URGENT! ELEPHANT BABIES WILD CAUGHT – SOLD TO CHINESE ZOOS. REQUEST CITES REVOKE PERMITS.
Four wild caught young elephants were transported to Mainland China zoos, the Xinjiang Tianshan Safari Park and the Beijing Zoo, from Zimbabwe in December 2012. CITES – the international body responsible for the trade in endangered species issued trade permits for these young, traumatized elephants which allowed them to fly. Fourteen more youngsters held in Zimbabwe await transport to China this month (January 2013).
One baby has already died. The others; who at their ages would be still totally dependent on their mothers, are now in shocking, cold, totally inappropriate conditions in the Chinese Zoos.
FULL PETITION TEXT
We, the undersigned, call on the Secretariat of the Convention of Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), the world trade body responsible for issuing Trade Permits of endangered species to:
1) Immediately halt the transfer of any more elephants from Zimbabwe to China.
2) Revoke any permits issued for trade of live caught elephants to Zoos (including both Zimbabwe and Namibia).
3) Cease all trade of wild caught elephants to ALL zoos pending a full discussion at CITES Conference of Parties in Thailand March 2013.
4) Investigate how CITES granted permits to Zimbabwe to sell live specimens to Chinese Zoos – when these facilities had been investigated and found to be wholly inadequate, and the specimens (infants and milk dependent juveniles) were put at undue risk by capture and removal from their natal herds. The removal constitutes cruelty to both the extracted young and remaining family members contrary to the CITES Convention.
5) Cease all trade of any species that are listed on Appendix I in any range-states to all Zoos; except for bone-fide conservation programmes endorsed by a fully constituted panel of experts made up of a representation from CITES member parties range states.
6) Work with the Chinese Government and the Zimbabwe Government to facilitate a suitable NGO to investigate immediate access to a suitable sanctuary environment for the three elephants in China to be housed together and a solution found in regards their health and rehabilitation.
7) Immediately facilitate the captive elephants held in Zimbabwe awaiting transportation to undergo suitable rehabilitation and eventual release back to the wild in Zimbabwe.
We invoke the CITES own Appendices to support this request.
1) APPENDIX I
The elephants are being sold to zoos for commercial purposes both for Chinese owners to profit from displaying baby elephants and for Zimbabwe to gain financially from the sale. (Note: Elephants in Zimbabwe are currently listed as Appendix II, however we contend, as the majority of elephant range states has loxodonta Africana listed as Appendix I, this is in contravention of the best interests of both the individual animals and the species.)
See Appendix I
“An import permit issued by the Management Authority of the State of import is required. This may be issued only if the specimen is not to be used for primarily commercial purposes and if the import will be for purposes that are not detrimental to the survival of the species. In the case of a live animal or plant, the Scientific Authority must be satisfied that the proposed recipient is suitably equipped to house and care for it.
2) APPENDIX II
The four, now three, elephants currently in two Chinese Zoos Xinjiang Tianshan Safari Park and Beijing Zoo – were;
a) Wild caught – therefore suffered the trauma of the loss of their mothers or other relatives. This constitutes risk of injury, damage to health and cruel treatment.
b) Sent via passenger aircraft, left in the hold unattended during the duration of the flight. That one elephant for the Xinjiang Tianshan Safari Park arrived in a collapsed state and subsequently died would indicate the elephant was not transported in a manner in accordance with CITES Appendices II. This constitutes risk of injury and cruel treatment.
c) Now being kept in wholly inadequate housing, temperature, care and life circumstances at the Xinjiang Tianshan Safari Park and Beijing Zoos are now indeed being inflicted with cruelty. The death of one of the elephants already indicates this. This constitutes risk of injury, damage to health and cruel treatment. Ergo one has already succumbed to injury and died, the others are at risk.
See Appendix II
“In the case of a live animal or plant, it must be prepared and shipped to minimize any risk of injury, damage to health or cruel treatment.” [Source: CITES]