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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

Jan 18, 2018 Corene Martin
Jan 17, 2018 Ruth Griffiths
Jan 17, 2018 Andre Ferro
Jan 17, 2018 Michael Friedmann
Jan 17, 2018 Sylvie Auger
Jan 17, 2018 Danny van Huizen
Jan 17, 2018 Sandra Flynn
Jan 17, 2018 Jens Hansen
Jan 16, 2018 Mike Hughey
Jan 16, 2018 aya oda
Jan 16, 2018 Sandra Boylston
Jan 16, 2018 michelle elliott
Jan 16, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jan 16, 2018 Susan Goddard
Jan 16, 2018 nil saran
Jan 16, 2018 Anna Regan
Jan 16, 2018 Helene Hebbel-Klose
Jan 16, 2018 Inge Bjorkman
Jan 15, 2018 Katie McGrath Horrible. Inhumane. Shame on any government or country that is involved. You have no soul.
Jan 15, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jan 15, 2018 Barb Knight
Jan 15, 2018 Soraya Weatherby
Jan 15, 2018 Andrea Corwin Elephants belong in the wild, not captive for photos or rides. Stop stealing baby elephants from their herd.
Jan 15, 2018 Bénédicte PECHA
Jan 15, 2018 Melissa Adams
Jan 15, 2018 julie o'rourke China, Zimbabwe, get into the 21st century! protect our animals!
Jan 15, 2018 Eunice Johnston
Jan 15, 2018 Ed Vieira
Jan 15, 2018 jeanne rogers
Jan 15, 2018 Sally Drake
Jan 15, 2018 A Sleem
Jan 15, 2018 Catherine Gaspard
Jan 15, 2018 Ben Oscar Andersson
Jan 15, 2018 Victoria Peyser
Jan 15, 2018 Kalliope M.
Jan 15, 2018 Donita Lowrey
Jan 15, 2018 Lisa Kovacs
Jan 14, 2018 Sieglinda Preez
Jan 14, 2018 Shabnam Shafiq
Jan 14, 2018 Lynne Grant
Jan 13, 2018 Sheri Nolen
Jan 13, 2018 Cathy Saunders
Jan 13, 2018 Carrie Bushy
Jan 12, 2018 Susan Briggs
Jan 12, 2018 Mary Paulsboe
Jan 12, 2018 Chris Cortese
Jan 12, 2018 Maureen Ellen McGill Slavery and Kidnapping
Jan 11, 2018 Sandra Tucker
Jan 11, 2018 Alice Glass

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