Conservationists in Kenya have joined their counterparts across the world to condemn a decision by US President Donald Trump to reverse a ban on importation of elephant trophies from two African countries.
Big game hunters are celebrating a trump administration policy change, while animal rights advocates are furious.
Trump tweeted late Friday that he was reversing course for the time being. He says he will review the issue with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
The reversal of the ban would have applied to dead elephants hunted in Zimbabwe from January 21, 2016, to December 31, 2018, and to elephants hunted in Zambia in 2016, 2017 and 2018 "for applications that meet all other applicable permitting requirements", a Fish and Wildlife spokesperson said. "As a result, in a manner compliant with all applicable laws, rules and regulations, the issuing of permits is being put on hold as the decision is being removed".
"Elephants and other big game in Africa are blood currency for terrorist organizations, and they are being killed at an alarming rate".
In addition to noting the continuing population decline among elephants, Royce cited widespread corruption at the highest levels of government in Zimbabwe and the current political turmoil in the country following an apparent military coup earlier in the week. "They pay loads of money to pick from a menu of what animals they want to kill and a guide basically takes them right to it - zero bravery and not much actual skill involved".
Royce questioned the action because of concerns not only about African wildlife but USA national security, citing the political upheaval in Zimbabwe, where the longtime president was placed under house arrest this week by the military.
However, critics say it will harm the dwindling elephant population. "We need immediate federal action to reverse these policies and protect these unbelievable animals".
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