LOCAL animal rights campaigners and conservationists will this week stage a demonstration to protest against the planned export of wild elephants to the United Arab Emirates and China.
by FELUNA NLEYA
Parks and Wildlife authorities in the country recently confirmed plans to export at least 62 elephants to top up revenue and help control the ever growing elephant population. The government insisted that there was nothing unusual about the move to export wild animals as Zimbabwe had received allocations from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species to export elephants to suitable destinations.
But a group of locally concerned citizens will on Saturday stage a demonstration in central Harare against the exportation and exploitation of the country’s wildlife.
Lynne Saunders, the convener of the animal rights activists told NewsDay that they had notified the police about the demonstration and have been given the green light to hold the peaceful protest.
“The protest seeks to highlight the depletion, exploitation and exportation of Zimbabwe’s wildlife heritage,” said Saunders.
“That is the capture and exportation of baby elephants and other wild life. We are fighting this because the African elephant population is declining as a result of poaching and exploitation, then there should be a way to stop this because in the next 20 years there will be no elephants left.”
Between 50 and 100 people are expected to participate in the demonstration which commences from Town House and ends at Africa Unity Square from 10:30 am.
Other conservation groups such as the Zimbabwe Conservation Taskforce have already petitioned the government online raising concern at how the wild animals will be rounded up for export, the conditions they are being kept in before shipment and the quality of the places where they will eventually live.