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Donald Trump reverses decision to allow the import of elephant body parts from Africa

The reversal came only two days after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the policy change.

Trump was referencing his administration's decision to remove restrictions on importing African elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia.

"Put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts", Trump said on Twitter. Will update soon with Secretary Zinke.

"In this moment of turmoil, I have zero confidence that the regime - which for years has promoted corruption at the highest levels - is properly managing and regulating conservation programs", Royce said.

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Groups who have opposed the ban for years have claimed that allowing the hunting of some big game animals can actually contribute to conservation and the overall health of the herd. The animals are listed in the Endangered Species Act, which requires the U.S. government to protect endangered species in other countries.

Both elephants and lions are covered under the Endangered Species Act, a 2015 Fish and Wildlife Service press release announcing lion protections citing the "dramatic decline of lion populations in the wild".

Trump tweeted late Friday that he was reversing course for the time being.

The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter turned to Instagram Stories on Friday evening (Nov. 17) to share an infamous photo of President Trump's son, Donald Trump, Jr., standing over an elephant he has killed and holding up its severed tail, smiling into the camera with a knife in his other hand.

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Critics, however, note the restrictions were created by the Obama administration in 2014 because the African elephant population had dropped.

The Fish and Wildlife Service said it had made a decision to allow the imports because the government of Zimbabwe, non-governmental organizations, hunter associations and other groups had provided the service with additional information that addressed the concerns in the FWS' previous findings that led to the ban.

A growing number of countries, including China, Singapore and the USA, have banned the trade in ivory.

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