Zimbabwe defends decision to take baby elephants from their mothers for export

62 baby elephants sent to China, France and the UAE

Baby African Elephants Playing

Zimbabwe's government has defended its decision to export 62 baby elephants to China, France and the UAE following criticism.

According the Independent, Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi said: "Our habitat is not designed to carry too many elephants that are in its environment. We have an over-population of elephants."

The country is trying to control the number of elephants by taking them from the Hwange National Park and sending them abroad.

On its website, PETA said: "These innocent and terrified babies have been traumatically stolen from their families and their natural habitat, only to be sold to the highest bidder and sentenced to a life of abuse and captivity."

Last month, Hollywood actor Pierce Brosnan has asked his 795,900 Facebook fans to help return 36 baby elephants to Zimbabwe after they were exported to the Middle East and China.

On his Facebook page, the James Bond star wrote: "Dear Friends, I am deeply saddened to learn that 36 baby elephants have been brutally taken from their mothers and are currently awaiting shipment to the UAE and possibly China. We need your help and voices to protect these babies and to stop this shipment of wildlife cargo.

"Please contact the Zimbabwe Minister of the Environment, Saviour Kasukuwere and ask that he release these majestic endangered animals at once. You can tweet him at @Hon_Kasukuwere or contact him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/kasukuwere and #ZimbabweElephants".

Pictures of baby elephants

Pictures of baby elephants

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