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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


Jul 20, 2018 karen reedy
Jul 20, 2018 Edward Sumerdon
Jul 19, 2018 Sonya Smith
Jul 19, 2018 Annie Krochmalny
Jul 19, 2018 Stephanie East-Ginting
Jul 19, 2018 Vickie Janetos
Jul 19, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jul 19, 2018 Summer Patterson
Jul 18, 2018 Gabrielle Huang
Jul 18, 2018 jmeterFirstName921524400780143 jmetetlastName648647409956907 jmeterComment5405
Jul 18, 2018 jmeterFirstName764283814912519 jmetetlastName809237095275313 jmeterComment2707
Jul 18, 2018 Karen Burger
Jul 18, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jul 18, 2018 Belgica Centonzio
Jul 18, 2018 yvonne Ryder
Jul 18, 2018 Allison Mielniczuk
Jul 18, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jul 18, 2018 Julie Eversole
Jul 18, 2018 Ursula Bayer
Jul 18, 2018 Lisa Gaudiosi
Jul 17, 2018 Katia Pastorello
Jul 17, 2018 Nancy Clancy
Jul 17, 2018 Joan Kelly
Jul 17, 2018 David Sickles
Jul 17, 2018 Arleen Otto Papula
Jul 17, 2018 Juanita Fournier
Jul 17, 2018 Joyce Frievalt
Jul 17, 2018 Ingeborg Perner
Jul 17, 2018 Heide-Marie Henniger
Jul 17, 2018 Davina Gilligan
Jul 17, 2018 Sharon Jones
Jul 17, 2018 Cynthia Elsensohn
Jul 17, 2018 erin craig
Jul 17, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jul 17, 2018 Lucille Decaria
Jul 17, 2018 Stéphanie MONCADE
Jul 17, 2018 Phillippa Hilsden
Jul 17, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jul 17, 2018 Oliver McGinnis
Jul 17, 2018 Shawn Grause
Jul 17, 2018 Marilyn Whitmore
Jul 17, 2018 Christine Snyder
Jul 17, 2018 Linda Mcdermott
Jul 17, 2018 TINA HERNANDEZ This country and culture is absolutely disgusting and needs to Stop.
Jul 17, 2018 mike lyons
Jul 17, 2018 Candace Funk
Jul 17, 2018 Laura McGhie Why is China the common denominator in so many animal cruelty and exploitive practices??!! Shame on that government. Really shows who and what they really are. The elephants are loved and held in such high regard across the globe. Tragic.
Jul 17, 2018 Marguerite Panzica
Jul 16, 2018 Nancy Orhun
Jul 16, 2018 Tor-arne Bundesen Leave animals alone in pease. STOP animal cruelty NOW.

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