Donald Trump delays decision on elephant trophy imports

Plans to reverse the ban had prompted protests

Donald Trump delays decision on elephant trophy imports

Two elephants walk at the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya in August 2017 | Image: Lyu Shuai/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

US President Donald Trump has delayed a policy that would have allowed elephant trophies to be imported into the country.

Following a barrage of criticism, Mr Trump wrote on Twitter that he wanted to "review all conservation facts" - hours after his administration reversed a ban on hunters bringing back elephants killed in Zimbabwe.

Plans to reverse the ban had prompted protests from conservationists who said it could deplete elephant populations, which are already at risk.

US interior secretary Ryan Zinke said he and Mr Trump had talked and "both believe that conservation and healthy herds are critical".

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!"


A US ban on elephant trophy imports had been introduced by the Obama administration in 2014.

A number of celebrities voiced anger at Mr Trump's initial plan to reverse the policy, including Russell Crowe, Chelsea Clinton and Ricky Gervais who branded the move "savage and pointless".

Some opponents had shared a photos on social media of Mr Trump's sons - Donald Jr and Eric - posing with dead wild animals during a hunting trip.

Africa's elephant population plunged by around a fifth between 2006 and 2015 because of increased poaching for ivory, which is popular in China and other parts of Asia, the International Union for Conservation of Nature said.