Zim ignores pleas, catches 20 baby elephants, ship them to China

via Zim ignores pleas, catches 20 baby elephants, ship them to China – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 24, 2015

ZIMBABWE has captured 20 elephants and plans to send them to China, while further shipments of the animals will follow to France and the United Arab Emirates.


The country has no option, but to export the pachyderms despite opposition from animal rights activists because it has too many of them, a government minister said.

“It has not been an easy journey. Where we have tried to cull, we are told no because it’s inhuman and we agree,” Environment, Water and Climate minister Saviour Kasukuwere said Friday in a speech in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe’s biggest conservation area.

“Where you try bring in the hunters there are also sanctions. Where we try to carry out live sales they say don’t sell. We are between a rock and a hard place.”

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) criticised Zimbabwe’s treatment of the elephants, saying the authorities used helicopters to scatter herds and then captured the young.

While helicopters are occasionally used, elephants are usually darted with tranquilisers and conscious elephants are kept at bay while the captured animals are moved, a parks official said.

“These innocent and terrified babies have been traumatically torn away from their families,” PETA said in a statement on its website.
While Hwange has the capacity to support 15 000 elephants, the park has 43 000 of the animals. Overpopulation of elephants leads to damage to vegetation, which reduces biodiversity.

“We’ve chosen to be decisive,” Kasukuwere said. “There are those who complain, that’s your business to complain.”
Elephants can be sold for between $40 000 and $60 000 each, depending on age, and the revenue could help meet the $2,3 million annual running costs of the park in the northwest of the country, Director for Conservation at the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authorities, Geoffreys Matipano, said in an interview at Hwange last December.
At the time he said 62 were destined for export.

“Does Europe and America not have zoos that have elephants which originated from Africa?,” secretary for Environment Price Mupazviriho said in an interview in Hwange.

The shipments will comply with regulations put in place by the United Nations’ Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna, known as CITES, he said.


  • comment-avatar
    Mukanya 7 years ago

    Will this help the Fiscus? or its now wildlife abductions/legalized poaching.

  • comment-avatar

    This Kasukuwere man is a moron. Who with a brain thinks putting a few elephants in foreign zoos helps population control. All he does and has done since he got into cabinet is scare tourists away from this country with his ignorance. Next he will be sacrificing his own mother for money.

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    Only Fools 7 years ago

    It is obvious this is only about making money for himself and the chefs! Tourism would easily have paid for National Parks, but because of bad management and aggressive policies by Minister of Tourism and Government, tourists have been chased away! Tidy up the Tourism industry and you earn money. But that requires hard work and forward planning. Something our ZANUPF Government lacks. It is easier to thieve and make excuses for theft, than to do an honest days work! When all animals are sold, will Kasukuwere sell his mother next! Only time will tell.

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    Reverend 7 years ago

    While I am not opposed to capture and sale of our young elephant to foreign countries, I am concerned that this is just another way for the politicians and senior members of parks to fill their pockets with the money coming in…just another Bada diamonds theft consortium. Is anyone being employed to make sure their new homes are adequate?

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      MikeH 7 years ago

      And you, Reverend, need to to be captured and sent off to a foreign zoo too.

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        Reverend 7 years ago

        Quite an unreasonable stab old chap, and what under “normal circumstances” do you see wrong with exporting animals? Breeders are doing it all the time, and our elephant population in Hwange is 54000, totally over stocked to the point where baobab and other forage trees are now non existent in the park. “IF” the money from these youngsters does go back to the running of the park and helps with anti poaching and general maintenance of water pumps and other management costs like the days before 1980 then I say go ahead, but of course we have the problem, and rightly so, that we do not trust the people running the show as corruption is rife and you can bet your kids that they will whip the cash. We are not unaware of the scale of evil attached to these projects, but maybe the countries buying the elephants will make sure the money is put into projects and not pockets. Maybe MikeH you have never been involved in wildlife capture and translocation. It can be a wonderful thing to be involved with. Take care and all is not wrong because you dont like it.

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    MikeH 7 years ago

    Frankly, Zimbabwe, you stink where wildlife is concerned.