THESE ARE THE FACTS:
-A game farm in Namibia has been issued permits to sell five baby elephants to a zoo in Dubai. The elephants range in age from four to eight years old.
The sale, at an undisclosed price, will be finalised later this year when the elephants are exported.
The sale of baby elephants from Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park to a Chinese zoo in 2015 received heavy criticism.
A spokesman for the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) has confirmed that all CITES requirements have been met for the issue of export permits, and that the United Arab Emirates CITES Scientific Authority has issued the necessary permits for importation of the elephants.
Eden Game Farm is a private game farm and registered game dealer in the Grootfontein district, near Etosha National Park. The farm is owned by a Swedish national.
The sale of baby elephants from Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park to China in 2015 attracted heavy criticism from wildlife experts and activists alike, after some elephants died and others showed signs of malnutrition and neglect.
The MET spokesman said he was not concerned about the same happening in this instance, as Eden Game Farm had satisfied all the relevant compliance procedures. He said that the baby elephants would be kept in isolation after capture, and inspected prior to exportation to make sure they are in good condition. He also explained that baby elephants need to be tamed after being separated from their parents, to reduce the stress.
MET previously sanctioned the export of 150 wild-caught animals (including elephants, rhinos, lions and leopards) to a zoo in Cuba, a project dubbed ‘Noah’s Ark II’, which proceeded despite significant opposition from many quarters.
-Elephant expert Joyce Poole says separating baby elephants from their mothers and herds is unethical! " “Elephants are highly intelligent, self-aware, and socially complex animals,” she said. “They feel joy and grief and are capable of empathy. Like us, their emotional well-being depends on being cared for and raised in the context of close family relationships.”
The notion of forcing babies away from their kind, is horrifying to Poole. “Abducting baby elephants from their families is traumatic for the entire family and causes great and long-term suffering to the captured calf. Confinement of these large and highly social animals in captivity causes a myriad of physical and psychological ailments and early death.”
Also: "“The prisoners are so stressed, they’re always crying for their mothers. They sometimes take days without eating because of stress. In the process some became very weak.”
- Those who are taking the decisions in this sad story think with food and some taming they can let the baby elephants forget where they came from... That their mothers will not mourn, as to the whole herd... There is enough scientific prove that zoos are nothing more than prisons and its habitants prisoners.
- We demand an immediate stop of these vicious plans to take these babies from their mothers, from their family, from the wild. Real elephant conservation takes place on the ground, in their own habitat, in their home country, on the ground where they are born.
Don't tear those families apart.
Picture: the Zimbabwe baby elephants after arrival in China, looking depressed, lonely and some of them sick.