By Will Yoder
January 11, 2012

Retired NBA star Yao Ming was on hand at the release of six pandas into an enclosed nature preserve in central China on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.

"I think it is most important to keep a balance between modern living and nature. We have been talking about it for many years but it is never an easy thing to do," Yao told the AP.

Yao is a well-known conservation advocate and has been attending such events since his return to China following his retirement. The former All-Star made the decision to hang up his sneakers this offseason after his five-year, $76 million deal with the Houston Rockets expired.

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