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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

Apr 25, 2018 karin haberthuer
Apr 24, 2018 giulia mori
Apr 24, 2018 Betül Akıncı
Apr 24, 2018 Marion Barbour
Apr 24, 2018 Marcia Richardson
Apr 24, 2018 Teresa Wass
Apr 24, 2018 Irene riley
Apr 24, 2018 Marilyn Best
Apr 23, 2018 Susan Mueller
Apr 23, 2018 Rita Willis
Apr 23, 2018 Bob Willis
Apr 23, 2018 Rose Hickford
Apr 23, 2018 Bob Hickford
Apr 23, 2018 Sandia Germenis
Apr 22, 2018 Chrysanne Fife This heinous practice must stop. Surely CITES can work with Zimbabwe's government to stop this treatment of a sensitive & amazing species.
Apr 22, 2018 suzanne caruso
Apr 22, 2018 Judy Ziegler
Apr 21, 2018 Judy Moran
Apr 21, 2018 Cate Abicht
Apr 21, 2018 Rita Council These poor babies. They deserve a chance to have a good life and roam free in their natural habitat. They are such beautiful animals and should not have to be exploited at some crappy zoo! I love them all!!!!
Apr 20, 2018 Αγγελική Βλαχοπούλου people sucks, give me an elephant everyday
Apr 20, 2018 Katie McMahon-Ellenz
Apr 19, 2018 Dorothy Tabone
Apr 19, 2018 Lynda Busardo
Apr 19, 2018 Mary Williams
Apr 19, 2018 L . T . CRAWFORD
Apr 19, 2018 Susanne Fuchs
Apr 19, 2018 Dianne Brekhus
Apr 18, 2018 Toni Ostroskie
Apr 18, 2018 Lisa Smith
Apr 18, 2018 Judith Rubin We have to save these magnificent creatures.
Apr 18, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Apr 18, 2018 Annemarie Owen
Apr 18, 2018 Christine Fernando
Apr 18, 2018 geraldine antierens
Apr 17, 2018 Kathy Doran Please!
Apr 17, 2018 Ashley Horton
Apr 17, 2018 Valerie Charbonneau
Apr 17, 2018 Steven Wolff
Apr 17, 2018 Brandi Jung
Apr 17, 2018 Audrey Klesta THese precious animals are a TREASURE for your country!
Apr 16, 2018 Jane Lemison
Apr 16, 2018 Ronda Bowman
Apr 16, 2018 Julia Woods
Apr 15, 2018 nicole goberdhan
Apr 15, 2018 Barbara Buckley
Apr 15, 2018 Svetlana Krikunenko
Apr 15, 2018 daniela cornea
Apr 15, 2018 H Grant
Apr 15, 2018 Kathleen Williams

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