Target: Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon
Goal: Implore United Nations to publicly condemn the capture and exportation of baby elephants in Zimbabwe.
As countries such as the United States and China destroy their stockpiles of ivory and circus elephants are being retired, one country is going in the opposite direction. In Zimbabwe, baby elephants are being separated from their mothers and held in a national park, where they will be sold to foreign buyers. These creatures are under plain duress, but there has been little to no international condemnation for such actions. Our elephants will not be here any longer if these actions continue. Urge the United Nations to publicly condemn this behavior and work to prevent the kidnap and abuse of elephants.
In the Hwange National Park, it is estimated that has many as 80 baby elephants are being held against their will. It’s estimated that the oldest elephant is only four years old, although there could be some as young as two. They are heavily guarded by men equipped with AK-47s, and taking photographs is strictly prohibited. It is only thanks to undercover work that photos of these distressed elephants were sent to National Geographic.
Elephant expert Joyce Poole reviewed these photos and stated that these elephants were not only stressed, but many were underfed. The pinched looks of their faces and the protruding cheekbones suggest that these elephants are not getting enough nutrition in their diet, and are stressed out over losing their mothers. They are also being held in muddy and cramped cages—one photograph showed several calves ankle deep in mud.
The majority of the baby elephants will reportedly be sent to China. Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Environment stated that the elephants will be sold for $40,000 to $60,000 a piece, and the money will go toward paying conservationists in the national park to keep them from poaching the elephants in the wild. The statement has aroused anger and frustration in the animal welfare community. If these conservationists truly cared about elephants, they wouldn’t slaughter them for money.
Sign this petition and urge Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to publicly condemn this act of violence and abuse. Our elephants will not have a future if Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park insists on sending calves to foreign nations.
Dear Secretary General Ban Ki-moon,
I find it appalling that a national park in Zimbabwe would willingly separate baby elephants from their mothers, and then sell them to foreign buyers. Evidence has shown that many of these elephants are not being well cared for and often suffer from anxiety, stress, depression, and malnutrition. Many nations have destroyed their stockpile of ivory to tell poachers and Asian countries that the slaughter of elephants is condemned. Yet, there is no public support for the safety of these elephants.
As the Secretary General of the United Nations, I implore you to publicly oppose the capture and exportation of baby elephants in any country. The future of elephants is unclear, but if babies are being taken away from their mothers, we know that the species’ extinction is near. Stop the abuse and negligence of these creatures.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: William Warby via Flickr