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African Activist Slams Trump for Reversing Ban on Elephant Trophies from Hunts in Zimbabwe & Zambia

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The Trump administration will allow American trophy hunters to import the bodies of elephants they kill in Zimbabwe and Zambia, reversing a ban put in place by President Obama. The Interior Department’s rule change comes even though African elephants are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The policy could affect President Trump’s two adult sons, Eric and Donald Jr., who are longtime trophy hunters who have repeatedly posed for photos with dead animals they killed in Africa. A 2012 picture of Donald Trump Jr. in Zimbabwe shows him standing in front of the corpse of an African elephant, holding a knife in one hand and a severed tail in the other. We speak with Nnimmo Bassey, Nigerian environmental activist and director of the Health of Mother Earth Foundation.

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: But, Nnimmo, before you go, we wanted to touch on a few issues. And I don’t know if you can talk about this, but it’s an issue that the Trump administration has been dealing with around Zimbabwe. The Trump administration has reversed an Obama-era rule, allowing American trophy hunters to import the bodies of elephants they kill in Zimbabwe and Zambia. The Interior Department’s rule change comes even though African elephants are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The policy would affect President Trump’s both adult sons, Eric and Donald Jr., who are longtime trophy hunters, who have repeatedly posed for photos with dead animals in Africa. A 2012 picture of Donald Trump Jr. in Zimbabwe shows him standing in front of the corpse of an African elephant, holding a knife in one hand and a severed tail in another. As an environmental activist on the continent, your thoughts?

NNIMMO BASSEY: Well, also from the political level, I think, I can’t imagine what else will come out of the White House of the United States that will horrify us any more than what we’ve seen already. But this is actually a very low point, to have the president of the United States reverse such a ban, and as the wildlife in Africa have been decimated by trophy hunters. And right now, we also have the problems of local people being targeted in the process of protecting wildlife in reservations and in game parks. But to allow trophy hunters from the United States to kill, destroy, decimate animals and wildlife in Africa and take the bodies to the U.S. or to anywhere else is totally reprehensible. It’s horrible and should be condemned.

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