The UN in a historic vote on Sunday banned bringing African elephants from the wild to the zoos.
The vote held at the Geneva-hosted Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species vowed to put an end to cruelty toward elephants who have suffered from “being kicked and beaten”, according to a statement released by the UN’s Humane Society International (HSI).
“This decision will save countless elephants from being ripped away from their families in the wild and forced to spend their lifetimes imprisoned in substandard conditions at zoos,” said Iris Ho, senior specialist for wildlife programs and policy for HSI.
Some 46 states voted in favor of the protection of wild elephants, some 18 states voted against and 19 others abstained.
South Africa, Namibia, and Zimbabwe have been the top three exporters of wild elephants for zoos, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna said in a report.
Since 2012, Zimbabwe has captured and exported over 100 baby elephants to zoos in China.
These calves were severely traumatized by being torn from their mothers and several consequently died.