Animal welfare organization, Network for Animals (NFA), is calling for an international ban on the trade of elephants after it uncovered damning video footage of Zimbabwe’s continued imprisonment of baby elephants, despite the country’s denials.

NFA has created a petition to stop the country from its consistent capturing of baby elephants that are being exported to Chinese zoos.

“At first authorities denied that any babies had been captured, then they admitted that 35 babies (which have been kept penned up for months) were supposed to be sent to one of China’s more than 15,000 zoos in March,” says NFA’s chief campaigner, David Barritt.

The NFA team penetrated tight security in the Hwange National Park and found video proof that two more, very young babies, had been captured in the last few days. These babies are destined for Pakistan.

“This is proof that Zimbabwe is still exporting baby elephants to China and elsewhere. These babies are being held separately from the other 35 and are already displaying increasingly aggressive behavior. We seldom see such state-sponsored cruelty but separating baby elephants from their mothers is the worst kind of cruelty,” said Barritt. “They face lives of horror in zoos, where elephants should never be kept.”

NFA, which has been championing the fight against the trade for the past four years – has further learnt that Zimbabwe plans to capture another 20 babies.

“The situation is repulsive – each day that passes makes it more difficult to return the babies to the wild, yet the alternative is even worse; lives of hell in Chinese zoos. Each year, our outrage grows at the terrible cruelty Zimbabwe authorities inflict on these animals,” said Barritt.

“The country continues destroying the lives of baby elephants and this barbaric cruelty needs to be stopped. We need to act now.”