Friends of Animals and Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force ask U.S. to condemn exportation of baby elephants
Action Alert from All-Creatures.org

FROM

Friends of Animals (FOA)
January 2015

[NOTE form All-Creatures.org: Also see A New Low in the War on Elephants - 36 Wild Baby Elephants Captured]

ACTION

captive baby elephantsDid you know that the acting Environment Minister of Zimbabwe, Walter Mzembi, plans to export from the wild upwards of 62 baby African elephants to China, France, and the United Arab Emirates, claiming it is necessary to raise badly needed funds for wildlife management?

We are outraged by this news and in response, we have filed a petition along with the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force asking the United States to take legal action to condemn Zimbabwe’s plan to export elephants as it is inconsistent with international elephant conservation goals.

We are asking our members to take action to protect Africa's elephants by contacting the Secretary of State, John Kerry, and the Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, and urging them to support our legal request [below].

Sign an online petition here.

1. Contact Secretary of State, John Kerry, and ask him to support our legal request to condemn Zimbabwe’s plan to export elephants.

Online contact form

Direct contact:

Public Communications Division
PA/PL, Rm. 2206
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20520
phone (202) 647-6575

2. Contact Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, and ask her to support this request as well.

Online contact form

Sally Jewell
Secretary of the Interior
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street N.W.
Washington DC 20240
phone (202) 208-3100
fax (202) 208-6950
[email protected] 

INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS

For immediate release

Jan. 20, 2015

Contacts: Mike Harris, Director, Wildlife Law Program, Friends of Animals; 720.949.7791; [email protected]

FoA, Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force ask US to condemn exportation of baby elephants

Did you know that the acting Environment Minister of Zimbabwe, Walter Mzembi, plans to export from the wild upwards of 62 baby African elephants to China, France, and the United Arab Emirates, claiming it is necessary to raise badly needed funds for wildlife management? Mzembi claims that the country has in excess of 80,000 elephants, but that country’s ecosystem only has the capacity to carry 42,000 elephants.


Friends of Animals (FoA) and the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF) are outraged and have filed an emergency rulemaking petition with the U.S. Secretary of the State John Kerry and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, asking the United States to take legal action to condemn Zimbabwe’s plan to export elephants as it is inconsistent with international elephant conservation goals. The legal request also asks U.S. officials to demand Mzembi establish an adequate elephant management plan consistent with the best available science, international conservation values and relevant international legal authorities and policies; and calls upon China, the United Arab Emirates and France to place a moratorium on the importation of elephants from Zimbabwe.

“If the United States intends to proclaim itself a leader in protecting the world’s wildlife, then now is the time for the country to act,” said Michael Harris, FoA’s Wildlife Law Program Director. “What is happening in Zimbabwe to these baby elephants is nothing short of state-sponsored animal trafficking.”
“Our leaders, from President Obama on down, need to stand up for these elephants,” added Harris. “There is a war on wildlife occurring in Africa, and time is running out not only for African elephants, but also rhinos, lions, and leopards."

This move by Zimbabwe comes on the heels of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) suspending the importation of sport-hunted African elephant trophies taken in Zimbabwe because the agency found that the killing of elephants for sport does not enhance the survival of the species in the wild. In making this determination in July of 2014, USFWS found that “Zimbabwe’s elephant management plan consists of two outdated documents” and that information on the implementation of those plans and the progress made towards meeting the stated goals is lacking. USFWS also found that Zimbabwe does not have adequate information on elephant populations to establish scientifically defensible hunting quotas, particularly in light of the limited information on other means of offtake, such as poaching and problem animal control.

The lack of adequate management of African elephants by the Zimbabwe government is further reported by wildlife conservationists on the front lines in that country. For example, it has been reported by ZCTF that “the government hasn't done [a countrywide inventory of elephants] since 1997, so we don't think anybody knows exactly how many elephants there are. A count was done in Hwange National Park late last year and 22, 000 elephants were counted there. Hwange has the highest concentration in the country.”

Moreover, it has been reported that Zimbabwe has already captured baby elephants planned for export, and is holding them in various quarantine facilities. Several baby elephants have already died as a result of physical and mental abuse associated with these “round-ups.”

FoA’s petition points out that there is a plethora of evidence that elephants feel the same emotions—happiness, love, sorrow—that people do, and that they help each other in distress and grieve for their dead.

When elephants are separated from each other, “it’s like somebody coming to your house and kidnapping your kid,” Johnny Rodrigues of the ZCTF, told the Wall Street Journal.


Thank you for everything you do for animals!


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