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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

May 26, 2017 Beverley Lengden
May 26, 2017 Kelly Brown
May 26, 2017 Ben Cachola
May 26, 2017 Rona Barela Animals are our defenseless Brothers and Sisters.We need to stop torture and treat them like objects.What we sow,we shall ripe.They have the right to be free and rise their families in freedom and peace.
May 26, 2017 Karen Moore
May 25, 2017 Susan Krauss We must boycott travel and purchase feom this country unril this cruel and hideoua practise ends.
May 24, 2017 Francine Dolins
May 24, 2017 tara spires
May 24, 2017 Susan Joyce
May 24, 2017 Stacy Wykle
May 24, 2017 Lise Kastigar
May 24, 2017 Ingemar Oscarson
May 23, 2017 Julie Langton
May 23, 2017 Joei Fische Please retract your approval of this trade, and postpone any decision on African elephants until the IUCN has re-evaluated the species status of African elephants
May 23, 2017 Nora Etkin
May 23, 2017 (Name not displayed)
May 23, 2017 Luke Maziarek
May 23, 2017 Johanna Silverstein
May 23, 2017 Karen Lutz
May 23, 2017 (Name not displayed)
May 23, 2017 Bath Marszalek
May 23, 2017 Agneta Gulz
May 23, 2017 Jennifer Day
May 23, 2017 fran allen
May 23, 2017 Elaine Wallace
May 22, 2017 Erica Daves
May 22, 2017 Gabi Sorrell
May 21, 2017 Ms. Carla Compton, Activist/Advocate
May 21, 2017 (Name not displayed)
May 20, 2017 susan miller
May 20, 2017 Shirley Troia
May 20, 2017 Kayna Warren
May 19, 2017 (Name not displayed)
May 19, 2017 Nedra Saathoff
May 19, 2017 (Name not displayed)
May 18, 2017 Sandra Williamson
May 18, 2017 Cher Hester Protect these elephant calves along with their families!
May 18, 2017 Andrea Harrison
May 17, 2017 JILL SCHENKEL
May 17, 2017 Gail Pratt Please, Elephants babies must stay with their mothers. Pease do not harm.
May 17, 2017 (Name not displayed) Disgusting and cruel!!!
May 17, 2017 Anneret Smit
May 17, 2017 Hans LORIG
May 16, 2017 Lisa Cruz
May 16, 2017 J Stevens
May 16, 2017 Lourdes San Jose
May 16, 2017 Evelyn Cuevas
May 16, 2017 Candyce Long
May 16, 2017 Maria Bellefeuille
May 16, 2017 Paul Heinricher

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