It will no longer be legal for wild baby elephants to be snatched from their families and exported to zoos around the world. The landmark conservation decision is the result of a new international agreement ratified by members of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
The African elephant is currently listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. CITES, which regulates global trade in over 35,000 species of plants and animals, currently allows wild elephants in Botswana and Zimbabwe to be exported to “appropriate and acceptable” destinations.
Under the historic new agreement, the practice of snatching wild African elephants and condemning them to a life of captivity will no longer be possible.