Thursday, December 21, 2017

Why Trump’s right on banning elephant trophies

Trump put on hold the Department of Interior’s initial decision to reverse an Obama-era ban and allow the importation of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia. In a tweet, the president referred to trophy hunting as a “horror show.” He said he would be “very hard pressed” to conclude that such hunting advances the cause of conservation, the justification for the decision.
Trump, who has publicly dissented in the past from the notorious trophy hunting of his own sons, is right. In this case, government by tweet is better than the alternative, and more in keeping with the interests of the most majestic creatures on this earth.
The African elephant population is in historic decline, driven by the loss of habitat and poaching. Early in the 20th century, there were more than 10 million elephants. Now there are about 350,000. The killing proceeds apace.
A 2014 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concluded that 100,000 elephants had been killed by poachers in a three-year period from 2010-2012, and the Central African elephant population had declined by 64 percent over a decade.