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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

Apr 23, 2017 Patricl Van Wonterghem
Apr 23, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Apr 23, 2017 Louise Gray
Apr 23, 2017 janet ayers
Apr 23, 2017 Debbie Reed
Apr 23, 2017 Cecilia Lippa
Apr 23, 2017 Karen Simpson
Apr 23, 2017 marie evrard
Apr 22, 2017 janina teodoro
Apr 22, 2017 Karen Wilkinson
Apr 22, 2017 Deborah Ludwig
Apr 22, 2017 SALLY SHUMSKY
Apr 22, 2017 Beverly Dennis
Apr 22, 2017 Elizabeth Longo
Apr 22, 2017 Vickie Lake Please save them
Apr 22, 2017 Glenda Foreman
Apr 22, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Apr 22, 2017 Kim Lisacek
Apr 22, 2017 Rebecca Bennett
Apr 22, 2017 (Name not displayed) Please save the elephants.
Apr 22, 2017 Amy Garofalo
Apr 22, 2017 sophia dalle uncivilized
Apr 22, 2017 Christopher Evans
Apr 21, 2017 Andrew Vallender
Apr 21, 2017 Patrick Felix
Apr 21, 2017 Sandra Schomberg
Apr 21, 2017 Maria Zambrano
Apr 21, 2017 Laura Shames
Apr 21, 2017 cate renner
Apr 21, 2017 Brittney Coles-Webb
Apr 21, 2017 Bren Cozad
Apr 21, 2017 Debbie Banditelli
Apr 21, 2017 Julia French
Apr 21, 2017 graciela kries
Apr 21, 2017 Mary Anne Fichter
Apr 21, 2017 Ellen Grossman
Apr 21, 2017 Cyndi Brockett
Apr 21, 2017 Charlotte Chavez
Apr 21, 2017 Angelita O'Connor
Apr 21, 2017 paula overby
Apr 20, 2017 Jacques DANZIN
Apr 20, 2017 Anne Settanni
Apr 20, 2017 Lisa Lashaway
Apr 20, 2017 Jean Campbell Such a tragedy. These are intelligent and gentle animals. They are not here on earth for your entertainment.
Apr 19, 2017 Dawn Ciszar
Apr 19, 2017 catherine simmons
Apr 18, 2017 Shauna Penniston
Apr 18, 2017 Kim Lacost
Apr 18, 2017 Jerri Berg
Apr 18, 2017 Vanessa Ungaro

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