Target: Minister of Tourism of Zimbabwe, Honorable Walter Mzembi MP and Director General of Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, Mr. E. Chidziya
Goal: End the exportation of wildlife from Zimbabwe as it undermines animal welfare.
A recent report claimed that 27 baby elephants, some as young as five years old, have been separated from their families and exported to China. These animals were reportedly taken from Zimbabwe and transported to China where they will be destined for life in captivity. Zimbabwe has angered wildlife activists for considering such a move, which was alleged to help the country raise money for its conservation efforts.
The elephants were reportedly captured in Northwestern Zimbabwe, sparking outrage among animal right activists. However, the Zimbabwean government ignored calls to halt the move. The animals were then sent to Chimelong Safari Park after being held in a protected camp.
Reports indicate that Zimbabwe admitted it “desperately” needed the cash to make up revenue for wildlife operations. Chimelong Safari Park in Guangzhou is said to have around 20,000 animals, but has been condemned for allegedly raising its animals in adverse conditions and treating its animals poorly. The facility has also been alleged to have the largest circus in the world, though Zimbabwean authorities confirmed the elephants would not take part in any entertainment.
The government claims the animals will be returned, though activists argue it is unlikely for domesticated elephants that are separated from their families at a young age to be reunited with herds if they return. Though the government may have needed the cash, the welfare of the animals may be in jeopardy, especially after the previous deaths of baby elephants who were exported to China a few years ago.
The exportation of elephants from their natural habitat goes against all rational conservation methods and clearly only has a financial motive. Worse, the conditions in which these animals are being transported is cruel and should be strongly condemned. These elephants are being sentenced to a life of inhumane treatment.
Elephants have amazing memories, and if mistreated, they can become hostile once they return to Zimbabwe. Other reports indicate that China has ordered 30 lions from Zimbabwe, and the country is also alleged to have recently exported five black rhinos to Botswana. This is a clear indication that animal welfare is not being taken seriously in Zimbabwe. Urge Zimbabwe to stop the exportation of its wildlife and finally make animal conservation and welfare a priority by signing the petition below.
Dear Honorable Mzembi and Mr. E. Chidziya,
A recent revelation claims that your country captured some 27 elephants and exported them to China’s Chimelong Safari Park in Guangzhou. The move has angered wildlife activists, but your government has given a deaf ear to all the pleas from animal advocates.
The purpose of your exportation is alleged to be the need for financing of your wildlife operations, an action that ultimately went against animal welfare. Chimelong Safari Park has been suspected of mistreating its animals and is said to have one of the biggest circus, where your animals may be headed.
Though the Zimbabwean government claims the animals will eventually be returned, reuniting an elephant that has been separated from its herd at such a young age is almost impossible. Your country is also alleged to have exported five black rhinos to Botswana and reports also claim that China has ordered 30 lions. This reckless exportation of wildlife undermines the credibility of your country’s claims to protect its wildlife.
I urge you to do everything in your power to bring these exportations to a permanent halt. Elephants are highly intelligent animals that develop deep emotional bonds and removing them from their families breaks their spirits and endangers their lives. Please act fast and take action to end the exportation of wild animals in Zimbabwe.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: William Warby