Target: Namibian government
Goal: Stop the Namibian government’s plan to capture and transport almost 150 wild animals to a zoo in Cuba.
The Namibian Government is planning to send almost 150 wild animals to be confined in Cuba. This plan—known as “Noah’s Ark II”—was promised by the Namibian Government to Cuba’s president Raul Castro during a 2009 visit. “Noah’s Ark II” will involve wild African elephants, rhinos, leopards, lions, antelopes and vultures being captured from their wild, natural habitat and being shipped to Cuba.
According to The Guardian, the Namibian people will be footing the estimated $25 million bill for capturing and relocating the animals to Cuba. At the moment, the plan includes capturing and holding the animals at the Waterberg Plateau Park, where they will be kept in temporary enclosures prior to permanent relocation to Cuba.
Although scientists and wildlife experts will be on call at the Cuba location during the first two weeks after relocation, there is valid concern about the effects of stress on the animals’ welfare caused by the unnecessary capture and removal. As described by The Guardian, the list of animals being shipped to Cuba includes roan antelopes, common impalas, greater kudus, Cape elands, gemsbok, springbok, hartebeest, elephants, buffalos, spotted hyenas, brown hyenas, lions, porcupines, leopards, black-backed jackals, cheetahs, caracals, honey badgers, bat-eared foxes, ostriches, and white-backed vultures.
Rightly so, the move is triggering waves of concern and criticism. The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA), a South African activist group, was disgusted at Namibia’s plan. In a press release from the NSPCA, the group said, “[We] express disgust at the Namibian government’s decision to capture animals from the wild for transportation to Cuba.” It continued, “It is saddening to note that these animals will be taken out of their natural habitat and sent to a strange land where they will be deprived of freedom and be totally dependent on humans for their daily needs.” This move (along with the annual Namibian seal cull), “raises serious concerns regarding this country’s stance on animal welfare.”
Sign below to express your concern for the welfare of these animals, which are being dislocated from their natural setting for a mere political favor. Tell the Namibian Government that this is a truly deplorable move—one that would be domesticating hundreds of wild, free-roaming animals.
Dear Government of Namibia,
The “Noah’s Ark II” plan to send hundreds of wild African animals to Cuba to live in captivity is an environmentally irresponsible and cruel decision.
“Noah’s Ark II” will be responsible for taking over 150 free, wild animals from their natural habitats and relocating them without any regard for how this will impact their welfare. Any decision that includes domesticating such a large number of wild animals warrants scrutiny, and it should be known that this is not a responsible, sustainable decision.
These animals are much better off remaining in their natural habitat. Uprooting and moving to a foreign location will cause the animals undue stress, not to mention the stress and possible health complications related to the move and shipping process.
This plan does not make sense and should not be implemented. Please take the welfare of the 150 animals you plan to displace into account.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: travfotos via Flickr