Two days after the Donald Trump administration lifted a ban on allowing Americans to kill elephants and import their body parts from Africa, he reversed himself on Friday evening.
Put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts. Under study for years. Will update soon with Secretary Zinke. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2017
Trump was blasted this week after reversing the anti-poaching effort put into place by Barack Obama in 2014. The move would have allowed hunters to bring in elephant body parts, like heads and tusks, from Zimbabwe and Zambia. Proponents of Trump’s decision to lift the ban said it would actually help conservation efforts.
But even some of Trump’s biggest supporters couldn’t fathom his original decision.
I don't understand how this move by @realDonaldTrump Admin will not INCREASE the gruesome poaching of elephants. Stay tuned. https://t.co/KqizmlgaGg
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) November 16, 2017
Others reminded us that Trump’s sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, are big-game hunters.
What good reason could Donald Trump have for reversing the Obama administration ban on import of elephant trophies from Africa? https://t.co/chjsbeA1J3 pic.twitter.com/puFh3ev6Bc
— Andrew Weinstein (@Weinsteinlaw) November 16, 2017
The world has unbelievably cruel people in charge at the moment.
This is what Donald Trump’s family see as ‘fun.’
Now Trump is to reverse the ban on importing elephant “trophies” from Africa.
The worlds last elephants.
Plse RT. pic.twitter.com/gZju2dgQsJ
— Dr Lauren Gavaghan (@DancingTheMind) November 16, 2017
On Friday, the administration put its decision on hold.
.@realDonaldTrump & I have talked & both believe that conservation & healthy herds are critical…the issuing of permits is put on hold… pic.twitter.com/tdDf9GaqwR
— Secretary Ryan Zinke (@SecretaryZinke) November 18, 2017
As NBC News writes:
The African bush elephant is currently listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, but a provision of the law allows for the import of trophies if it can be proved that hunting the animals contributes to conservation efforts.
The African savanna elephant population was found to have declined by 30 percent overall between 2007 and 2014, according to the Great Elephant Census in 2016. The population in Zimbabwe was found to have declined 6 percent overall, but some regions in the country reported populations were down as much as 74 percent.
Earlier on Friday, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Trump’s original repeal of the ban, saying, “This review established that both Zambia and Zimbabwe had met new standards, strict international conservation standards that allowed Americans to resume hunting in those countries.”
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