Why It's So Hard to Stop Zimbabwe's Export of Baby Elephants
The export of dozens of elephants is legal under the global treaty that governs the endangered species trade.
When it recently came to light that Zimbabwe is planning to export dozens of baby elephants, conservation organizations, elephant experts, and concerned citizens expressed horror and condemnation.
Such export is legal under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the global treaty organization that sets rules for and monitors trade in live animals.
Clear facts around Zimbabwe's planned export are hard to come by, but CITES confirms that a number of captive elephants are destined for the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Various news reports say China and France are also interested in importing some of the young elephants.
National Geographic asked John Scanlon, secretary general of CITES, a post he's held since