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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 18, 2018 Sandra Clark
Mar 18, 2018 Regina Toledo
Mar 18, 2018 Mike Dollard
Mar 18, 2018 Rusty Collins This is cruel and unnecessary.
Mar 18, 2018 Ana Suarez
Mar 17, 2018 Claudia Honigsztejn
Mar 17, 2018 Don Perkins
Mar 17, 2018 Joan Autry Elephants are too smart and understanding to be ANYTHING but wild!
Mar 17, 2018 Cortney Miller
Mar 17, 2018 Suzanne Lenhart
Mar 17, 2018 Cheryl Pebley Seriously, no living animal is immune from being exploited tortured or abused on this planet. We need to stop abusing and start caring
Mar 17, 2018 Marlene Smith
Mar 17, 2018 Marsha Williams
Mar 17, 2018 Sharon Mylott
Mar 16, 2018 Michele Miller
Mar 15, 2018 Angela Danzik
Mar 15, 2018 Kim Sellon
Mar 15, 2018 Karen Phylow
Mar 15, 2018 hEATHER Knowles
Mar 15, 2018 Deja Brown
Mar 15, 2018 Deb Wade
Mar 15, 2018 Leslie Sisco
Mar 15, 2018 gretchen roberson
Mar 15, 2018 susan shawket
Mar 15, 2018 linda campbell
Mar 14, 2018 Tom Rarey
Mar 14, 2018 Nathalie LAZAREVSKI
Mar 14, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 14, 2018 s w
Mar 13, 2018 Aleix Gonzalez
Mar 13, 2018 Karen Andersen
Mar 13, 2018 irene riviere
Mar 13, 2018 Irene Hathout
Mar 12, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 12, 2018 debbie williams
Mar 12, 2018 Kim DelMonico
Mar 12, 2018 Teresa Cruz-Wortman
Mar 12, 2018 LISA FOX
Mar 12, 2018 Donna Marino
Mar 11, 2018 Regina Milione
Mar 11, 2018 Lina Guerrero
Mar 11, 2018 Julie Haugen
Mar 11, 2018 Jill Dray
Mar 11, 2018 Sandra Just
Mar 10, 2018 Andrea Howard
Mar 10, 2018 Vanessa Beriain
Mar 10, 2018 Rita Leone
Mar 10, 2018 MELISSA DUNN
Mar 10, 2018 melissa owens
Mar 10, 2018 Tamera Macy

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