Conservation groups say that the exportation is ‘inhumane’ and ‘wrong’
A total of 27 baby elephants would be sent to China, while 15 would be sent to the UAE and a further 20 would be taken to France, with each buyer paying a £26,000 for each animal.
Following the decision, both the government and Zimbabwean Parks and Wildlife authorities said that the step had to be made to ensure the country’s elephant population does not grow any bigger.
According to the two groups, the number of elephants was nearly double the amount that Zimbabwe could hold and their ability to consume was destroying the environment and food sources for other species.
Nevertheless, conservation groups have protested calling the decision “inhumane” and “wrong” and said that the exportation has involved young animals being violently taken away from their mothers and then exported in tough conditions to unfamiliar surroundings.
In a statement on Peta’s website they said: “These innocent and terrified babies have been traumatically stolen from their families and their natural habitat, only to be sold to the highest bidder and sentenced to a life of abuse and captivity.”
In 2012, four baby elephants died after being shipped to China from Zimbabwe died, which prompted the US and European Union to sign a petition against the exportation of baby elephants from Zimbabwe.
The Zimbabwe government has argued that they are currently suffering from a conservation funding crisis and that the funds appropriated from the sale of the elephants would be used to help with conservation efforts.
Speaking on 6 January, Water and Climate Committee chairperson, Anastacia Ndlovu, , said: “The selling off of live elephants will enable the wildlife authority to raise enough funds to protect the jumbos and other wildlife.”
By Jack Simpson from The Independent on Jan. 8, 2015.