China plunders Zim wildlife

via China plunders Zim wildlife – The Zimbabwe Independent August 21, 2015

ZIMBABWE is preparing to ship at least 170 baby elephants to China as it has emerged that seven Chinese veterinarian doctors are camped at Hwange National Park preparing the animals for the rigors of a long-distance flight.

Wongai Zhangazha

The elephants are destined for Chimelong Safari Park in Guangdong Province of China, which has reportedly ordered 200 elephants from Zimbabwe.

In June, Zimbabwe exported 24 elephants to China to fulfill part of the order, but preparations are in progress to send yet another batch despite global protests from animal rights and conservationist groups.

The Chinese veterinarian doctors are preparing the elephants for export by, among other exercises, caging and familiarising them with an environment similar to a cargo plane so as to condition them for the long flight, thereby minimising shock and stress during the journey as elephants are known to be sensitive animals.

In addition, the baby elephants, which are between two-and-a-half and five years old, are being given limited feeding as part of the preparations.

Reports of the presence of Chinese veterinary doctors at Hwange National Park and the exportation of wildlife to China has angered wildlife lovers, including a Liberal Democrat member of the European Union parliament for the South East of England, Catherine Bearder, who wrote a letter to Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Belgium Tadeous Chifamba demanding an explanation.

The EU parliament is based in Brussels, Belgium.

“I was most disturbed this week to hear reports that staff at Hwange National Park have been suddenly removed from their posts and replaced by Chinese staff and veterinarians. It would appear that this new staff is preparing the departure of elephants and lions from Zimbabwe to China. Last time we met in February, I expressed concern regarding Zimbabwe’s decision to export animals out of Hwange National Park to Chinese zoos,” wrote Bearder on June 25.

The parliamentarian has managed to convince the EU to step up the fight against wildlife trafficking by preparing an EU Action Plan.

She expressed concerned that the removal of young elephants from their natural habitats limited their chances of survival as they are more vulnerable without their herds.

However, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Environment Water and Climate, Prince Mupazviriho yesterday dismissed the allegations as baseless.

“That’s a lie. It is not true. There is no such thing like that,” he said.

The exportation of the first batch of animals caused global controversy but the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) management authority of China told the Cites secretariat based in Geneva, Switzerland, that the movement would not affect the survival of the baby elephants.

“The secretariat was informed by the Cites Management Authority of China (the Management Authority) on 3 July 2015 that it received an application to import 27 live elephants from Zimbabwe,” explained Cites.

“The Management Authority explained that the Chinese authorities had requested and received from the authorities in Zimbabwe confirmation that: the Zimbabwean export permit received by the Chinese authorities was valid and authentic; the export would not be detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild; and that the animals would be transported in conformity with recommendations of the Conference of the Parties to Cites on Transport of live specimens.”

The elephants’ export come at a time the illegal killing by an American of Cecil, a 13-year-old, rare, black-maned lion and a popular tourist attraction, has caused global consternation and a backlash against Africa’s multi-million dollar hunting industry.


  • comment-avatar
    Doris 7 years ago

    So….where’s the hue and cry round the world like there was for one tagged lion that NO Zimbabwean has heard of? The Chinese have no soul for the wildlife of Africa. They just see “muti” (medicine).

  • comment-avatar
    tonyme 7 years ago

    Mbuya Nehanda and others who fought colonialism in the 1800’s were and still are the real heroes of Zimbabwe. They had never learned, travelled or lived in any foreign lands but knew the deepest wealth and importance of an independent life. Unlike current leaders who were educated and lived in foreign countries and also educated in all fields, Mbuya Nehanda and her collegues has something we can learn from. It’s a shane to note that our leaders have abandoned all principles espoused at independence and all the values we all fought for, All people of Zimbabwe fought for independence and not only the people who went to Zambia or Mozambique. In fact when those people came back, they got assistance from those who remained behind, and a lot more were killed by the Smith soldiers. So when we talk of universal suffrage, all Zimbabweans need to be recognized for what we did to fight colonialism. It is embarrassing to note that wildlife is being plundered with the complicity of our leaders who lack common sense to realize that China used Africans to colonize Africa and plunder all the resources. Are we paying a debt for their help and if so when can it be paid and get them out of the country. Sooner or later, China will have all of Africa’s natural resources and we will have nothing. Mark my words.

  • comment-avatar
    harper 7 years ago

    I can assure Mr Tonyme that ZANU’s debt to China was repaid more than twofold in the first six years of independence. But you are quite right China will soon have all of Africa’s resources. They do not have the water to grow food for their own population at home so Southern Africa is likely to become one vast soya farm run by Chinese- Zimbabweans will have to join the flood at Calais or suffer the fate of the peasants in Russia.

  • comment-avatar
    johnny b 7 years ago

    If Zimbabwe asked to have a panda as a swap there would be no chance. Every panda anywhere in the world is “rented” from China. Any offspring are still property of China. There places in Zoo’s have to be kept to the utmost highest standard, monitored by the Chinese. I wonder if these will be the conditions that the elephants will receive ???