Call for mass action to save Zimbabwe baby elephants


Kenesias Dambakurima, The Zimbabwean

Date Published

This is the question we are battling with as we prepare this statement about the government of Zimbabwe who have proved to be unrepentant of their irresponsible actions, even vowing not to apologize for exporting baby elephants despite them acknowledging their actions as wrong.

It seems they have elevated their animal trade relations with China above ethical wildlife management, totally disregarding the traumatic effects of ripping baby elephants from their families.  Less than a year later, they are at it again, in complete defiance to the international voice of condemnation, planning to export another batch of  animals to China. We know it is “a legal undertaking under CITES appendix 2? to sell wild animals to curb overpopulation, as they are always quick to defend themselves, but still that doesn’t make it right, and how do they defend themselves against brutal abduction of babies from their parents, worse still export them to an environment that is alien to their natural habitat, deprived of their social bonds and condemned to a domestic lifestyle in zoos and circuses where their survival is uncertain.

For long now we have been patient with our government, bearing with them in their desperate financial position, hoping one day they will repent and engage the international community for economic reforms but it seems they are hell bent on redeeming themselves from the economic mess of their own making by sacrificing our wildlife heritage.

It’s a pity how they try to camouflage their evil under the guise of population control when in fact Zimbabwe’s elephant population is alleged to have declined to dangerous levels, with some local animal rights organizations and Independant researchers  pegging the national elephant population numbers at just above 40 000, almost half the number the government is reporting. What a contradiction, and a justifiable reason to have an independant body undertake a proper nationwide census before the government drive Zimbabwe elephants to extinction. Why do they not just admit failure and leave it to those who have our wildlife heritage at heart. Sorry for straying from our cause there, but what we are saying is, we are fed up with these people’s irresponsible governance, as managers of our wildlife heritage they have failed us and we can no longer tolerate their foolishness.

We tried engaging the responsible Ministers through legal means but to no avail as they shunned our every attempts. Now we are left  with no other option but mass protests. It seems that’s the only way they are going to take us seriously. It’s very unfortunate that with the current angry mood prevailing in the country, there is a greater possibility our protests are going to attract some elements with their own agendas, we want to make it clear that we are not with them but if they want to join us, we will welcome them, as we are going to apply every resource we can get.

We cannot and are not going to guarantee any peacefulness even though we stand against violence. What we can guarantee is a mass protest of a magnitude you will never witness again, marching against unethical and irresponsible management of our wildlife heritage by our own government.

Down with China! down with hypocrisy! and down with Muchinguri! we will chant until  our call is heeded.

The war rages on!