Trump to Reverse Obama's Ban on Import of Elephant Trophies

Move will allow hunters to import from Zimbabwe, Zambia
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2017 3:03 AM CST
Shot an Elephant in 2016? Trump Will Let You Import It
In this Thursday, June, 2, 2016 file photo, Zimbabwe National Parks staff hold an elephant tusk.   (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, file)

If you happened to shoot an elephant in Zimbabwe on or after Jan. 21, 2016, you'll be able to import its remains into the US, reports the Washington Post. This after confirmation from a Fish and Wildlife Service official that the Trump administration intends to once again allow the import of elephant trophies from that country and from Zambia. A ban on the imports was instituted under former President Obama in 2014. ABC News explains the reasoning: Under the Endangered Species Act, the US can allow for such imports if there is evidence that the hunting actually bolsters the species' survival (elephants are on the endangered list). Officials from those two countries reportedly offered such evidence, though details weren't specified. The rule will cover elephants hunted in both countries through the end of 2018.

The Humane Society shared its displeasure at the news: "This jarring announcement comes on the same day that global news sources report that Mr. Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s aging dictator, is under house arrest following a military coup. This fact in and of itself highlights the absurdity and illegal nature of the FWS decision to find that Zimbabwe is capable of ensuring that elephant conservation and trophy hunting are properly managed." But ABC News reports the Federal Register notice on the topic that will be posted Friday says Zimbabwe has made strides on that front, such as creating a system that tracks the financial benefit provided by American hunters, who must pay hefty permit fees. The Post notes that under Obama, such trophies could be brought home from other locations, like South Africa. (More elephant stories.)

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