“… But there was one Elephant–a new Elephant–an Elephant’s Child–who was full of ‘satiable curtiosity, and that means he asked ever so many questions. And he lived in Africa, and he filled all Africa with his ‘satiable curiosities …”
(Rudyard Kipling’s ‘ The Elephant’s Child’)
A deal has been done – a sale has been agreed and the animals delivered … but not everyone is happy. The animals sold are young, wild-born Zimbabwean elephants, and the buyer is China.
Zimbabwe is selling not just the family jewels, it’s selling family. It is exporting them as though they were goods, to a remote land that has little experience of the needs of this great, intelligent species.
Food and protection in the wild
It’s not easy to face the suffering of animals yet millions of people around the world have looked in on the bleak future planned for over fifty of Zimbabwe’s young elephants. It’s a desperate situation but there is a way to help.
Elephants, the big-eared nomads of Africa, are in trouble. They are squeezed for space, many are slain for ivory, and others are sold into captivity.
Zimbabwe, in southern Africa, is blessed with large herds of elephants, some of the happiest on the continent … but there is danger, both from poaching and live export. The elephants are up for sale and buyers are waiting.
“And foe to none, suspects no enemies, …”
Zimbabwe does not hide the fact that it has young elephants in captivity awaiting export – 27 of them between the ages of three and five. All in this particular group are due to be flown to China.
The official reason given for the sale is that it will raise money for the country’s National Parks. There are many who doubt that the money paid will ever benefit Zimbabwe’s wildlife.
Two of the young elephants currently awaiting export in Zimbabwe
Elephants have paced across Africa for more millennia than man. It is their home … but it’s not safe.