From CBS News:
“Zimbabwe’s wildlife agency said Thursday it has sold 35 elephants to China to ease overpopulation and raise funds for conservation, amid criticism from animal welfare activists that such sales are unethical.
This once-prosperous country’s economy has fallen apart, and Zimbabwe’s government has said it needs to sell wildlife to support its people and conservation efforts. The government also has sought to sell its ivory stockpile for millions of dollars.”
Now, it is interesting to note Western media seems to be avoiding reminding readers that US zoos agreed to a similar deal with Swaziland a couple years ago.
In both cases, wild elephants were subjected to long, distressing journeys to arrive thousands of miles away only to face a life in captivity.
I’m concerned with the news today since Zimbabwe’s elephants fall under Appendix II of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), which states:
“Appendix II includes species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival.”
My understanding from reading articles is that this particular trade deal was quite secretive, which may go against CITES’ policy.
Also, Zimbabwe’s government is notorious for corruption. So, how much of the money earned from selling elephants and ivory goes back to support conservation? I’m guessing the answer is not much…