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Donald Trump reverses decision to allow the import of elephant body parts from Africa

His original decision drew plenty of outrage.


Josh Katzowitz


Posted on Nov 18, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 10:43 am CDT

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.

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.

Others reminded us that Trump’s sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, are big-game hunters.

On Friday, the administration put its decision on hold.

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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*First Published: Nov 18, 2017, 8:04 am CST