Former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson has written to Zimbabwe’s environment minister to ask him to stop the export of elephant calves from Hwange National Park, saying she is “deeply upset” by their plight, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The UK-based Zimbabwean newspaper claims that Anderson, 47, wrote the letter on behalf of animal rights organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

The paper quotes her letter as saying that “as a mother” she is upset by the elephants’ plight.

“These terrified babies are reportedly being held captive while awaiting sale to China and the United Arab Emirates, far from their homelands, where they will never see their families again and never have any semblance of a normal or happy life,” Anderson said.

“Kidnapping ruins the life of each individual,” she added. “You have the unique opportunity to intervene in this horror story.”

Minister Saviour Kasukuwere last week reacted angrily to criticism of live elephant exports, saying “racist elements” were interfering in the country’s conservation work.

He says the money raised from the sale of the animals – reported to be around 80 – would help impoverished communities and help pay state rangers.

One elephant can fetch as much as $60 000 when sold, according to Zimbabwe’s state media.

Hollywood actor Pierce Brosnan asked his fans in December to protest Zimbabwe’s elephant exports.

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