This week, the Trump administration is now allowing the remains of elephants legally hunted in Zimbabwe and Zambia to be imported to the United States as trophies. The official line? Expanding trophy hunting can help with conservation efforts.
This is f-ed in two big ways.
- African elephants are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. And in Zimbabwe and Zambia, money paid for hunting permits may not actually contribute to conservation thanks to corruption. On top of this, lifting restrictions will harm the international effort to fight the ivory trade, thus exposing more elephants to harm. Here’s a distressing fact: the United States is the second largest market for ivory.
- Elephants are amazing, intelligent creatures and killing them for sport is unbearably cruel and monstrous.
You can help protect elephants in Zimbabwe and Zambia via these organizations:
Elephants Without Borders: Elephants don’t have passports. Africa’s biggest elephant population is in Botswana where up to 200,000 elephants roam more-or-less freely, venturing across its borders into neighboring Zimbabwe, Namibia, Angola and Zambia. Elephants Without Borders identifies, secures and protects migratory corridors for these elephants and other wildlife across these borders.
Friends of Hwange: Founded in the wake of a devastating drought in 2005, this Zimbabwe-based non-profit formed to raise funds for equipment to create watering holes in Hwange National Park. Today the park supports over 22,000 elephants, thanks in part to this small but enterprising NGO.
These organizations support elephant conservation and protection throughout Africa:
Big Life: Founded in 2010, Big Life Foundation fights elephant poaching in East Africa by training and employing hundreds of Maasai rangers. It’s created more than 40 permanent outposts and tent-based field units, acquired 13 vehicles, tracker dogs, and aerial surveillance capabilities to protect 2 million acres of wilderness in the Amboseli-Tsavo-Kilimanjaro ecosystem.
David Sheldrick Wildlife Foundation: This organization pioneered in the rescue, rehabilitation and release of orphaned baby elephants, and working to conserve all wildlife and wilderness areas in Kenya. Outraged animal-lover Ellen DeGeneres will donate $1 to it every time people retweet the clip below of her talking about President Trump’s decision to reverse the ban on bringing trophies of elephants killed in Zimbabwe and Zambia back to the U.S.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) November 17, 2017