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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


Aug 14, 2018 Giulia Baldoni
Aug 13, 2018 Virgil Pauls
Aug 13, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Aug 13, 2018 Victoria Bender
Aug 13, 2018 Sue Michelson
Aug 13, 2018 Pamela Younge Elephants are precious and very social animals with their pact. They share generational memory and must remain in their native territory, not used for human entertainment. We closed circuses, stopped the sale of Ivory, to discourage the poaching and remo
Aug 13, 2018 Elaine Coburn Until we extend the circle of compassion to all living things, we will not ourselves find peace. ALBERT SCHWEITZER
Aug 13, 2018 Paula Conoscenti
Aug 13, 2018 Robin Shepard
Aug 13, 2018 Tammy Gregg
Aug 13, 2018 MONICA FRYER
Aug 13, 2018 janna murphy
Aug 13, 2018 Betty Lininger
Aug 13, 2018 Courtney Gatchell
Aug 13, 2018 Chris Reynolds
Aug 13, 2018 Roni Butcher
Aug 12, 2018 Beverly Linton
Aug 12, 2018 Maureen Arnold
Aug 11, 2018 Karen Giammarco Find another damn hobby and leave the innocent elephants and other animals alone. How sick can you people be?
Aug 11, 2018 Laurel Humphrey
Aug 10, 2018 BARBARA CONSOLO
Aug 10, 2018 Michael Stephens If people want entertainment from elephants then they should go and see them in the wild. Stop this unnecessary practice.
Aug 9, 2018 Matthew Gendrich
Aug 9, 2018 nancy moreland
Aug 8, 2018 Michael Crowden
Aug 8, 2018 Irwin Hoenig
Aug 7, 2018 Angela Hall
Aug 6, 2018 Antoinette Gonzales
Aug 6, 2018 Angela Hall
Aug 5, 2018 Mary Ainsworth Why are baby elephants from a national park being removed from their mothers? Why are they being sold to China for entertainment? We need to protect our animals from perishing. Please reconsider your approval until everything is studied further
Aug 4, 2018 Zelda Bush
Aug 4, 2018 Vedran Abadzic
Aug 4, 2018 Mariana Nohra
Aug 3, 2018 Jessica Salyers
Aug 3, 2018 Xiomara Somarriba
Aug 2, 2018 Isabel Figueiras
Aug 2, 2018 Margarida Valadao
Aug 2, 2018 Maria Angeles Leorza Arechavaleta
Aug 2, 2018 Lois Marie Gacher
Aug 2, 2018 Maxi Scott
Aug 1, 2018 Elva Granat
Aug 1, 2018 Patrizia Cordoni
Jul 31, 2018 Rachelle Craft
Jul 31, 2018 Deborah Kerns
Jul 31, 2018 Carolyn Smith
Jul 31, 2018 Lucia Flakus
Jul 31, 2018 Tracy Pierce
Jul 31, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jul 30, 2018 Marc Ochs
Jul 30, 2018 Ana Andre

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