Poaching remains a very large threat to the survival of Africa’s endangered wildlife. According to WildAid, “an estimated 30,000 elephants are killed annually” for their tusks, which have been deemed “white gold” due to the high price tag of ivory products.

Rhino numbers have also been drastically reduced in recent years due to poaching, with over 1,000 killed just in South Africa, a number up from 68 in 2012 and 13 in 2007, WildAid reports.

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In just the last few months, a number of countries have finally decided to take some action to help deter wildlife crime and save Africa’s animals. China, along with 29 other nations, signed an agreement in late 2013 to criminalize poaching and adopt 14 key measures to protect wildlife crime victims. Not long after, nation after nation began to crush their ivory stockpiles, beginning with the U.S. and then followed by China and France.

Additionally, the U.S. recently announced an official ban on the commercial sale of ivory, which is included in a new national strategy to combat wildlife trafficking.

Celebrities and athletes have also been taking a stand against poaching by joining with WildAid to raise awareness about the plight of Africa’s wildlife. Just last week, Chinese basketball star and former Houston Rockets player, Yao Ming, delivered a petition to the Chinese government that urged China to ban the sale of ivory.

Now, U.S. basketball stars are also speaking out to save Africa’s endangered wildlife.

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Partnering with WildAid, NBA Cares, the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) global social responsibility program, has launched “No Hype,” a video message from six NBA players: Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers, Tyson Chandler of the New York Knicks, Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks, Serge Ibaka and Thabo Sefolosha of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls.

The video campaign is a part of WildAid’s larger initiative to stop poaching that runs under the tagline, “when the buying stops, the killing can too.”

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“I don’t think that people realize the harm and the damage that is done to these great animals. We need to put an end to this. The only way to do it is by getting people to stop buying these products,” said Horford in a behind-the-scenes interview.

Check out “No Hype” along with a behind-the-scenes video below! And be sure to spread these videos around to raise awareness for Africa’s elephants and rhinos – they need our voices!

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Find out how you can help stop poaching with these 10 simple actions. You can also sign WildAid’s Pledge for Wildlife, donate, or volunteer.

Image source: WildAid / YouTube

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