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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 24, 2017 Jody Lewis-Zajac
Mar 23, 2017 Sherrie Collins
Mar 23, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 23, 2017 Patrizia Lazzeri Thank you for the important work you do with regard to the conservation of endangered species.However, your recent decision to allow the capture, sale & exploitation of 200 Zimbabwean elephant calves has raised deep concern.Calves are NOT entertainment!!
Mar 23, 2017 John Duda
Mar 23, 2017 Monika Saluter
Mar 23, 2017 Pam Dedinsky This is grossly inhumane. Such beautiful creatures should not be treated like this. Please help.
Mar 23, 2017 Anita Merrigan
Mar 23, 2017 Linda Brown
Mar 23, 2017 Kimberly Quinones
Mar 23, 2017 KAREN WASSING
Mar 23, 2017 Stephanie Ferguson The cruelty never seems to end. These elephants are social and intelligent creatures. Your exploitation of these calves is unconscionable.
Mar 23, 2017 LAURIE THORNE
Mar 23, 2017 Penny Casey
Mar 23, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 23, 2017 Diane Brown
Mar 23, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 23, 2017 Laura Gwin
Mar 23, 2017 Georgia Roussis
Mar 23, 2017 Andrea Harrison
Mar 22, 2017 Maggie Santiago
Mar 22, 2017 Tatiana Gajdosova
Mar 21, 2017 Debbie Dather
Mar 21, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 21, 2017 Ingrid Ze
Mar 21, 2017 Isabella Bailey
Mar 21, 2017 Valéria Menicucci
Mar 21, 2017 Rebecca Harper
Mar 21, 2017 Leilani Swafford
Mar 21, 2017 Jody Solow
Mar 20, 2017 Deborah Cohen
Mar 20, 2017 Priyanka Guha Roy
Mar 20, 2017 Maxine Sansom
Mar 20, 2017 (Name not displayed) Please save these baby elephants.
Mar 20, 2017 sally timmins
Mar 20, 2017 LJILJANA M
Mar 19, 2017 carol Travers
Mar 18, 2017 Glen Apseloff
Mar 18, 2017 Sage Melocik
Mar 18, 2017 jon zebrowski
Mar 18, 2017 marty zebrowski
Mar 18, 2017 Marilyn Childers
Mar 18, 2017 Sibrina Russell
Mar 18, 2017 Carla Caratto
Mar 18, 2017 Stephanie Branom
Mar 17, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 17, 2017 Alexandra Cordeiro
Mar 16, 2017 Caroline Debaille

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