Zimbabwe - Under cover of darkness on the night before Christmas Eve, 35 young elephants, some believed to be as young as 3 years old, were transported from Hwange to Victoria Falls airport for a flight to China. But it wasn’t to be the secret mission shrouded in tight security that Zimbabwean officials had hoped for. This ‘Flight to Hell’ was soon all over social media, while Zimbabweans slept.
Our investigations revealed that the first to post public news of this was Sharon Pincott, who worked with the Presidential Elephants of Zimbabwe in Hwange for 13 years but left in 2014 frustrated by unethical practices. She was in a different time zone and therefore wide awake. By the time Zimbabweans awoke, her Facebook post had been shared hundreds of times. Other sites were quick to spread the news which has enraged the world.