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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.

Sign Here

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

Mar 23, 2018 Sharon Aikin
Mar 23, 2018 Lucinda Hare
Mar 23, 2018 Lisa Hagan
Mar 23, 2018 keely gleason
Mar 23, 2018 Carl Clark
Mar 23, 2018 Gerhard Herzog
Mar 23, 2018 Lauren Pray I've signed so many petitions, I only wish I could do more than just hope for the best. Humans really show how terribe a species can be...
Mar 23, 2018 Terrie A. Cahoe
Mar 23, 2018 Crystal Wingert
Mar 23, 2018 Melissa Hopkinson-Crofts
Mar 23, 2018 Fiona Power
Mar 23, 2018 Monika Megyeri
Mar 23, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 23, 2018 doris von Klopotek
Mar 23, 2018 midori shintani
Mar 22, 2018 Andrea Durick
Mar 22, 2018 Rachele Stein
Mar 22, 2018 doris ertong
Mar 22, 2018 Denise Vallee
Mar 22, 2018 Angela Passetti This is so cruel and cold blooded. Africa is slowly loosing all it,s wild to carelessness and ignorance.
Mar 21, 2018 Robert Whitaker
Mar 21, 2018 Sharon Nelson This is so heart breaking, it’s like human trafficking! Any country that allows this is barbaric. I will stop purchasing products from China until this and abuse to dogs are stopped.
Mar 21, 2018 annah jetha
Mar 21, 2018 Jane Johnson
Mar 21, 2018 Carla Montes
Mar 21, 2018 Pam Smyth
Mar 20, 2018 Linda Borner
Mar 20, 2018 Lothar Schmidt
Mar 20, 2018 Ursula Bellof
Mar 20, 2018 agnes trivier
Mar 19, 2018 Marji Parrish
Mar 19, 2018 Casey Phillips
Mar 19, 2018 Maria R. Gomez
Mar 18, 2018 Sandra Clark
Mar 18, 2018 Regina Toledo
Mar 18, 2018 Mike Dollard
Mar 18, 2018 Rusty Collins This is cruel and unnecessary.
Mar 18, 2018 Ana Suarez
Mar 17, 2018 Claudia Honigsztejn
Mar 17, 2018 Don Perkins
Mar 17, 2018 Joan Autry Elephants are too smart and understanding to be ANYTHING but wild!
Mar 17, 2018 Cortney Miller
Mar 17, 2018 Suzanne Lenhart
Mar 17, 2018 Cheryl Pebley Seriously, no living animal is immune from being exploited tortured or abused on this planet. We need to stop abusing and start caring
Mar 17, 2018 Marlene Smith
Mar 17, 2018 Marsha Williams
Mar 17, 2018 Sharon Mylott
Mar 16, 2018 Michele Miller
Mar 15, 2018 Angela Danzik
Mar 15, 2018 Kim Sellon

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