Elephants still being held to fulfil Chinese wildlife order

Two of the released elephant calves

By Alex Bell
21 January 2013

There is concern for the fate of at least two elephants still being held in Zimbabwe for future export, to fulfil an order placed by China.

The animals are being held in Victoria Falls, according to the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF). They are part of an order that was only part filled with the export of four baby elephants to zoos in China late last year. One of those elephants has since died.

Another five elephants, four of which were destined for China, were this weekend transferred to the Umfurudzi National Park after they were released from bomas they were being held in, at Hwange National Park. The animals had been captured and removed from their family herds ahead of being exported. But the National Parks authorities, following the intervention of the Zimbabwe NSPCA, decided the group would be rehabilitated at Umfurudzi because they “had grown too big” and were too used to the bomas.

The animals now face a three month rehabilitation period.

ZCTF chairman Johnny Rodrigues, told SW Radio Africa on Monday that this victory is bittersweet, because it doesn’t change the fact that orders for animals are still being placed and fulfilled. He said that there are still animals being held, including the two elephants in Victoria Falls. He said that orders for another 48 elephants have already been placed by international countries, and the cash strapped government would be fulfilling these demands.

“I praise the people that were involved in having the animals released, but I believe there is hidden agenda. There are still animals being held,” Rodrigues said.

He said the government is already committed to fulfilling China’s order, because they have been paid.

“I admire all the people that did so much to save them (the five released elephants), but there are another 48 elephants on order to be exported,” Rodrigues warned.

He added: “It is frightening when we exploit something that is our heritage and export them to another country. We are going to get a High Court order to prevent authorities from doing what they are doing.”

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5 Responsesto “Elephants still being held to fulfil Chinese wildlife order”

  1. Sehar says:

    This is disgusting…lending our animals to the butchers…shame

  2. Winona Kitto says:

    So, the rationale is that the honorable thing to do is to send the elephants for which money was received? Well, the people do not agree. Give the money back, or keep it. Keep the elephants. Halt this sleazy transaction.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I, too, am glad the five were saved and hope that the two still being held will also be released. Send the money back. China does not respect human rights, animal rights, or their own environment. It’s a filthy place with cruel people. NOTHING should be sent there.

  4. Manel Dias says:

    This is the Truth. Those Zimbabwe Greedy people don’t see anything beyond the mighty dollar. They are not concern about the Lives of these Majestic Animals. They simply giving away that country’s Natural Treasures simply for the sake of the money? How sad is that? If the so called responsible Authorities in Zimbabwe are wise & intelligent all they need to do is to stay with their natural wonders and to improve that to get the foreigners to visit that land to watch these magnificient animals. Just like the Tanzania has Serengeti National Park & Kenya the “Ambosel” National Park. Rather than sending these animals abroad & one day no body wnats to visit those African countries because if the people want to see the Elephants they are in all those other countries & in Zoos. This is how gradually Zimbabwe will have nothing to be proud of. They do not see the far ahead what will happen to their natural beauty. Those so called authorities sounded like a bunch of useless money hungry crooks. Nothing else.

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