WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is lifting a federal ban on the importation of body parts from African elephants shot for sport.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a written notice on Thursday saying that allowing elephants in Zimbabwe and Zambia to be killed will enhance the survival of the threatened species by raising money for conservation programs from wealthy trophy hunters who pay to shoot them.
The change overrides a ban imposed during the Obama administration and applies to the remains of African elephants killed between January 2016 and December 2018.
The reversal comes as the longtime president of Zimbabwe was placed under house arrest this week by the nation’s military, plunging the west African nation into political uncertainty. The U.S. embassy there has advised Americans there to “limit unnecessary movements.”