Did you know that the African elephant is the largest land animal in the world? Millions of elephants once roamed Africa and Asia, but after hunters began killing them for sport and hunting them for their ivory tusks, the elephant population began to drop a lot. In fact, there are only a few hundred thousand elephants left in the world, making them an endangered species.
Many efforts have been made to protect elephants from being hunted. In 2014, the United States made it illegal for anyone to import elephant trophies (or elephants that they killed for sport). Last year, wildlife conservationists praised China, the largest importer of ivory, for shutting down their ivory market. That was a big win for elephants! But the idea of importing elephants into the United States became a topic of discussion once again when the US Fish and Wildlife Service, a federal agency that works to “conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people,” announced that it would lift the elephant ban. The announcement angered many people, forcing President Trump to step in and press the pause button on the decision made by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Earlier this week, the ban was lifted—elephants that have been killed in Zimbabwe and Zambia will now be allowed to be brought into the United States on a case-by-case basis.
What do you think? Should the United States allow elephant trophies into the country?