The fear of animals dying in drought conditions has forced Zimbabwe to resume animal exports to China. This has been done, however, ignoring criticism from animal rights activists. It is also a concern to the general population when something classified as a national heritage is being sold.
The Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Change, Oppah Muchinguri said top of the list for Chinese animal shoppers would be baboons, hyenas, lions and elephants, the demand for which is high.
Oppah Muchinguri added that more of Zimbabwe’s animals will find a home in Guangzhou’s conservation base of endangered wild plants and animals after she visited the place.
“We are going to increase the number of elephants and other species we are exporting to China. We will not apologise to anyone. Not even once, because they are our elephants and our people live with a huge population of elephants and bear the trouble of living with them,” Muchinguri said.
Last year there were reports that 27 young elephants had been shipped to China. Animal activists that include Hollywood stars such as George Clooney argued that the animal trade went ahead under unbearable conditions.
Meanwhile, during the same period elephant poaching reached unprecedented levels when water sources were contaminated with cyanide in areas surrounding the Hwange National Park in Matabeleland North.
Wildlife is regarded as a national heritage in Africa. It is really a case which touches the hearts not only of activists but of Africans in general. Trade is trade but wildlife is a national pride and that kind of business should be treated with caution and consultation with the general population. Is China’s climate favourable to the growth of elephants and other species that thrive in Southern Africa? Why sell wild animals?
Author: Staff Writer