Wicked and evil; those are the words to describe what the Zimbabwe government is doing to animals.

Last year Zimbabwe exported 24 baby elephants to China, ripping them from their mothers while they were still breast-feeding. Network for Animals led an international outcry about such wicked cruelty.

But now Zimbabwe is doing it again, 40 elephants all under the age of six, have already been captured and more are being taken from their mothers at the rate of five a day. They are being held in a secret area in the Hwange National Park.

It’s almost unbelievable, but Zimbabwe intends to send 130 elephants to China to the same hideous ‘quarantine facility’ where 24 were sent last year. They will join the surviving elephants in tiny cages, until space can be found for them in zoos, maybe years from now.

So far, Zimbabwe has captured eight lions, four giraffe, eight hyenas and an unknown number of antelopes, as well as 40 baby elephants. Their new owner is the Chimelong ‘Safari Park’, in China where elephants are forced to do tricks in a circus auditorium.

Some of the captured animals – those with large horns – have been beheaded so that they may be mounted and sold as trophies. Monkeys are being skinned and fed to the capture team.

Recently Zimbabwe announced it was going to ‘relocate’ 500 elephants within the country. Now we know where they are really going – to a life of hell in China.

We have to fight this evil. This month the governments of the world meet in Johannesburg to draw up rules governing the trade in wild animals. These meetings of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) only happen once every three years, so this is our chance. Please sign our petition to CITES telling its leaders to ban the export by any country of baby elephants. If two thirds of the governments agree then the babies can be saved.