Trump Lifts Elephant Trophy Ban in United States

Ryan Fredrick, Reporter

The Trump administration is pushing to allow hunters to bring “trophies” of elephants that were killed in Zimbabwe and Zambia to the United States.

Trump’s evening Twitter message reversed a decision by his own administration regarding the elephant trophies, according to

“…Put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts,” President Donald Trump tweeted.

Interior secretary, Ryan Zinke said in a statement that the decision applied to two African countries, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

“President Trump and I have talked, and both believe that conservation and healthy herds are critical… As a result, in a manner compliant with all applicable laws, rules and regulations, the issuing of permits is being put on hold as the decision is being removed,” Zinke said.

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service had signaled its intention to end the 2014 ban, citing Zimbabwe’s conservation efforts. On Thursday, the service announced on its website that it would begin issuing permits to allow the import of elephants hunted from 2016 to 2018, with two trophies allowed per import.

“Elephants are some of the most intelligent animals on the planet. They have a more complex emotional range than humans, and mourn their dead in a similar way to humans. Killing them for sport is disgusting,” English teacher Erica Wagner said.

Zambia and Zimbabwe have had mixed success in recent years maintaining or increasing their elephant population, according to the Great Elephant Census, a project financed by Paul G. Allen, a founder of Microsoft. The project also found that the African elephant population shrunk nearly 30 percent from 2007 to 2014.