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Last year, the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force reported that a number of baby elephants aged two and five years old had been abducted from Hwange National Park. Earlier this year, twenty-four were shipped to China to perform circus-like acts for the public; 170 more are currently waiting to join them.

As justification, Zimbabwean lawmakers claim the elephants are disturbing their neighbors, eating too much food, and are a threat to the economy. To rectify these apparently horrendous crimes, the government has decided to sell the elephant calves into slavery — to live out the rest of their lives as objects of entertainment.

Each elephant is being sold by the Zimbabwean government for about $40,000 — a small price for the lives of some of the most caring sentient beings on the planet.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Secretariat has stated, "[T]he export would not be detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild." However, since the forest-dwelling and savannah elephants of Africa are still classified as a single species by the IUCN — despite evidence suggesting they are genetically distinct — the statement by CITES is based in conjecture and not fact.

Tell CITES Secretary-General John E. Scanlon to retract his approval of this trade, and postpone any decision on African elephants until the IUCN has re-evaluated the species status of African elephants.

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Dear Secretary-General Scanlon,

Thank you for the important work you do with regard to the conservation of endangered species. The CITES Secretariat has proven itself integral to the continued survival of earth's animals, making it one of the most important organizations currently in operation.

However, your recent decision to allow the capture, sale, and exploitation of nearly 200 Zimbabwean elephant calves has raised significant concern among conservationists. According to the CITES report on the decision, the move will not have a significant impact on the African elephant "species."

The Secretariat presumably reached this conclusion based on the IUCN's current assessment of the African elephant's conservation status. Yet the IUCN listing for Loxodonta africana also contains a taxonomic note: "Preliminary genetic evidence suggests that there may be at least two species of African elephant... [and a] third species... has also been postulated." The IUCN claims that more research is required before re-classification of the African elephant, and therefore the current assessment includes all elephant populations in Africa.

I understand that the large population size of Zimbabwean elephants can make it difficult to see how removing a couple hundred individuals would make a significant impact. However, the second-greatest threat to Zimbabwe's elephants after poachers is the misclassification, and subsequent misinterpretation of the existential danger these animals face.

Since we do not currently know how many of each species of African elephant currently live where, it is impossible to definitively say that relocating any will not endanger the survival of one species or the other. Therefore, I insist that you withdrawal your approval of the Zimbabwe government's sale of kidnapped baby elephants.

Not only is the enslavement of these calves ethically egregious, but (as far as we know) by allowing this travesty you may be facilitating the extinction of an entire species of elephant.

Thank you.

Petition Signatures


Aug 19, 2017 Leslie Ellis This is especially egregious for the calves who are removed from their mothers at a young age. This is abuse!
Aug 19, 2017 Wendy Kasprzyk
Aug 19, 2017 Jeannette de Agnolo
Aug 19, 2017 marianne cresci
Aug 19, 2017 Beverly Schwarz
Aug 19, 2017 Jeanne Bradbury Let's see: How can we make destruction of the elephant herds more heinous? SELL calves to China, one of the world's epicenters of animal suffering!!
Aug 19, 2017 Mariannem Sachs-Iacob
Aug 18, 2017 b storey
Aug 18, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Aug 18, 2017 Sophia Lim
Aug 18, 2017 Sylvie GENARD
Aug 18, 2017 Jennifer Taylor
Aug 17, 2017 Simona Bergman
Aug 17, 2017 Alysa Fleisher Elephants, as all animals, are not yours to do as you please. All animals have their rights. They are NOT a nuisance. They were there first and deserve your respect.
Aug 17, 2017 Susan Harmon
Aug 17, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Aug 17, 2017 laura fowler
Aug 17, 2017 Paula McCarty
Aug 17, 2017 Mj Rostoll
Aug 17, 2017 alicia woodke
Aug 17, 2017 francesca corteccioni
Aug 17, 2017 Fausta Dimascio
Aug 16, 2017 jessica decker
Aug 16, 2017 C. Scott
Aug 16, 2017 Julie Reid
Aug 16, 2017 Mauricio Ross
Aug 16, 2017 Stella Statsevich
Aug 16, 2017 Robert Plummer
Aug 16, 2017 sandra falconi
Aug 16, 2017 monika gudsowski
Aug 16, 2017 Bonnie Bushnell
Aug 16, 2017 Johanna Hantel
Aug 16, 2017 janet oldham
Aug 16, 2017 Fateh Sidhu
Aug 16, 2017 Alexandra Harteam
Aug 16, 2017 Linda Skrlton
Aug 16, 2017 Evelyn Peterson
Aug 16, 2017 Laurie Franklin
Aug 16, 2017 Vanessa Zunn
Aug 16, 2017 Janet Elder
Aug 16, 2017 maribeth henkel
Aug 16, 2017 Rodica Ardelean
Aug 16, 2017 Jenny Fortsch
Aug 16, 2017 Michelle Veckerelli
Aug 16, 2017 anthony mcguinness
Aug 16, 2017 Jen Houston
Aug 16, 2017 Janet Featherstone's Utterly disgraceful.
Aug 16, 2017 Thereann Lisa
Aug 16, 2017 Suzanne Thorpe Elephants, as all animals, are not yours to do as you please. All animals have their rights. Never send anyone or anything to China it is a place of vast evil which even kills its own people.
Aug 15, 2017 Tracy Magee

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