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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


Apr 27, 2017 dee Cory
Apr 27, 2017 Tamara Zeller
Apr 26, 2017 Lin Koester
Apr 26, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Apr 26, 2017 Nagisa Fukumoto
Apr 25, 2017 Rachael Smith
Apr 25, 2017 Roberto Penaherrera
Apr 25, 2017 Heather Khan
Apr 25, 2017 Pamela McNeil
Apr 24, 2017 Leon Joubert
Apr 24, 2017 Katy Johnson
Apr 24, 2017 maria carranza
Apr 24, 2017 Elaine Briden
Apr 24, 2017 Rose Pollock
Apr 24, 2017 Vel Roe
Apr 24, 2017 YASMIN ENGINEER
Apr 24, 2017 Yolanda Bernhard
Apr 24, 2017 Janell Cooper
Apr 24, 2017 Sandra Hendrickson "We call them dumb animals, and so they are, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words." Anna Sewell, English novelist
Apr 24, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Apr 24, 2017 Deborah Ottinger THIS IS A DESPICABLE ACT!! STOP THIS NOW!!
Apr 24, 2017 Judith Shuman
Apr 24, 2017 malika guerrouche
Apr 24, 2017 Marina Carroué
Apr 24, 2017 Carol Lloyd
Apr 24, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Apr 24, 2017 Patricia Stern
Apr 24, 2017 Sandy Loney
Apr 24, 2017 marie maria
Apr 24, 2017 Ann Bertens
Apr 24, 2017 Audrey Morgan
Apr 24, 2017 Mia Goodbar
Apr 24, 2017 marie fontan
Apr 24, 2017 Megan Jacobsen
Apr 24, 2017 SAUVETON Sophie
Apr 24, 2017 James Colten
Apr 24, 2017 Teresa Cefai
Apr 24, 2017 Tam Anderson
Apr 24, 2017 Shadow Lion FIGHT FOR OUR WILDLIFE
Apr 24, 2017 Clare Jones
Apr 23, 2017 Sandra Walton
Apr 23, 2017 Hiedi Tan
Apr 23, 2017 Silke Linden
Apr 23, 2017 Lise Hogan
Apr 23, 2017 Kim Williams
Apr 23, 2017 Patricl Van Wonterghem
Apr 23, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Apr 23, 2017 Louise Gray
Apr 23, 2017 janet ayers
Apr 23, 2017 Debbie Reed

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