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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

Nov 23, 2017 Irene Madrid I am shaking my head at humanity right now... very small hearts with massive greed. Please learn to open your hearts for these gentle beings, and less on your selfish pettiness.
Nov 23, 2017 colette duriez
Nov 22, 2017 Kristel Soles
Nov 22, 2017 Trisha Soles
Nov 22, 2017 dolores kitney
Nov 22, 2017 Claire Staley
Nov 22, 2017 R Mathoorasingh
Nov 21, 2017 Stephanie Reed
Nov 21, 2017 Howard James
Nov 21, 2017 Stacy Anderson
Nov 21, 2017 Gail Mason Please do not let this terrible activity be a reflection of your government and your people.
Nov 20, 2017 george maharis
Nov 20, 2017 Penny Fleischman
Nov 20, 2017 Kathleen Jones Being forced into a life of entertainment is not how life should be for these beautiful elephant babies. Elephants need to be protected. Please stop this cruelty!
Nov 19, 2017 Blanca Quinones
Nov 19, 2017 Gisele PENA
Nov 19, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 18, 2017 Jeanne Liander As Earthmates it's vital that we safeguard, defend and protect all species, we are all part of our only home, precious Planet Earth. Building one's deflated ego by "The Kill" are demented and need to be legally restricted.
Nov 18, 2017 Stacey Govito
Nov 18, 2017 Emma Brooks
Nov 18, 2017 Nicholas Chatfield
Nov 18, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 18, 2017 Tara Schwenker
Nov 18, 2017 Rosemary Taylor These beings don’t deserve this treatment. Stop!!
Nov 18, 2017 Sandra Gray
Nov 18, 2017 Beveryn Swaim
Nov 18, 2017 Giovanna Martinez
Nov 17, 2017 Kelly Cerbone
Nov 17, 2017 Janina Brzezina
Nov 17, 2017 Jeanette Desmond
Nov 17, 2017 Lisa Legato
Nov 17, 2017 Andrea Eisenberg
Nov 17, 2017 Lynne Goncalves
Nov 17, 2017 Josie Passarelli
Nov 17, 2017 Valentina Rossini
Nov 16, 2017 Nicole Stuart
Nov 16, 2017 Joyce Brogger
Nov 16, 2017 Jodi Ford
Nov 16, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 16, 2017 Glenda Valle
Nov 16, 2017 Tammy Lyle
Nov 16, 2017 guðmundur svavarsson
Nov 16, 2017 france fayet
Nov 16, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 16, 2017 Ashley Wong
Nov 16, 2017 Donna Pogue
Nov 16, 2017 Gina Arens
Nov 16, 2017 J.D. Brown
Nov 16, 2017 Tammy Hayes Discusting and heartless practice.

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