He's now made that his main focus after officially retiring from the NBA last July.
This summer, Yao continued the trend, working with a group that aims to stop poaching in Africa. It's an important cause, and one that Yao can especially help, considering his home country of China is a major destination for illegal ivory and other animal products.
Yao traveled to Kenya earlier this month, with video and photos of his excursion raising public awareness for the issue.
But, while poaching is an incredibly serious subject, there are not many things funnier than seeing the 7-foot Yao dwarfing animals that usually look huge next to, you know, normally sized people. In honor of that, we've gathered a few shots of Yao hanging out with African creatures.
For a serious look at poaching and what Yao is doing to help, check out the video below. If you just want to see Yao as the king of the wild African tundra, visit our photo gallery.