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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


Oct 22, 2017 Vicky Chan
Oct 22, 2017 JUNE CAMPBELL
Oct 22, 2017 Leah Santini
Oct 22, 2017 Pippa Tate Animals are not circus acts. They are very intelligent animals who deserve to live their lives in their own country - away from trappers and being used as slaves. If we do not do anything now - then we won't have any elephants left.
Oct 22, 2017 Gabriella Buschi
Oct 22, 2017 Doreen DeLuca
Oct 21, 2017 Vincenzo Taffoni
Oct 21, 2017 irene kucyk
Oct 21, 2017 Carmen Cavada
Oct 21, 2017 Martin Lemos
Oct 21, 2017 Guada Gamallo
Oct 21, 2017 Blanca Díaz
Oct 21, 2017 María Teresa Rico
Oct 21, 2017 Kristy Blain
Oct 21, 2017 Zaher Naoum
Oct 21, 2017 Diana Moore
Oct 21, 2017 Cindy Lowe
Oct 20, 2017 Liliana Fiorini
Oct 20, 2017 Julie Karstensen
Oct 20, 2017 Monica Preis
Oct 20, 2017 K Moore
Oct 20, 2017 Dianne Lynch
Oct 20, 2017 chris small
Oct 20, 2017 antonio lunanova
Oct 19, 2017 Susan Taylor
Oct 19, 2017 Rex De Silva
Oct 19, 2017 Ingrid Heckl
Oct 19, 2017 john smith elephants have to be protectet
Oct 19, 2017 Janice Taylor
Oct 19, 2017 Nancy Lowell
Oct 19, 2017 Marian Lewis Elephants are threatened in so many ways, and they should be protected to live in their natural environments, free from human transgression. Do the right thing and do it now!!
Oct 19, 2017 Antoinette Kizak
Oct 19, 2017 Alson Sachs
Oct 19, 2017 Christine Cotton
Oct 19, 2017 Graciela Rodriguez-Sero
Oct 19, 2017 Lilian Hamburguer
Oct 18, 2017 Fiona Carmody elephants are not pests and must be protected.
Oct 17, 2017 sj Cannon
Oct 17, 2017 lisa Gilmore
Oct 17, 2017 Pamela Ierubino
Oct 16, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Oct 16, 2017 LORI MCCAULIFF This inhumane practice must be stopped NOW!
Oct 16, 2017 Sue Coughlin
Oct 16, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Oct 15, 2017 (Name not displayed) Please retract your approval of the trade of baby elephants into destitute existence.
Oct 15, 2017 TERESA BOWMAN Elephants are very emotional & loving creatures~ They survive by staying in family groups...The country & people doing this are heartless and cruel!!!!
Oct 15, 2017 Adrienne Bowley
Oct 14, 2017 Maureen Wheeler
Oct 14, 2017 Margarete Rosa Da Silveira
Oct 14, 2017 Christi Hernandez

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