Target: Catherine Bearder, Liberal Democrat Member of the European Parliament for South East England
Goal: Stop the export of wild Zimbabwe elephants to Chinese zoos.
Elephants are not a stable species in any part of the world. These magnificent animals are targeted by poachers every day for their ivory tusks and trade value, and now they are facing more risk from government entities. A wildlife reserve in Zimbabwe is going to send 27 elephants to zoos in China, in spite of protests against the exchange. Zimbabwe government employees insist that the exchange is necessary to gain funds toward further wildlife conservation. This is not the first time that elephants have been sold to other countries, and unless something is done to change the minds of the Zimbabwe government, it will not be the last.
Experts were sent to China, from Zimbabwe, to assess the zoos that the 27 elephants are destined for. However, China’s animal welfare policies are lax in terms of how zoos operate. If experts deemed one zoo satisfactory now, it does not legally have to remain suitable once the elephant has been transported. This current situation is a major issue, as is one that happened last year: 62 elephants, including calves, were removed from the wildlife park to be sold to other countries. Catherine Bearder, Liberal Democrat of the European Parliament, is attempting to convince those in power that the free elephants of Zimbabwe must remain there. She has emphasized the psychological issues that ensue when a calf is prematurely removed from its herd.
Bearder is working to gain some rights for the elephants of Zimbabwe. She is fighting against elephant trade in protection of the animals and humans who will come in contact with the potentially frustrated, displaced elephants. Sign this petition to stand with Bearder while she attempts to save the elephants of Zimbabwe.
Dear Ms. Bearder,
I am writing to thank you for your diligence in protecting the elephant populations of Zimbabwe. Your plea to keep calves with their rightful family herds is valiant. Displacing elephants during such a critical stage in development is dangerous and irresponsible. Not only do you stand for the baby elephants, you stand for the adults as well.
Conservation is extremely important for the survival of species. However, trading the very animal that needs protection for conservation funds is quite backwards, and you have seen right through the Zimbabwe government’s inane rationalization.
Please use my signature, as well as the others that this petition generates, to convince the Zimbabwe government to keep the elephants in the country and with their herds. There are other methods of gaining the necessary conservation funds that can and should be utilized.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Mara 1 via Flickr