Zim not exporting elephants

Zimbabwe is not exporting live elephants and has no plans to do so, the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) has stressed, dismissing the fake news allegations by some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as baseless and needless speculation.

The sharp denial by ZimParks comes in the wake of fake news from the NGOs alleging Zimbabwe is conducting exports in disregard of CITES regulations and advice.

“Zimbabwe is not considering any live African elephant exports and the country has not processed any export trade permits since 2019,” said Zimparks spokesperson Mr Tinashe Farawo in a statement.

“For the record, Zimbabwe is not capturing elephants for regional or international export now or soon.” No inquiry has been made with the CITES management authority in Zimbabwe requesting any exportation of elephants from Zimbabwe.

“We invite the stakeholders interested to cross-check or verify such claims, visit our elephant range areas, capture units or any such place as claimed.

“The allegations that we are in the process of capturing elephants for export must be dismissed as speculative and baseless. As a public institution, our systems and trade processes are transparent,” said Mr Farawo.

CITES — a multilateral treaty to protect endangered plants and animals – has banned the sale of elephants and Zimbabwe is a signatory and member in good standing.

“Zimbabwe is a signatory to CITES and it abides by its decisions and resolutions, and we work closely with them. We subscribe to the principle of sustainable use of our wildlife resources, and we believe in the potential of sustainable international trade under CITES regulations,” said Mr Farawo.

Mr Farawo said the ZimParks remains dedicated to its mandate of conserving the country’s treasured heritage-wildlife and would continue to mobilise resources and implement elephant conservation measures in all wildlife areas.

“The authority is exploring novel methods of mitigating human-elephant conflicts which have claimed dozens of lives and creating more space for the elephants through our vibrant Transfrontier Conservation Areas Programme.”

Mr Farawo said those peddling these falsehoods can check with conservation partners operating in the key elephant ranges: International Fund for Animal Welfare in the Hwange range area, African Wildlife Foundation in mid Zambezi range area, African Parks Network in Sebungwe range area and Frankfurt Zoological Society in Southeast Lowveld.

He said signatories in the letter written by Stefania Falcon on behalf of PREN Pro Elephant Network are contributing nothing to the work being done by the wildlife authority.

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