Trump Delays Change in Elephant Hunting Policy

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The comedian and TV host said she is "determined to do something" as she launched a celebrity-backed campaign to raise money for elephant conservation following the Trump administration's decision to allow legally hunted trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Thursday it would allow the importation of elephant trophies from Zambia and Zimbabwe, arguing that encouraging wealthy big-game hunters to kill the animals would help raise money for conservation programs. "As I think most people know, we're in the midst of a poaching crisis".

The reversal came late Friday, just one day after the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced it was lifting the ban imposed by former President Barack Obama in late 2014. The new policy applies to the remains of African elephants killed between January 2016 and December 2018.

In a statement, it says that legal and well-regulated sport hunting will put revenue back into conservation.

The decision meant Americans would be able to hunt the endangered big game and now bring trophies home. The two groups had sued to challenge the ban in court.

White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday referred questions about the policy change to the Fish and Wildlife Service, saying an announcement had yet been "finalized".

On Friday, Pacelle said, "Grateful to President Trump for reassessing elephant and lion trophy hunting imports".

French actress and animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot had previously criticized US President Donald Trump over his administration's move to loosen restrictions on hunting bears and wolves on federally protected land in Alaska

That did not sit well with animal rights activists, and that includes Ellen. Will update soon with Secretary Zinke.

The world's largest land mammal, the African elephant has been classified as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act since 1979.

However, critics say it will harm the dwindling elephant population. And that number continues to decline each year.

In addition to noting the continuing population decline among elephants, Royce cited widespread corruption at the highest levels of government in Zimbabwe and the current political turmoil in the country following an apparent military coup earlier in the week.

Mr Royce questioned the action because of concerns not only about African wildlife but United States national security, citing the political upheaval in Zimbabwe, where the long-time president was placed under house arrest this week by the military.

He described the perilous situation in Zimbabwe, where the US Embassy has advised Americans to limit their travel outdoors.

Tanya Sanerib, a lawyer with the advocacy group Center for Biological Diversity, called the timing of the Trump administration's announcement "bizarre".

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