Terrified baby elephants are repeatedly beaten and tortured. Fondation Franz Weber (FFW) is in possession of harrowing footage showing the brutality of baby elephants ripped away from their families.
Since 2012, more than 80 wild elephants have been captured in Hwange, Zimbabwe’s largest national park, and sold by the government to Chinese zoos, among others. But Zimbabwe and China are not the only culprits when it comes to trading elephants captured from the wild.
In fact, this capture is legal under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). While – partly thanks to the tireless work of FFW – bans and stringent restrictions on the ivory trade have come into force, the live trade of wild elephants remains largely unregulated.
An anesthetized baby elephant, snatched from its family, is dragged like a package tied up on a trailer.
Frightened and distraught, wild-caught baby elephants seek each other's protection.
Where is my mom? Wild elephant calf captured and locked in a closed enclosure in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe.
Wild elephant calf captured and locked in a closed enclosure in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe.
Frightened and confused, some elephants captured in the wild seek mutual protection.
Fondation Franz Weber (FFW) is working to bring this issue to public light and to vigorously rebut the excusatory claims of those responsible. Our criticism is directed not only at those who capture wild elephants, but also the zoos and circuses that act as buyers.
“The scientific literature makes it quite clear that zoo facilities do not meet the elephants’ needs in terms of exercise, space and extensive social ties, with the negative effects on health, behaviour and reproduction that this brings,” explains Anna Mulá, animal rights lawyer for FFW.
Public opinion has changed in the light of scientific findings over the last three decades. Today, it is generally recognised that animals are sentient beings. In recognition of this shift, CITES must transform the international trade of endangered animals in way that truly serves their protection.
Ban the capture and trade of baby elephants
Publicise capture and trade practices concerning young elephants
Scientific proof that zoo facilities never do justice to the needs of elephants