A Chinese team has reportedly arrived in Zimbabwe to prepare 33 baby elephants, which had been held in for nearly a year, for imminent shipment to China.

The controversial decision to export the elephants is in contravention of the recent decision taken by the 18th Conference of the Parties (CoP18) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

CoP18 resolved that no elephants may be removed from their natural habitat or historic range except it has been demonstrated that there is a positive conservation benefit to the move.

A report by iAfrica claims that elephants in captivity cannot thrive and can no longer truly be categorised as elephants – they tend to suffer post-traumatic stress disorder and have a far lower life expectancy than they would in the wild.

Credit: iAfrica

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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