Monday 04 March 2019 | 53

Baby elephants caught in Zimbabwe and sold to a park in China

The story repeats itself dramatically. In Zimbabwe, dozens of baby elephants have been violently captured and isolated for shipment to China. They will then be integrated into Chimelong Park. There, they will be trained to entertain an audience. We need your mobilization so that these tragedies are stopped at the source!

Hr blog

In Zimbabwe National Park, at dawn, helicopters arrive. They fly over the herds of elephants and then get closer and closer, creating a panic. Completely disoriented, the families separate and the little ones find themselves isolated. The rangers then shoot tranquilizing arrows at the baby elephants before loading them into a truck. Guardians, heartbroken mums desperately trying to help their youngsters. But these scary machines hover above the adults to prevent them from defending the little ones. 

The elephants caught are between two and six years old. They are babies. They still suckle their mother, they are not mature either emotionally or physically. Can one even speak of being mature enough to face what awaits them?

They who learn from their mothers, their aunts and from their culture. They learn too from their own language over many years, how will they be after this heart-breaking experience? In freedom, the young females never leave their mother, the group being the social basis of elephants. The young males do not leave her until their fifteenth birthday and not before. How many will survive this violence, this loneliness?

What life awaits them? Uprooted, uncultivated, isolated and chained ... The tens of kilometres travelled each day by the family will be but a distant memory, impeded in their development by the confines of their tiny pens. How quickly will it be before they go mad? For what is their escape, apart from submission and the madness that accompanies it?

After being snatched from their families, baby elephants are kept in pens, secretly housed in Zimbabwe National Park. A few days or a few months later, it will be what seems an endless journey. Cramped inside cages, the elephants will leave from the airport to China's Chimelong Park, thousands of miles away. Never again will they see their families or the savannah. They cannot watch after their dead, nor follow the ancestral roads of their parents ...

Already in 2012 and 2014 and then in 2016, Zimbabwe had allowed the capture and sale of many baby elephants. So many had died before even placing a foot in China!

And at the time, we knew the horror that awaited them: our survey in zoos in China in 2008 had already exposed the violence suffered by lions, turtles and bears in these concrete and sordid parks ... The babies who survive will be exhibited and manhandled from morning to night for the rest of their tragic lives.

Today, Zimbabwe plans to send between 35 and 130 baby elephants to China. Along with us you can write to the ambassador of Zimbabwe in France to stop this barbarity! (You can download the letter template that we have made available).


Embassy of Zimbabwe in France
Mrs Rudo M. Chitiga, Ambassador of Zimbabwe in Paris,
France 10 Rue Jacques Bingen
75017 Paris

Email :

Let us all join together on mass to sign two petitions: one to try to convince CITES to ban the baby elephant trade and the other to have the Zimbabwean government stop these shameful sales.

Séverine Bazin
Hr blog

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Comments 53

I accept that publication of my comments is subject to the code of conduct.

Véronique | Friday 22 March 2019

Admirons les animaux sauvages, ils ont tant à nous apprendre

Lucie simard | Friday 22 March 2019

Non aux bébés éléphants en Chine.

Angela56 | Friday 22 March 2019

Il y a des individus qui sont prêts à tout ; ils séquestrent des éléphanteaux, lionceaux à des fins mercantiles. Les natifs des pays où vivent cette faune sauvage sont moins coupables, ils doivent faire vivre une famille. Par contre, les individus et pays qui se livrent à ce commerce sont des monstres et leur seule loi, est de "faire toujours plus d'argent", l'animal ne compte pas ni l'être humain d'ailleurs - l'animal sera ensuite battu pour le faire obéir afin de l'exhiber et en tirer de gros profits, c'est honteux !!!!

Aline | Friday 22 March 2019

Inadmissible et honteux comment peut-on faire une horreur pareille, enlever ces bébés éléphants à leurs mères pour les mettre dans un cirque, honteux et inadmissible et le gouvernement du Zimbabwe honte à lui de revendre ces bébés ils ne sont pas à vous, laissez les animaux tranquille dans la nature là où est leur place