For the past years, the United States of America has banned big game hunters from bringing back elephant trophies from two countries in Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia. President Trump almost lifted this ban, because the Trump administration thought that the money that big hunters pay could be used could help elephants.
However trump’s decision backfired when days after his decision released an uproar of dissent by thousands of people, Trump then placed his decision on a momentarily hold as he “reviewed the conservation facts” again.
Elephants are at a dangerously low number and have been on the endangered species list since 1978. Since then, elephant numbers have continued to decrease and are estimated to be at 415,000, compared to 3-5 million African elephants during the 20th century.
In many cases, the reason for elephant hunting can be pinned back to the illegal, but demanding ivory trade. Because the market for ivory has been dangerously active, hunters are adamant in killing elephants, poaching their ivory tusks, and leaving them for dead. It is estimated that tens of thousands of elephants are being killed each year solely for their tusks.
When former President Obama and the Obama administration imposed a ban on “importing elephant heads, feet and other body parts severed as trophies after the animals are shot for sport,” it allowed for some elephant populations to recover (NYTimes). President Trump, however, with his potential lifting of the 2014 ban, could possibly destroy that.
Amina Abdelbary (11) thinks that Trump’s big game hunting decision was “negligent” and that she “loves elephants and they don’t deserve to be hunted, especially with cruel tactics.”
While the unclear hold on the lifting of the ban has relieved many animal conservationists, it has also made hunters livid. One of the most prominent hunting groups Safari Club International has issued a “call to arms” against “hysterical anti-hunters and news media outlets” (NYTimes).
However, the story does not end: Trump’s recent decision on keeping the ban at a hold is not a clear statute. Both animal conservationists and hunters are still on edge to await President Trump’s final decision in regards to the elephant trophy hunting ban.