8 January 2013
Born Free was shocked to learn that 4 elephants were taken from the wild in Zimbabwe and exported to Chinese zoos, one of which subsequently died not long after arrival. We are also very concerned that there are reportedly a further 14 elephants at the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe that have also been earmarked for export.
In the wild, elephants live long lives in social and ecological complexity. Taking them from the wild and sending them overseas to a life in captivity is unacceptable. We have seen photos of the elephant enclosure at one of the Chinese zoos where the first Zimbabwe elephants were sent, and it is woefully inadequate and completely barren.
We are raising our concerns in the strongest possible terms with the Zimbabwean and Chinese authorities. We are also making an official complaint to the CITES authorities, the body responsible for overseeing the international trade in endangered species. It was the Zimbabwe CITES authority that would have approved the issuing of permits allowing these elephants to leave the country.
You can help by writing polite letters of concern about the export of elephants from Zimbabwe with the Minister responsible for wildlife at the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and the Director of National Parks, contact details below:
His Excellency Mr Francis Nhema, Minister of Environment
Ministry of Environment & Natural Resources
Between 4th and 5th Street
Mr. Edson Chidziya
Acting Director of National Parks
Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Management Authority
P.O. Box CY 140
Mr Edson Chidziya – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In 2010, a plan to send wild animals from Zimbabwe to zoos in North Korea was cancelled following huge global outcry – read more at www.bornfree.org.uk/campaigns/elephants/campaign-action/zimbabwe/