Trump backtracks on elephant trophies
DONALD Trump said that he was temporarily reversing his decision to lift the Obama-era ban on importing big game hunting trophies into the United States.
Mr Trump tweeted about his decision not to lift the ban just days after the US Fish and Wildlife Service said it will begin issuing permits for elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia.
"Put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts," Mr Trump tweeted.
Put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts. Under study for years. Will update soon with Secretary Zinke. Thank you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2017
"Under study for years. Will update soon with Secretary Zinke. Thank you!"
Reports about the ban being lifted this week prompted criticism of Mr Trump family safari hunting trips - including one where Don Trump Jr. was pictured holding the severed tail of an elephant.
The elephant - which is typically hunted for its ivory and tusks - has been listed as a "threatened" species since 1978.
Don Trump Jr sparked widespread outrage several years ago when pictures showing him posing with a dead pachyderm surfaced on social media. One particular photo - which received most of the attention - showed him holding up the elephant's severed tail.
Mr Trump's other son, Eric, has also faced criticism for his big game hunting after similar images emerged of him with a dead leopard and other creatures.
While much of Africa's wildlife is endangered due to poachers, Savanna elephants may be the most threatened.
During a press conference on Friday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that the change in policy stems from a study that was initiated during the Obama administration.