Is Wildlife a Concern That Should Be Left to Politics?


Dena Lombardo, Editor-In-Chief


The Trump Administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it has lifted the ban President Obama put on importing sport-hunted trophies of elephants from Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Ironically, a photo captured from shows a circus elephant greeting Trump supporters outside of a campaign rally back in 2015 in Sarasota Florida. As depicted next to the campaign image is a photo of Donald Trump Junior pictured holding the tail of an elephant he shot and killed on a 2011 hunting trip, from

Despite the photographs being taken four years apart, it seems inappropriate to leave out the fact that the Trump sons are avid hunters, enjoy doing it, and visit and have been photographed in the country of Zimbabwe, where the United States ban on bringing trophies from is being released.

In a statement to NPR, the Wildlife Service said Legal, well-regulated sport hunting as part of a sound management program can benefit certain species by providing incentives to local communities to conserve those species and by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation,” The cite also informs readers that those who are promoting the lift of the ban believe that allowing the trophy imports will force the local communities to put “much-needed” revenue back into conservation. However, the “much-needed” revenue would not be “much-needed” if Americans specifically and other people on Earth did not hunt.

The American Wildlife Foundation includes a section on the South African country Zimbabwe, with the conservation projects it holds for the endangered species remaining there. Among these is, and listed first, the Zambezi Elephant Conservation.

In the Descriptions and Plans section listed on the website, the Wildlife Foundation emphasizes the ignorance elephants have in knowing borders with the lack of  a secure habitat. The populations of elephants, according to the site, roam freely across many countries in South Africa in order to obtain food, water, and place to live.

The organization hopes to secure habitats for the large herds of elephants roaming through Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, however it is extremely difficult to do so and will need the funding of, ironically, The Fish and Wildlife Service.

Zimbabwe has had a successful conservation of elephants and managing the decreasing numbers of them in the population. Enabling and privileging the hunters of America with being able to bring back the trophies will only further the need for conservation, which is already at a strong point without the extra hunting.

On the Conservation Action Trust’s website, it is said that because of the protective conservation of elephants, as of 2014, elephants cannot be considered endangered since the population of them reached a high point of 80,000, however, the site also notes that between the duration of 1990 and 2006 the population has been limited by the escalation of illegal killing.  

Not only is the issue of preserving animal numbers a debate that is, but should not be, left up to politics, the issue of Global Warming is preserved as a debate or hoax to some politicians when proven scientific evidence has said otherwise. Amongst the issue of Wildlife Preservation are both issues of preserving endangered animals and attempting to slow Global Warming, and with the recent lift of the ban and planned $14 million cut to the Wildlife programs, it does not seem like a concern to politics.

The allowing of trophies being brought back into the country from hunting elephants only promotes hunting as a sport issue and will further the endangerment and decrease the numbers of other animals on other continents as well as on North America. Many countries take the preservation of Wildlife as a serious concern, as the United States once did, however as the depletion of the Earth’s finest natural preservations continues, the United States only contributes to the problem.

Take the time to think about what these cuts and lifts are doing not only to the lives of animals who have roamed the Earth hundreds or thousands of years, but the lives of human beings in general, whose only planet and source of life is diminishing, literally, under their feet. Should the preservation of Earth be left up to the people who are destroying it?