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Cape Town - The Zimbabwe Elephant Foundation will be joining forces with international NGOs for a silent protest over the export of wild baby elephants.

It has been reported that a total of 108 baby elephants were sold by Zimbabwe to zoos in China and the UAE since 2012.

The protest is set to take place on May 24 at the Chinese Embassy in London.

“What China needs to understand is that not everything in Africa is for sale,” said protest organiser, Noma Dube of the Zimbabwe Elephant Foundation.

Dube wrote an open letter to Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa, calling on the country to stop selling the animals. 

“Seeing the wildlife as something which can be uplifted and sold like a ripe fruit off a tree into a terrifying chasm. So huge is this demand that we could sell or kill every single living thing in Zimbabwe, it would be like one drop of water going into an ocean…Zimbabwe’s elephants are the jewels in her crown, do not sell them.”

Horrifying footage released by Humane Society International has shown 14 elephant calves being kicked and beaten during the capture process.

Claire Bass, Executive Director of Humane Society International/UK, who is expected to speak at the event after the silent protest, said: “The capture of baby elephants from the wild for sale into a lifetime of suffering in captivity is heart breaking and shameful. Such callous disregard for the physical and emotional wellbeing of these highly intelligent and socially complex animals is utterly inexcusable and casts a sordid light over both Zimbabwe and China. South Africa has banned the capture of elephants from the wild for captivity, and we urge Zimbabwe to follow suit by stopping these vile exports immediately.”

IOL