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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

Sep 19, 2017 Petra Stadtmueller
Sep 18, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Sep 17, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Sep 17, 2017 Candy Duncan
Sep 17, 2017 Jan McMichael
Sep 17, 2017 Nori Koenig
Sep 17, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Sep 17, 2017 Pat McCluskey This is so sad because elephants are certainly family oriented. Why would you take a baby away from his family.
Sep 17, 2017 Attie Roets
Sep 17, 2017 stephanie rohmer
Sep 17, 2017 muriel bertin
Sep 17, 2017 Sandy Sanderson
Sep 17, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Sep 16, 2017 Abhinav Goel
Sep 16, 2017 paulo reeson
Sep 16, 2017 Allen Olson
Sep 16, 2017 Mary Thomas
Sep 16, 2017 mike robertson
Sep 16, 2017 Walter Firth
Sep 16, 2017 Sara Kennedy
Sep 16, 2017 Skylar Storm
Sep 16, 2017 kathleen michael
Sep 16, 2017 Ljiljana Milic
Sep 16, 2017 Christine Eustaquio
Sep 16, 2017 Susan Bradshaw
Sep 15, 2017 Jeannette remak Elephants are among the most sensitive and family oriented animals HOW DARE YOU!!! STOP THIS PRACTICE. Would you like to have your baby ripped from your side???? NO didn't think so!
Sep 15, 2017 Jacqueline Peter
Sep 14, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Sep 14, 2017 Lauri Moon
Sep 14, 2017 Kristie Hatton
Sep 14, 2017 Deborah Moore
Sep 14, 2017 (Name not displayed) Elephants are sentient beings with families. Leave them in their native habitat, to be wild, at peace, and free.
Sep 13, 2017 Mindy Beardsley
Sep 13, 2017 Gillian Lee
Sep 13, 2017 Rod Davis
Sep 13, 2017 lisa fields DON'T!!
Sep 13, 2017 Monika Jakubik
Sep 13, 2017 Mary Collinson
Sep 13, 2017 jane Leavitt
Sep 13, 2017 tammy bullock
Sep 13, 2017 Valerie Holmes
Sep 13, 2017 Vikki Chiarini
Sep 13, 2017 Vivian Lieb
Sep 13, 2017 Robin Mayne
Sep 12, 2017 Terry Mann
Sep 12, 2017 Ami Bergström
Sep 11, 2017 Kristi Ellenberger
Sep 11, 2017 Martin Olsson
Sep 11, 2017 Richard Jenkins

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