. This helps a great deal.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:27 pm

  5. Lalala

    Thank you for doing this! the pictures are amazing and inspiring!

    August 27, 2012 at 6:16 pm

  6. ED

    Your interest is great. These are such wonderful, important and social animals. My question is what are you doing in China to get the Chinese to know about these animals and to stop buying ivory? Do you have a real defined plan? E.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    • Lalala

      That’s a great question Ed!

      August 30, 2012 at 10:15 pm

  7. kasia skwarcan

    i am so glad that people like you exist in this world, people who are so selfless and make such a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable of this world which are animals. sending you lots of love, gratitude and encouragement to continue. thanks for existing.

    August 28, 2012 at 5:11 am

  8. Chandani Jones

    This is a wonderful beautiful thing that you are doing! And just really inspiring. I am going to donate to wildaid today!

    August 28, 2012 at 6:14 am

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