On December 23, 2016, Zimbabwe exported 37 elephants to China where these babies are destined to live a lonely life in zoos and alleged "sanctuaries"away from their beloved mothers and families. In the wild, female elephants remain with the head matriarch for life as a family; while young males leave at around age 10. The government claims that with crackdowns on trophy hunting and sale of raw ivory, it must turn to exporting baby elephants in order to profit. The orphans were stolen from their mothers where they lived in Hwange National Park by scaring them away using circulating helicopters and planes overhead. Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri, stated that Zimbabwe would continue to carry out live elephant sales as a way of decongesting elephant ranges that were overpopulated and for the country and communities to draw value from the jumbos.