GOP Congressman Calls for Ban on Elephant Hunts

Herd of elephants

Unimpressed by President Donald Trump's sudden backtracking on his proposed elephant-trophy ban, elephants from Zimbabwe and Zambia released a scathing official statement on Saturday, ominously warning Trump, "We don't forget".

The African bush elephant is now 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.

Big game hunters are celebrating a trump administration policy change, while animal rights advocates are furious.

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

"In this moment of turmoil, I have zero confidence that the regime - which for years has promoted corruption at the highest levels - is properly managing and regulating conservation programs".

Trophies refer to any body parts, including elephant tusks.

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However, critics say it will harm the dwindling elephant population.

Despite the outcry and Trump's stated reversal, the worldwide affairs page of the US Fish and Wildlife Service still - as of Saturday morning local time - says it will issue permits for importing big game animal parts. Where 5 million of the giant pachyderms once roamed African savannahs, there are now just 400,000.

Wayne Pacelle, the CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, said on Twitter that he was grateful that Trump was reviewing the decision to lift the trophy ban.

"The administration should withdraw this decision until Zimbabwe stabilizes", the committee chairman said in a statement. And that number continues to decline each year.

The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter turned to Instagram Stories on Friday evening (Nov. 17) to share an infamous photo of President Trump's son, Donald Trump, Jr., standing over an elephant he has killed and holding up its severed tail, smiling into the camera with a knife in his other hand. "We need immediate federal action to reverse these policies and protect these wonderful animals".

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