I told you on Thursday about the Trump administration lifting the ban on elephant trophy hunting – an Obama-era directive that would prevent American hunters from killing elephants in foreign countries and then bringing their parts back to the States.
It seems they weren’t done, there. Now it’s lions on the line.
ABC News reports that that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) began issuing permits for the importing of lion trophies — lion body parts taken after hunting — from Zambia and Zimbabwe a month ago.
Officials told ABC News that the department decided that “legal, well-regulated sports hunting” could help the endangered species survive.
The Obama administration added the African lion to the list of endangered species in 2015, amid outrage over a dentist who shot “Cecil the lion” while on a safari trip. That was a dumb reason, but there are more important things.
So is the lion really endangered?
According to the African Wildlife Foundation, the population of the African lion has decreased by 43 percent over the past two decades and the lion species is regionally extinct in seven African countries.
Yup. That sounds like the perfect time to allow and encourage the import of lion trophies.
Yes. That was total sarcasm.
So that’s two endangered species opened up to poaching in one week.
The reasoning behind their decision is… special.
The FWS said it has determined that hunting African elephants in the two African countries “will enhance the survival of the species in the wild,” which is the standard by which officials judge whether to allow imports of the body parts.
“Legal, well-regulated sport hunting as part of a sound management program can benefit the conservation of certain species by providing incentives to local communities to conserve the species and by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation,” an FWS spokesman said in a statement.
Well-regulated hunting and trophy claiming works when there’s overpopulation of a species – not when the population is nearly cut in half.
BUT, this is where we are now, as a country, and it really feels like spitework, on the part of Trump, as he seeks to overturn anything Obama did.
That, or he’s doing his sons a solid, since they both seem to enjoy safari-type hunting.