In a shocking and disturbing new video, the Guardian has released footage of a baby elephant in the wild, terrifyingly separated from their family by helicopters and shot with a tranquilizer rifle to be kidnapped.
A pilot then "dive-bombs the immediate vicinity so the rest of the herd, attempting to come to the aid of the fallen animal, are kept at bay."
The captors swoop in to wrap up the motionless baby, drag them to a trailer and tie them up with ropes for shipment. The baby will most likely be sold off to a zoo in China, to live a miserable existence in captivity to entertain humans.
This sickening capture is actually performed by Zimbabwe wildlife officials, who claim what they are doing is fully legal. But the kidnapping of baby elephants from their families is not acceptable -- and the government must end this brutal practice.
According to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), trading live elephants is only legal if the animals are going to an “appropriate and acceptable” destination, and the sale benefits conservation.
But conditions at Chinese zoos are notoriously inhumane; workers have been documented whipping animals and even feeding a live donkey to tigers. And the serious neglect and abuse of baby elephants shipped from Zimbabwe to Chinese holding pens has already been documented. Therefore, Chinese zoos are not "appropriate" or "acceptable" destinations -- and it is not legal to sell elephants to them.
Sign this petition urging the Zimbabwe government to stop the practice of capturing baby elephants for profit at once. No more elephants deserve to suffer.