Concerned citizens across the nation reacted with great opposition to the Trump Administration’s decision to reverse the Obama Administration’s ban on importing so-called “trophies” from elephant and lion hunts in Africa, particularly from Zimbabwe and Zambia. Perhaps it was this massive public outcry that sparked President Trump to make a few updates on social media, saying he is going to put the decision on hold (for now), that he now views trophy hunting as a “horror show,” and that others “will be very hard pressed” to convince him that trophy hunting helps the conservation of elephants or any other animal.
For someone whose sons have publicly participated in trophy hunts and shamelessly posed for photos with remains of imperiled animals, these are big words. While we certainly applaud the President for being open and allowing himself to see and adopt a different viewpoint, the decision to reverse the ban is still up for debate next week, and we must all speak up NOW to ensure the ban remains in effect.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has set up a petition to make sure the ban on importing “trophies” from these hunts stays in effect. As the petition states, 83 percent of Americans are against trophy hunting, showing that the ban on importing trophies is non-partisan and represents the nation as a greater whole. Additionally, for a business-minded individual like President Trump, it is worthy to note that African elephants and lions bring in far more revenue in tourism when they are alive (like on safaris) than they do in trophy hunts.
The reckless hunting of African elephants has made their populations dwindle by an alarming 62 percent in just the past ten years, and conservationists predict that they could go extinct within the next decade if nothing is done to protect them. We must act NOW.
As we have seen in the past with Stan Kroenke pulling his trophy hunting television program after widespread public backlash, the people have great power to ignite serious change. So PLEASE take a moment to sign this petition addressed to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and speak up to protect our planet’s elephants, lions, and other magnificent, irreplaceable species.
And if you haven’t already, remember to take part in Ellen DeGeneres’ #BeKindtoElephants campaign, which will donate to the leading elephant conservation organization in the world, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, for each person who participates.
Image Source: Pixabay