In a devastating, but not surprising move, Zimbabwe is tearing 35 baby elephants from their mothers to sell them off to Chinese Zoos.
This type of trade in wildlife was standard protocol under former President Mugabe but many thought that his removal would put a stop to the practice, which has been documented to be especially cruel.
“It can take several attempts to successfully part the young from their mothers, who are extremely protective,” According to the Times of London.
The separation aside, the treatment of the baby elephants while they're waiting to be flown 7,000 miles is especially disturbing, with The Times quoting a source that said the process is “designed to disorientate, exhaust and subdue.”
Humane Society International (HSI) obtained exclusive footage of baby elephants being beaten and generally mistreated while awaiting transport. The baby elephants are chosen because they are smaller and thus easier to transport. Unfortunately, elephants aren't fully weened off of their mother's milk until they are five. The elephants being captured and transported range in age between 2 to 4.