US first loosened limits on lion trophies, then elephants

By , on November 21, 2017

President Donald Trump dodged questions about the turmoil in the Alabama Senate race on Wednesday, declining to join national Republicans who've called for Roy Moore to abandon the race amid allegations of sexual impropriety with teenage girls.  (Photo: Donald J. Trump/Facebook)
FILE: President Donald Trump (Photo: Donald J. Trump/Facebook)

WASHINGTON — A month before the Trump administration sparked outrage by reversing a ban on body parts from threatened African elephants, federal officials quietly loosened restrictions on the importation of heads and hides of lions shot for sport.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began issuing permits on Oct. 20 for lions killed in Zimbabwe and Zambia between 2016 and 2018. Previously, only wild lions killed in South Africa were eligible to be imported.

In a pair of recent tweets, President Donald Trump said he’ll delay the new policy on allowing elephant trophies, calling the practice a “horror show.” Trump also expressed skepticism about his own administration’s claim that killing threatened animals could help save them by helping raise money for conservation programs.

Trump’s adult sons are avid big-game hunters.