14 more elephants awaiting a similar fate.In November 2012, 4 elephants were exported from Zimbabwe to China, and it reported that one of the elephants has already died. The juvenile elephants, having been removed from their mothers, were transported long distances by road and plane, and taken to parts of China where the temperature at this time of year rarely rises above -10.
The elephants were taken from the Hwange area and transported by road to Harare, a trip that took 12 hours, where they were loaded onto an Air Emirates flight to Dubai. This flight to Dubai took 10 hours, and from there it is believed that they flew to Beijing.
The total weight of the four elephants was 3.9 tons, which implies they were very young animals. If these elephants are juveniles as indicated, they must have been taken away from their mothers and therefore family units are being destroyed. It is further reported that another 14 elephants are being held in a boma in Hwange, also awaiting exportation in January 2013. It is said that the final destinations of the elephants are 2 zoos in China.
One elephant has died already.
Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF) has learned, via Animals Asia Foundation who claim to have a number of volunteers monitoring the progress of the elephants, that 2 elephants were taken to Taiyuan Zoo and two probably went to Xingjiang Tianshan Safari Park.
Animals Asia has provided photos of the surviving elephant at Taiyuan Zoo. If true, it is disgraceful that these elephants have been removed from their mothers and the African bush to live alone in a cold unfriendly jail cell in a foreign country. The average temperature in Xinjiang at this time of year is -15, and about -12 in Taiyuan. It is highly unlikely the elephants will survive in the cold when they have been accustomed to temperatures of between 30 and 40 degrees.
More elephants to be exported?
There are reports that another 14 elephants are waiting to be exported from Zimbabwe, and the ZCTF are determined to try and stop this from happening. Please help them by spreading the word about this cruel and disgusting practice.
It is a well-known fact that Zimbabwe has a serious poaching problem and to compound that it is ridiculous that live animals are also being sent out of the country.
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