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US to Allow Limited Import of Trophy-Hunted Elephants

FILE - Big-game trophies abound at an international hunting fair.
FILE - Big-game trophies abound at an international hunting fair.

The Interior Department has opened the door for trophy hunters to again bring back elephant parts from Zimbabwe, even while President Donald Trump calls elephant hunting a "horror show."

With no fanfare, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke issued a letter saying officials will review requests to import elephant parts on a "case-by-case" basis.

The Obama administration banned elephant trophy-hunting imports. The NRA and a group called Safari Club International sued to have the ban overturned.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a partial lifting of the ban in November, saying controlled hunting will help the endangered species survive.

But Trump intervened, tweeting at the time that he cannot see how "this horror show in any way helps the conservation of elephants or any other animal."

The president has often said he is not a fan of trophy hunting. However, it is a favorite hobby of his two sons, Eric and Donald Jr.

Big-game hunters, and even a number of conservationists, say allowing regulated and controlled hunting can raise money for endangered species and encourage local African populations to work toward better wildlife management.

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