Trump back-and-forth on imports rekindles old debate over whether trophy hunting helps conservation
On November 15, the Trump Administration announced it was lifting the Obama-era ban on importing elephant trophies to the U.S. from Zimbabwe and Zambia. Reaction was negative, swift and brutal, coming from media outlets, animal welfare advocates and some, though not all, conservationists. Two days later, Trump himself intervened via Twitter, putting the decision on hold with a promise of later action.
Trump’s very public reversal – or potential one – left animal rights advocates, conservationists, big game hunters and safari businesses renewing heated attacks on, and vehement defenses of, trophy hunting to a degree not seen since the killing of Cecil the lion in 2015.