Tuesday, January 22, 2013
ZNSPCA secures release, relocation of five captive baby elephants destined for China
ZNSPCA: January 20, 2013 at 7:23 am Following extensive negotiations between the Zimbabwe National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ZNSPCA and the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, we are pleased to announce the release of five elephant calves that were held in bomas within the Hwange National Park. Animal welfare inspectors and a veterinarian from the ZNSPCA inspected the holding facilities located at Umtshibi within the Hwange National Park and were satisfied that the elephant calves had been held under satisfactory conditions. The released elephant calves were loaded under the supervision of veterinarians, animal welfare inspectors, animal transportation specialists and ZPWMA game specialists. Travelling through Friday night they reached their new home in Umfurudzi National Park early on Saturday morning. The elephant calves will undergo rehabilitation and integration with other elephants within the secured national park. The ZNSPCA remains opposed to the capture of any wild animals for the purpose of being transferred to zoos and similar habitats,irrespective of location. We commend the ZPWMA for agreeing to this release and we expect that such actions will not be repeated. This incident has lead us to question the credibility of CITES’ assessment criteria in granting permits which condone such transactions. Such criteria would appear not to prioritise animal welfare. Furthermore, we challenge Chinese establishments that have previously acquired such animals to improve conditions across the board and to ensure that all animals under their care are treated humanely and in a dignified manner. The over-population of elephant within the Hwange National Park makes these animals vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous operators. A special forum is urgently required to address this matter. We would like to acknowledge the valuable contribution made by The Tikki Hywood Trust during these negotiations. The Zimbabwe National Society for The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is funded entirely through donations. Zimbabwe’s largest animal welfare organisation continues to face severe financial constraints. ZNSPCA takes this opportunity to appeal to organisations and the general public alike to give generously in order that its work may continue.