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Over 30 captured elephants flown out of Zim – activists

The elephants aged between three to five had been held at Hwange National Park for months, and activists had tried to get the shipment stopped.

FILE: An elephant in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. Picture: www.zimparks.org.

HARARE - Animal rights activists on Thursday said nearly three dozen captured elephants had been flown out of Zimbabwe on board a cargo plane.

The elephants - aged between three to five - had been held at Hwange National Park for months and activists had tried to get the shipment stopped.

The Zimbabwe National SPCA said an unknown number of elephants were loaded aboard a Saudi cargo plane at Victoria Falls Airport on Thursday afternoon.

Temperatures in Victoria Falls were over 40 degrees centigrade on Thursday, and sources said the animals were highly stressed. Unconfirmed reports said five of the elephants were kept back, apparently on health grounds.

The ZNSPCA said this elephant shipment was shrouded in secrecy; it's called for a full investigation.

The organisation said it laid criminal charges against a senior national parks official in Hwange for denying its inspectors access to the elephants before they were shipped out.

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