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Video: Horrific conditions for elephants at Beijing Zoo

Elephants in Beijing Zoo in China

Elephants in a concrete enclosure in Beijing Zoo, China © Elephant Dawn – Sharon Pincott

Incredibly distressing video footage has emerged of the horrific conditions being endured by elephants at Beijing Zoo in China. 

The video below was taken by conservation activist Sharon Pincott, who was in China to speak to school children about the work she does for elephants in Zimbabwe. She visited the zoo on two consecutive days, and was absolutely disgusted to witness the awful conditions that both African and Asian elephants were living in.

According to Sharon, the elephants are housed inside tiny concrete cells which open into small, barren outside areas. From what she could tell, the elephants clearly hadn’t been out of their concrete cells for the 48 hour period that she was around Beijing Zoo. She imagines, however, that they do go into their small outside areas sometimes – although not nearly enough. She was unable to find out where the three African elephants (an adult male, female, and young male calf) that are currently housed in the zoo come from, but she does not believe the calf came from Zimbabwe – she suspects it was bred at the zoo. The origin of the two adults is unknown.

However, Zimbabwe has previously stated that Beijing Zoo is an “appropriate and acceptable destination” for their elephants.

Zimbabwe’s long track record of supplying China with elephants

• In 2015, twenty four young elephants were sold by Zimbabwe to a Chinese zoo. The elephants, who are all around five years old, were part of a 27-strong group of elephants captured in 2014 in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. Reports emerged that they were malnourished and peppered with injuries upon arrival in China.

• In 2016, it was reported that China apparently ‘ordered’ 200 juvenile elephants to be captured for a variety of zoos and safari parks across the country over the next five years.

• Later that year, thirty seven baby elephants were forcibly taken from their mothers in the wild in Hwange and flown to Chinese zoos, despite an international outcry against previous exports.

• And just last year, in 2017, rare footage emerged of the capture of wild young elephants in Hwange, that showed the rough treatment of the calves as they were sedated and taken away. It is believed they were part of a legal sale to Chinese zoos.

Export of elephants is sanctioned under CITES regulations, as long as trade in individual animals doesn’t threaten the long-term survival of the species.

To date, Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa has still made no official announcement regarding any revision to Zimbabwe’s policy on capturing elephants for sale to zoos. Read our CEO’s open letter to the president regarding the exportation of wild-caught baby elephants from Zimbabwe to China.

Baby elephant in zoo in China

A young elephant calf in the enclosure at Beijing Zoo, China © Elephant Dawn – Sharon Pincott

A call to action

CITES is right now inviting comments – to be received before 26 April 2018 – regarding CITES issuing permits allowing live animals to be sent to zoos. Sharon states that numerous organisations will be making official submissions (using video and photographic evidence such as she posted), but suggests – after viewing her video – that every individual should also politely send their own personal opinions on this practice, in an email to info@cites.org.

Animals Asia Foundation – a Hong Kong-based charity that seeks to end cruelty to animals in Asia – has provided details of where elephants are being held in various Chinese zoo (it has yet to be updated to reflect the most recent import of African elephant calves) in this following document: THE ELEPHANTS IN CHINA 201709. This document lists 3 wild-caught elephants at Beijing Zoo, where the video below was filmed. They also provide a document of the African elephants imported into China from 2012 – 2018: African elephant imports

VIDEO

Sharon provides commentary in the video below, so please turn up your audio to listen:

The video is a culmination of Sharon Pincott’s 14 videos put together as one. The last two clips show (1) the pristine and ample space given to humans whilst the elephants struggle to live in, not only tiny enclosures, but in squalid conditions and (2) the final video showing the tiny outdoor enclosure, which seems rarely used by any of the elephants.

SHARON PINCOTT’S BEIJING ZOO VISITPlease watch, if you can, in its entirety the horrors befalling the elephants at Beijing Zoo. I have put Sharon Pincott’s 14 videos together as one, for ease of sharing. Please read Sharon Pincott's post wording below and act accordingly. The last two clips show (1) the pristine and ample space given to humans whilst the elephants struggle to live in, not only tiny enclosures, but in squalid conditions and (2) the final video showing the tiny outdoor enclosure, which seems rarely used by any of the elephants. This is so distressing, I cannot add more. Please, I beg one and all, to take action and/or share on. Thank you.From : SHARON PINCOTTVIDEOS SOON TO BE POSTED OF HORRIFIC CONDITIONS FOR ELEPHANTS AT BEIJING ZOO, CHINAACTION ITEMS, BELOW, FOR ALL OF YOU WHO CARE ABOUT ELEPHANTSLast week I was ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTED to witness first-hand the AWFUL conditions for elephants at BEIJING ZOO in China. I made myself go to this zoo twice, on two consecutive days, while I was in China (to speak to school kids about my past 13 years of elephant work in Zimbabwe). I’ll soon be posting 13 videos here on this ElephantDawn facebook page – showing you the conditions that the elephants (both African and Asian) endure at Beijing Zoo – which we NEED THE WORLD TO SEE. Facebook won’t likely notify you of all of these upcoming posts of mine, so please do manually go to my ElephantDawn page to view these videos.***** Then, please SHARE these videos F-A-R—A-N-D—W-I-D-E— and also ACTION the following:*****For these African elephants to be in Beijing Zoo, CITES clearly has labelled it an “appropriate and acceptable destination”. Given that my own personal experience indicates that the elephants were UNlikely to have even been OUT of their disgraceful, tiny concrete cells (into small, barren, outside areas) AT ALL, during the 48 hour period when I visited (and no doubt, for much longer than this) – and also taking into account just how many negative Beijing Zoo reports on Trip Advisor for example, talk about SO many tourists only ever being able to view the elephants INSIDE their dreadful CONCRETE CELLS – they clearly spend THE MAJORITY of their time IN these concrete cells, regardless of weather conditions outside. And the outside areas – of which there appears to be newly constructed ones – are small and sterile.This is clearly NOT an appropriate and acceptable destination for elephants.Note that I’m ‘commentating’ through each video, so DO turn your SOUND UP, so that you can hear what I’m saying throughout each one.ITEM FOR YOU TO ACTION: CITES is right now inviting comments – to be received before 26 April 2018 – regarding CITES issuing permits allowing live animals to be sent to zoos.Numerous organisations will be making official submissions (using video and photographic evidence such as I’m posting here), but I suggest – after viewing my videos – that EVERY INDIVIDUAL should also POLITELY send their own personal opinions on this practice, in an email to info@cites.org. HELP ENSURE THAT CITES HEARS LOUDLY AND CLEARLY: THESE ZOO CONDITIONS ARE ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE for our largest land mammal. (In your email to CITES, direct them to view my videos, if you wish.)ALSO NOTE: I could find no English-speaking person who could tell me anything about the origins of the 3 African elephants (1 male, 1 female, and 1 male baby) that are CURRENTLY in the Beijing Zoo. For information, I do NOT think that the baby came from Zimbabwe. The baby, I think, is likely to have been deliberately bred at the zoo. Where the two adults came from originally, I have no idea.BUT SOMETHING ELSE TO NOTE: I understand that Zimbabwe HAS previously said that Beijing Zoo IS an “appropriate and acceptable destination” for their elephants…. ARE THEY SERIOUS?!?!.. Do they not care AT ALL?!… ARE THEY BLIND, FOR THE SAKE OF MONEY?!Please SHARE THIS post around far and wide – so that everyone knows what they can choose to do, after viewing the numerous ‘Beijing Zoo elephant videos’ that I’m about to post.[REMEMBER TOO: President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa & co have still made NO OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT re ANY revision to Zimbabwe's policy on capturing elephants for sale to zoos. As advised at the time, that one previous, positive, news report re this was FAKE NEWS. We must, therefore, also continue to chase President Mnangagwa for feedback.]Cheers, Sharon Pincott (13 years full-time with the Presidential Elephants of Zimbabwe, in Hwange).

Gepostet von Sue Dicker am Montag, 9. April 2018



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