The controversial and highly irregular import of twenty-two wild-caught Namibian Desert Elephants into permanent captivity to two zoos in the United Arab Emirates is a clear example of lax CITES enforcement. The current status all these Elephants is unknown.
Since December 2020 when the sale of these Elephants was announced the Members of PREN have repeatedly attempted to engage with the Namibian CITES authorities as well as the CITES Secretariat in an attempt to prevent the capture of these Elephants.
CITES authorities have had every opporuntiyt and have been provided with sufficient evidence to stop the sale and capture of the wild rare desert-adapted Elephants in Namibia. The CITES Secretary General, Chair of the Standing Committee and Chair of the Animals Committee were provided with detailed information which could have used to prevent the Elephants from being exported from Namibia and imported into the UAE.
READ THE FULL LETTER addressed to the Head of CITES in the UAE, the CITES Secretary General, the CITES Legal Officer, Chair of the CITES Standing Committee, Director General of the Al Ain Zoo, Operations Manager for Animals at Sharjah Safari Park, Executive Office of EAZA and IUCN African elephant Specialist Group:
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