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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


Jun 24, 2017 julie roberts
Jun 24, 2017 Judy Dolan
Jun 24, 2017 Pamela Benavides
Jun 24, 2017 Diane Miller I think its time people who don't value all life need to start being used THE SAME WAY they use animals
Jun 24, 2017 Rose Saunders
Jun 24, 2017 Patricia Martin
Jun 24, 2017 Irene W. Dowdell
Jun 24, 2017 Linda Franzenbach
Jun 24, 2017 Barbara Owen
Jun 23, 2017 Deborah Scharf
Jun 23, 2017 Francis Robertson
Jun 23, 2017 Wendy Maltonic
Jun 23, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jun 23, 2017 Jennifer Griffin
Jun 23, 2017 carol sommerfeld
Jun 23, 2017 Michael Furia
Jun 23, 2017 kristin anderson
Jun 22, 2017 Lydia Benade
Jun 22, 2017 Kathryn McLean
Jun 22, 2017 Marion Vir
Jun 22, 2017 joan little
Jun 22, 2017 ana araque
Jun 22, 2017 Joyce McConnell
Jun 22, 2017 Magdalena Niewitecka Leave my animals in peace!!!!
Jun 22, 2017 Megan McFatter
Jun 22, 2017 Jean Bellino
Jun 22, 2017 Antoinette Gonzales
Jun 22, 2017 Marty Neider Its like kidnapping children and exploiting children far from their families and homes. It is cruel and inhumane. Additionally, the Chinese are not known for their humane treatment of animals, often using cruel and violent methods of training.
Jun 22, 2017 Brian Reagan
Jun 22, 2017 Candice Eye
Jun 22, 2017 Sc Vdb
Jun 22, 2017 Beverly Brown
Jun 22, 2017 Barbara Ribinski Elephants should be cherished. They are majestic and wonderful creatures.
Jun 22, 2017 delores krieger
Jun 22, 2017 Alice Fewings
Jun 22, 2017 Rita Zang Would you want your baby taken from you? Elephants love their families & should not be separated from them.
Jun 22, 2017 Octavia Salerno
Jun 22, 2017 Ali Page
Jun 22, 2017 Aude Mongiatti
Jun 22, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jun 21, 2017 K. Zi
Jun 21, 2017 Jeannie Hall
Jun 21, 2017 MICHAEL CHANCE
Jun 21, 2017 Elizabeth Dry
Jun 21, 2017 Maxine Holloway
Jun 21, 2017 Annette Utz
Jun 21, 2017 kelsey greene
Jun 21, 2017 Joe and Karen Lansdale
Jun 21, 2017 Kate Pruden
Jun 21, 2017 Cheri Langlois NONE of these creatures should be TORN from their families. They are not here for our ENTERTAINMENT, they are here for themselves. Do NOT allow any babies to be taken

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