Uncertain times for Endangered Elephants

Elephant in Zimbabwe

An elephant in Zimbabwe in 2012.
PHOTO CREDIT: Martin Bureau/Agence France-Presse —
Getty Images via NY Times

 

Last week, the Trump administration reversed a policy from Obama that banned hunters from bringing elephant trophies back to the U.S. This change would allow hunters to go out and kill elephants in Zambia and Zimbabwe, and then bring back the head or different body parts as a trophy to show off. The administration claims that regulated hunting will help benefit the conservation of elephants.

 

Elephant trophy

 

Elephants are actually protected under the Endangered Species Act. According to the Great Elephant Census, the African elephant population has shrunk nearly 30 percent from 2007 to 2014. Some scientists predict that African forest elephants could be extinct within a decade.

  

“We have been making desperate cries to the world that all is not well for the African elephant across the continent and feel sad that the results vindicate our position.” ~ Paul Udoto, a spokesman for Kenya Wildlife Service via NY Times

After Trump's announcement, people mobilized to speak up against his decision. Following an outpouring of public outrage, President Trump announced on Twitter that his decision to lift the ban is "on hold" while he reviews the facts. This hold is just temporary, so environmental advocates need to keep applying pressure and let it be known that the ban is needed to help save the elephants.

 

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