Despite efforts, administration lifts ban on trophies

By Emma Thor
On March 19, 2018

Photo courtesy of Myrabella, Wikimedia Commons

Recently the Trump administration quietly lifted the ban on elephant and rhino trophies.

The ban was initially issued by the Obama administration in 2016. By lifting this ban it is now legal to import elephant trophies.

According to a Washington Post report, the decision was announced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service memo. The agency reported that there was a withdrawal of previous rulings on trophy hunting that would allow sport hunters to receive permits for the trophy items on a case by case basis.

In another Washington Post report Donald Trump has said that elephant hunting is a horror show and it would be difficult for anyone to change his mind. But once again, Trump flipped on an issue.

According to Humane Society of the United States Summary, between 2005 and 2014 more than 1.26 million wildlife trophies were imported to the U.S with an average of 126,000 trophies every year. Countries where elephant trophies are hunted are South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia, according to Humane Society.

The Humane Society report also mentions that over 4,600 African Elephant trophies and 330 southern White rhino trophies were imported to the U.S.

From the imports of elephants leads to the decline of the population. According to USA Today, roughly 35,000 elephants have been lost across the continent for their ivory every year, with an average of 96 elephants a day.

Besides the vast amount of trophies being exported the hunting of these trophies is extremely costly.

African Elephant Hunts costs over $11,000 to $70,000 and rhino hunts cost over $55,000 to 150,000 according to Humane Society report.

Since 1979 Elephants have been listed as threatened under the Elephant species act according to Washington Post. Besides the elephant and rhino trophies, the Department of the Interior has allowed grizzly bears from Yellowstone National Park to be hunted, as well as African Lions in Zimbabwe have been allowed to be killed which was ordered by the Fire and Wildlife Service.

According to an AP Report quoted by Washington Post, the African elephant population has decreased from about 5 million a century ago to about 400,000. This shows that elephant population will continue to decrease due to the trophy importation.

Among the hunters are Donald Trump sons’, Eric and Donald Jr. There have been photos of Don Jr. holding a knife and a dead elephants tail. They are no strangers to hunting.

Elephant hunting is causing a decrease in habitation and population and the issue needs more awareness. Call your local representatives on this issue and support organizations that raise money to save elephants.

Such as organizations like Ivory Ella, a clothing line, in which 10 percent purchases go to Save the Elephant.

 

ethor@ramapo.edu

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