Yao Ming may have retired from the NBA earlier than most of us would have liked, but that’s not going to stop him from using his Hall of Fame notoriety for good. First, he donated a few bottles of his very own wine and some custom shoes and suits to an auction that benefited the Special Olympics East Asia. Now he and his wife, Ye Li, have loaned their star power to the grand opening of the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China’s Sichuan province.
The facility just launched the Panda Valley protection area, where rescued and rehabilitated giant pandas are being safely returned to their lives in the wild so they will hopefully start doing it and making more adorable panda babies, like the pair that Yao and Ye got to play with yesterday. Seriously, I can’t think of a better way to make a man feel better about his career ending early than by letting him play with baby pandas.
Except maybe red panda babies, because they’re probably the most adorable little things on this planet.
(Images via Reuters, the AP and Getty.)
Not pictured: My truck parked on the other side of the fence, loading these little monkeys up so I can keep them forever.