Washington Post: Trump does right by elephants, should press on
The Washington Post on Sunday night praised President Trump’s decision to hold off on lifting a ban on elephant trophy imports and encouraged him to leave the ban in place.
“African elephants are a species in crisis, and the U.S. government should not do anything that could endanger them further,” the newspaper wrote in an editorial.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said last week it determined a ban on the import of elephants hunted in Zimbabwe and Zambia was no longer necessary, reversing an Obama-era ban on such imports.
Amid a flurry of criticism, Trump tweeted Friday that he was putting the decision on hold.
On Sunday, he appeared to cast doubt on the decision lifting the ban, calling the practice of trophy hunting a “horror show,” that he is unsure helps elephant conservation. The administration is expected to announce a final decision on the issue this week.
In its editorial, the newspaper said that lifting the ban would come at a poor time, as Zimbabwe’s government is in turmoil. A military coup is poised to oust longtime president Robert Mugabe, though Mugabe defied his political party and refused to resign as expected on Sunday.
“The military takeover calls into question who controls the Zimbabwean government, let alone whether it would be committed to responsible herd management,” the newspaper wrote.