The wildlife trade is incredibly profitable for those involved in the exploitation and transaction of the wild animals. Although the illegal wildlife trade runs rampant globally, the legal wildlife trade is still responsible for blatant acts of animal cruelty.
In the above video from The Guardian, we see very rare footage of the capture of wild elephants in Zimbabwe to be sold and shipped to China. Although the practice is legal, video and photographic documentation of it is rare. In the video, helicopters fly over a herd, shoot tranquilizer darts at the animals, then swoop in to disperse the rest of the herd coming to the aid of fallen elephants. After capturers land and aggressively load the pachyderms onto their truck, more violence in inflicted on them, including incessant slapping, trunk twisting, and kicking in the head with heavy boots. Animal experts estimate the young elephants to be in the process of weaning or just barely weaned.
Although Zimbabwe and China are the world’s biggest participants in the trade of wild elephants, several other countries including Namibia, Swaziland, Mexico, and the United States are active in the trade of wild elephants. As the video shows, physical abuse toward animals is an acceptable practice for capturers.
Since the practices of the wildlife trade are typically kept secret, most people are unaware that this goes on, so PLEASE share this with your network to increase awareness of this serious important issue.