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December 5th, 2014
06:05 AM ET

A mission close to Yao Ming's heart

It’s no secret that Yao Ming is tall, but in person – he’s larger than life.

And it’s not just his height that’s impressive. He has one of the biggest hearts of anyone around.

Between his professional basketball career – to launching his own wine label – Yao Ming’s interests have run the gamut.

But he’ll tell you, working to save endangered animals is especially meaningful to him.

“I feel they have a personality – just like us,” Yao said of the rhinos and elephants he met during a trip to Africa two years ago. “Some are very funny. Some are very shy. They have a good memory too – and know the people who treat them very well.”

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Filed under: China